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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus

Don Stewart :: Will Jesus Christ Have Two Natures Forever?

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Will Jesus Christ Have Two Natures Forever?

What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus – Question 41

When God the Son came to this earth He took upon Himself something which He had never had before, a human nature. Indeed, He was fully human as well as fully God. Furthermore, when Jesus came back from the dead He still had that human body though it was a glorified one. This brings up the question as to whether Jesus will be this way for all eternity. Will Jesus Christ have these two natures forever?

The Bible does seem to teach that two natures of Jesus Christ have become permanent. This can be seen by Jesus’ appearances after His resurrection, the promise at His ascension that the same Jesus would return, the description of Jesus after His ascension, the present role He has as our mediator, and the qualifications that are necessary for His High Priestly ministry. The New Testament says the following.

1. The Resurrected Christ Had a Genuine Body

The appearances of Jesus Christ after He came back from the dead showed that He still had a literal body.

Luke testifies that Jesus’ body was missing from the tomb on Easter Sunday morning. He wrote,

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. (Luke 24:3 KJV)

His body was not there, but it was somewhere.

Matthew explains that certain women who came to the tomb and found it empty then met the resurrected Christ on their way back to the city:

And as they went, Jesus met them. “Greetings!” he said. And they ran to him, held his feet, and worshiped him. (Matthew 28:9 NLT)

The body of Jesus was no longer in the tomb because He had risen. The fact that He could be held by the feet shows that Jesus had a genuine body.

Jesus Himself testified that He had an actual body after His death. He said the following to Mary Magdalene on the day of His resurrection:

Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17 NRSV)

Therefore the risen Christ was not merely a spirit. Indeed, Jesus was raised in an actual body.

2. At His Ascension, There Was a Promise of His Bodily Return

At Jesus’ ascension, there were certain angels who promised that Jesus would return in the same manner in which He left. They said the following to Jesus’ disciples:

They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:11 HCSB)

The Jesus that left the earth was both God and man. Therefore, it is necessary that Jesus remain the God-man until He returns because He will return as the God-man. Consequently, it seems that He will remain in that glorified body at least until the time He returns as King of Kings.

3. Jesus Appeared in a Body after His Ascension

After His ascension into heaven Jesus is still represented as having a body. When the martyr Stephen was being stoned to death he saw the risen Christ. He described Him as follows:

“Look,” he said, “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” (Acts 7:56 NRSV)

This is consistent with the risen Jesus still having a body.

4. Humanity Is Necessary for His Role as Mediator

There is also the issue of Jesus mediating between God and humanity. The Apostle Paul told Timothy that the man, Christ Jesus, is interceding on our behalf:

For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human... (1 Timothy 2:5 NRSV)

It is the “man” Christ Jesus who is mediating for us. It seems that He must remain in that body to be our mediator.

5. Jesus Has to Be Human to Be Our High Priest

To be a High Priest, Jesus would have to remain human. Indeed, the Apostle Paul says that the same Jesus who died for us is also presently interceding for us. He wrote the following to the Romans:

Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. (Romans 8:34 HCSB)

All of this seems to indicate the necessity that Jesus Christ remain in His glorified human body; at least through the time of His Second Coming to the earth.

After His Second Coming to the earth, there does not seem to be anything in Scripture which indicates, one way or the other, as to whether He will remain in that glorified form for all eternity.

Summary – Question 41
Will Jesus Christ Have Two Natures Forever?

God the Son, Jesus Christ was fully God and fully human during the time He was here upon the earth. Consequently, there is the issue with respect to the duration of the two natures of Jesus Christ. How long will He remain in this human form?

Scripture seems to teach that Jesus will retain His human nature forever; or at least through the time of His Second Coming to the earth. There are a number of reasons as to why this appears to be the case.

First, the resurrected Christ had a genuine body. In other words, He was not merely a spirit or ghost. Scripture is clear on this issue. Jesus Christ was raised bodily from the dead.

The Bible also says the same Jesus that left the earth will return. Since Jesus left our world in a glorified body, it seems to follow that He will also return in that same glorified body. This indicates that He will remain in His glorified form at least through the time of His Second Coming.

Also, the description of the Lord after His Ascension is consistent with one who has a body. When the martyr Stephen was dying, he saw Jesus standing at the right hand, or place of authority, of God the Father. This is also consistent with the idea that Jesus still resides in His glorified body.

In addition, the Apostle Paul said that the man Christ Jesus is our mediator. This is further indication that He remains in this glorified form.

Finally, it is necessary for Jesus’ ministry as High Priest that He remains human. The High Priest is one who shares our nature and understands our feelings. Thus, it seems that Jesus must remain in that body as long as He is interceding for believers.

In sum, the Scripture teaches that God the Son, Jesus Christ, remains in the same body that was raised from the dead. We know that He will remain in that body through the time of His Second Coming to the earth. Beyond this, we can only speculate.

Was Jesus Always Confident of His Identity? ← Prior Section
What Should We Conclude about the Identity of Jesus Christ? Next Section →
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