Thursday, August 11, 2011

Was Jesus' resurrection a "physical/bodily" one or a "spiritual/mystical" one?

I was lurking at Dr. Marcus Borg's blog at: and I posted the following as a responsive comment to his views . . .

"The subject of what material Jesus’ resurrected body was composed of — and of what type resurrection of it was is an intriguing topic. Some will demand it must be a solid resurrected physical thing. Others will argue for a spiritual-only resurrection. I propose that we have to admit the body Jesus resurrected was not like the body of the resurrected Lazarus. We know that Lazarus’ body suffered corruption, rotten and foul. Yet Jesus, “the resurrection and the life” called him forth, back to life, Lazarus still needing to be unbound from very physical grave clothes. However, this was not the type of resurrection body discussed by Paul in I Corinthians 15. Lazarus’ physical body and life was restored but Lazarus retained a body thereafter that would one day die, needing to be resurrected anew in the great resurrections to come. Jesus’ resurrected body was like the body Paul discusses in I Corinthians 15. Christ Jesus as the Creator of all things housed Himself upon His resurrection in a new type of body. What that body is made of is unclear but it is a glorious thing. This new meta-physical, spiritual body of Christ Jesus was unbound by the physical constraints of our time-space continuum and its laws. The Designer of all things, the Word of God, now walked among men, manifesting Himself in whatever way He chose for the moment. Whether He ate with them, appeared to them or showed Thomas the still-present wounds of His crucifixion — Jesus manifested Himself as King over Death, the ever-living One. Sometimes He manifested Himself in a way that it seems, that somehow He was not recognizable as the man Jesus. Then later, the eyes of those he ate and spoke with — were open as they realized this man was the resurrected Jesus. He appeared in overwhelming glory to Saul-turned-Paul. In John’s Revelation 1 vision of Jesus on the isle of Patmos we see a very, very different manifestation of Jesus.

And consider Revelation 19:12-14 “And his eyes are a flame of fire, and upon his head many diadems, having a name written which no one knows but himself; and [he is] clothed with a garment dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which [are] in the heaven followed him upon white horses, clad in white, pure, fine linen.”

Jesus still has a basically human-like form but there is immense power and glory — a new Man, the Son of Man, the second Adam, the Lord of All Creation has ascended back into a glory we can barely imagine.

And yet somehow, we who have called upon this Jesus as our Lord and Savior, know His resurrection reality in a very, very personal way. He has come into us, changed us, and manifested Himself in the depths of our very being. His Spirit dwells in us with His resurrection life and power. This is the resurrected Jesus many of those of faith know best. We know we will see Him as He is…one day…Maranatha, Lord Jesus."