Our Resurrected Christ
By Pastor F. M. Riley
March 15, 2014
“For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.”
“But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
1 Corinthians 15:35
The Title and the Text passages set forth the subject matter of this Bible study. The Title also points out that this study is written for true believers who know that our Savior lives…..
A couple of week ago I wrote and posted a Bible study entitled “The Hebrew Slave.” In that study I dealt with a subject that many of God’s people have never studied or even considered; the humanity and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, His servitude to His Father, and His choice to remain in a human body forever. This was astounding to some of our readers, and questions were asked. I am always glad to answer the questions of my readers, and their questions are always welcome.
I am now writing and sending forth this present Bible study to answer many of the questions I have been asked on this subject, and to reinforce the truth of what I presented in the previous study about the human body of our beloved Savior; the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s begin…..
The Birth of Christ Jesus
No true Bible believer doubts that the Lord Jesus Christ came into this world as the result of the overshadowing of the Jewess virgin, Mary, by the Holy Spirit of God, Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-35. Being born of His mother, Mary, Christ Jesus was then a true human with the body of a true human, yet since the Holy Spirit was His Father, Christ had no “sin nature” received through the lineage of fallen Adam, Romans 5:12. Christ Jesus, in His virgin birth, was God’s answer to the question asked by Job centuries before, “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.” Job 14:4. Job was mistaken in his assumption. Mary was a descendant of Adam, and therefore did have her own “sin nature” passed down from Adam. Nevertheless, God in His great wisdom chose to use the body of Mary, the virgin, to bring His sinless Son and the Savior of mankind into this world. Praise the Lord! Christ Jesus, as a man, was then born of Mary, the virgin, and lived and grew up as the son of Mary. No place in Scripture does God’s inspired Word ever even imply that Christ was the son of Joseph, although the unbelieving Jewish people regarded Him as such, Matthew 13:55; Luke 3:23; John 6:42. The doctrine of the virgin birth of Christ stands as Scriptural truth!
What the inspired Word does explicitly say and teach is that Christ Jesus was a true human living in a natural human body, a body which was subject to all of the weaknesses and strengths, emotional highs and lows, feelings of joy and sorrow, trials and testings, heartaches and griefs, that we humans experience, Hebrews 4:15. This in no way changes the truth that He was “Immanuel,” the very “Son of God,” and therefore God clothed in humanity,” Isaiah 7:14; John 3:16. However, it is glaringly obvious to any honest reader that Christ was not sent into this world to function as God. Rather, in His life and ministry Christ Jesus displayed all the characteristics and authority God intended for mankind when He created Adam, Genesis 1:26-28. As the sinless innocent second Adam, Christ Jesus came to redeem what the first Adam lost by his disobedience to God, 1 Corinthians 15:45. Praise the Lord!
In His humanity, Christ was not a tall, handsome, muscle bound, specimen of mankind. Rather, the Scriptures indicate that He was a very ordinary looking man [Isaiah 53:2], perhaps of shorter stature
like David, and with dark black, curly, hair. Read for yourself the only inspired description of
the Lord before His resurrection, as found in God’s word in Songs 5:10-16.
The Suffering and Crucifixion of Christ
The four gospels give us an in-depth description of the sufferings of Christ leading up to His crucifixion. He was tied to a pole or stake and flogged with a Roman scourge until the flesh was ripped from his back, which, according to medical authorities, would have exposed his entire backbone, shoulder bones, and rib cage, Matthew 26:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1.
The Roman soldiers also plaited a crown of thorns and placed it on the head of the Lord Jesus, bowing before Him in mockery, Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17-18; John 19:2-3. The soldiers then took the reed [rod] which they had used for a mock scepter, and beat the Lord over the head with it, driving the crown of thorns down into the Lord’s scalp and ears, Matthew 27:30; Mark 15:19. This would have caused excruciating pain and much more loss of blood. Compare Isaiah 50:5-6. John’s account states that the Roman soldiers spit upon Him and beat Him with their fists, John 19:3.
The passage in Isaiah 50:6 which says, “…My cheeks to them that plucked off the hair..,” is not a good translation of the Hebrew text. What the Hebrew text and tenses literally indicate is that some big brawny Roman soldier grabbed the Lord Jesus by His beard and shook Him back and forth until His flesh literally came loose from His facial bones and the entire lower part of His face pulled off exposing His jawbones and teeth. This abuse of the Lord Jesus is why the prophet was inspired to write, “As many were astonished at Thee; His visage [appearance] was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men,” Isaiah 52:14. Oh God have mercy! Why was Christ enduring such abuse at the hands of His fiendish captors? Only because of His love for you and me!
In this process the Lord was stripped stark naked by the Roman soldiers exposing Him to them and to any of the multitude which was watching the spectacle as it occurred, Matthew 27:28. The soldiers then put on Him a purple robe [the robes reserved for kings or royalty], bowed before Him, and mockingly pretended to worship Him. After having their time of sadistic, depraved “fun” with the Lord, they then stripped Him again and put His own robe back on Him before leading Him away to be crucified, Matthew 27:31; Mark 15:17; 15:20. However, the Scriptures explicitly state that at the cross the Roman soldiers stripped the Lord of His garments again and parted them among themselves, Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; Luke 19:23-24. Christ Jesus, in spite of the artist conceptions of Him hanging on the cross with a cloth wrapped about His loins, actually hung on the cross and suffered and died stark naked. Compare the type set forth in Genesis 2:7-11.
Dear readers, I would point out that the Lord Jesus Christ was not physically or spiritually compelled to endure any of this suffering or shameful mistreatment. At the time of His arrest in Gethsemane, He plainly told Peter that He could pray to the Father, and the Father would send “more than twelve legions of angels” to deliver Him, Matthew 26:53. Then why didn’t Christ pray such a prayer? What was it that compelled Christ to let the wicked abuse and crucify Him in such a fiendish and wicked manner? It was His love for fallen mankind, which in eternity past, had moved Him to make His own choice to offer Himself as a sinless innocent man; the perfect sacrifice for man, in order to redeem all that mankind had lost when Adam sinned by disobeying the Lord. Folks, it was not the nails that held Christ to the cross! It was His love for your soul and mine! Give Him glory and respond to His love by your devotion, worship, and praise!
Christ was then taken to the cross and crucified. The only perfectly sinless innocent man who has lived throughout human history, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him,” 2 Corinthians 5:21. Praise the Lord!
The Resurrected Body of Christ Jesus
Three days and nights after being crucified the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from among the dead by God the Father. I want to emphasize that Christ, as the second Adam and God incarnate, certainly could have raised Himself [John 10:17-18], but He didn’t! Every single place in the entire New
Testament which refers to the resurrection of Christ explicitly states that “God raised Him up,” “the Father raised Him,” “the Father brought Him forth,” etc. Not one place in the New Testament is it ever said that Christ raised Himself. Check this out for yourself! Philippians 2:9 explicitly states, “Wherefore [because Christ was obedient to His Father…context] God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name.” Glory to God!
Now I want to point out to our readers truth about the resurrected body of Christ that is plainly stated in the inspired Scriptures, but which many of God’s people have never taken the time to seriously study or think about.
His Same Body
The body of Christ Jesus at His resurrection was the same human body in which Christ was born, grew up in, lived in, and died in at His crucifixion. Oh yes it was! Read it for yourself. Some 3,000 years ago the Psalmist David was inspired of God to prophecy about the resurrection of Christ Jesus with these words, “Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoiceth: My flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt show Me the path of life: in Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:9-10.
Now what does this Scripture explicitly say? It says that the “flesh” of Christ rested in hope. Why? Because the soul [soul; spirit] of Christ was not left in “hell” [sheol; the place of departed spirits]. Rather, the soul of Christ came up from sheol and reentered His body before there was any corruption of His flesh. Remember that the Jews believed and taught [in perfect harmony with the discoveries of modern medical science], that the human body goes into a state of complete corruption [decomposition or breakdown of the flesh] following the third day after death, John 11:17; 11:39. 11:44. Our Lord Jesus was in the grave precisely 72 hours; three days and three nights, and not a minute more. His flesh had not gone into a state of decomposition, but just as the Scripture says, His flesh did not “see corruption.” Praise the Lord!
But some object that this was a Psalm of David, and was likely talking about David himself. Yes indeed, David was inspired of God to write the Psalm, yet this Psalm had nothing to do with David. How do I know? Read it for yourself in Acts 2:22-36 and 13:26-37. It was Christ Jesus our Lord who cast Himself on the mercy of His Heavenly Father, trusting the Father in faith, and Father God raised Him up before His flesh saw any corruption. Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Glory to God!
The Scars or Marks in His Body
That Christ did indeed still have the same body is again proven by the fact that His resurrected body bore the marks of His suffering and crucifixion. After His resurrection Christ appeared to His disciples and “…showed unto them His hands and His side,” John 20:20. The scars or marks of His being nailed to the cross were still right there in His hands and feet, and the scar or mark of the spear that had been thrust into His side was still visible, John 19:34. Further Scriptural proof of this is set forth in John 20:24-29 in the account of the Lord’s appearing to Thomas. His body had experienced changes, as I will point out in this study, yet it was still the same body in which He had lived and died. I have reason to believe that those scars or marks in His body remain right to this day, and will remain eternally as a visible witness of how much He loved the souls of those for whom He died. The old hymn is so true, “I will know Him; I will know Him; I will know Him by the nail prints in His hands.” Oh how much we believers ought to love our resurrected Lord for the sacrifice He made for us.
A Real Physical Body
I am aware that it is commonly assumed by many Christian believers that the Lord Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, returned to His former position in the Godhead as Christ in a spiritual form. Such an assumption is absolutely not true! The Lord Jesus Himself, following His resurrection, appeared to His disciples and explicitly told them, “Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise
in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have,” Luke 24:38-39.
The resurrected body of the Lord Jesus Christ was then His own physical body in which He had
been born, lived, and ministered, and in which He was crucified. His body had undergone changes, but it was still His own physical body. It is not just “coincidence” that the inspired Apostle clearly states in 1 Corinthians 15:44, “Is is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” The key word here is “body.” The Lord Himself clearly said, “…a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have,” Luke 24:39. Christ Jesus was raised with His own “body” of “flesh and bones.” His blood had been shed at Calvary for your soul and mine, so His body contained no blood. This clearly demonstrates that the life of the resurrected body does not depend on blood flowing through the veins of the body, but rather on our resurrected Christ who Himself is life, John 5:24-29. Glory to God!
A Changed Body
The resurrected body of Christ was indeed the very same body in which He had lived and ministered the Word of God, yet in the process of resurrection there were some changes made.
The resurrected body of Christ was no longer in the same “marred” condition that it was in when He was crucified. Rather, Father God had performed what we might call “plastic surgery” or “skin grafting” on the body of Christ. The skin on the back of Christ, which had been beaten off by the Roman scourge, had obviously been completely replaced.
The face or countenance of Christ, which had been ripped away, was also completely restored. Christ, after His resurrection, did not look like He did before His crucifixion and resurrection. We know this to be so because in His appearance to Mary Magdalene after His resurrection, she did not recognize Him, John 20:11-18. Likewise the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, were met by the Lord and walked along talking with Him for a ways, yet they did not recognize Him, Luke 24:13-35.
Folks, when Father God healed and changed the body and countenance of the Lord Jesus Christ, He gave to Christ a beautiful new countenance. I have previously pointed out in various Bible studies that Moses is one of the most vivid types of Christ to be found in the entire Bible. Remember that the face of Moses literally shined or glowed with light when He came down the mountain from being in the presence of God? Now look at Revelation 21:9-11 where the New Jerusalem is being described. John states in 21:11 that the light or “glory” emanating from New Jerusalem is like that of “a stone most precious.” What is the source of this light? In 21:23 it is explicitly stated that “the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Christ Jesus is the “stone most precious” from whose face or countenance the very glory of God will radiate forth to light up the entire city of New Jerusalem. How absolutely handsome and beautiful the face of Jesus must be in His resurrected body.
Further, the resurrected body of Christ was “glorified” by the Heavenly Father. This simply means that God imparted to Christ all of the characteristics and attributes which God originally wanted and had planned for the whole human race when He created Adam. Such a “glorified” body has been made “perfect.” Such a resurrected body cannot sin, is immortal and cannot die, cannot be destroyed, cannot be made sick or diseased or become old and weak. The Scriptures explicitly state that “the flesh” of those who have repented and placed their faith in Christ will be “…fresher than a child’s: He shall return to the days of his youth,” Job 33:25. This is apparently what happened to Christ when Father God raised Him from the dead, and it will be what is going to happen to every true believer. The resurrected body of Christ was “glorified” by Father God, just as the bodies of all true New Covenant believers will likewise be at the time of our own resurrection and rapture.
The inspired Word explicitly states that this present natural body which we live in “…cannot inherit the kingdom of God...,” 1 Corinthians 15:50. Why? Precisely because it is a natural body that is both “mortal” and “corruptible” and presently has a “sin nature” causing it to be subject to sin,
death, and “corruption.” In order for us to ever enter into Heaven above our body must be “changed” and made like the glorious body of our resurrected Lord.
I would remind our readers that Christ Jesus in His human body could command the wind and the waves, and they would obey Him, Mark 4:39. He could speak to the fish in the sea, and they would obey Him, Matthew 17:27. These things are just part of the “dominion” given to Adam, which he lost by disobeying God, but which Christ came to restore to mankind by the sacrifice of Himself. Glory!
The resurrected body of Christ could pass through the vastness of space, and He could do it without a rocket ship or some silly space suit designed by men. In fact He could pass through space in an instant of time.
After His resurrection He first appeared to Mary Magdalene and explicitly told her not to touch Him, for He had not yet ascended to the Father in Heaven, John 20:17. But apparently only a few minutes later He appeared to both Marys, “And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him,” Matthew 28:8-9. In that brief span of time Christ had apparently ascended to the Father in Heaven and presented His own precious blood for the redemption of all who will believe. His sacrifice was received and accepted by the Father, and then Christ returned back to earth and met the two Mary’s rushing to tell the disciples that He had risen and was alive. Glory to God!
Christ, in His resurrected body, then appeared to the larger group of the disciples, suddenly appearing in their midst in a room in which the doors were closed because of their fear of the Jews who had crucified Christ and apparently wanted to do the same to the followers of Christ. The closed doors meant nothing to the Lord. In His resurrected body He was able to penetrate and pass through the doors, walls, ceiling, or any other solid objects. We know that Christ was in His resurrected body on this occasion, for this is when He told the disciples to handle His body of “flesh and bones,” John 20:19-20. Praise the Lord!
Still in a Human Body
The fact that the resurrected body of Christ Jesus is still a human body today cannot be denied if one truly believes the Scriptures.
Some 30 years after Christ Jesus had ascended back to the Father in Heaven, the inspired Apostle Paul wrote, “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5. How much plainer could it be stated? Christ Jesus did not lay aside His humanity following His resurrection. He is still living in His “glorified” human body, and is the man who serves as the “Mediator” between God and men. Glory to God!
Again, when the “little book” [the Title Deed to the earth] is brought forth in Revelation 5:1, the inspired Word says, “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon,” 5:2-3. The Scripture tells us that John then broke into weeping. The Greek tenses here literally indicate that John was in a state of convulsive crying and weeping such as one goes into when they are in deep painful sorrow. John knew that the “little book” was the Title Deed to the earth, and that if no “Kinsman Redeemer” could be found who was qualified to open the book and meet the qualifications for redemption set forth in the book, the earth would forever remain in the possession of and under the dominion of Satan. Such a thought literally grieved John to his very heart and soul, causing him great anguish and pain. But notice…..
“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed [conquered; overcome; is qualified] to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof,” Revelation 5:5. It is glaringly obvious that it is Christ Jesus who is being referred to here. Notice that Christ Jesus is not referred to here as He who was [past tense] “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David,” but rather He who is [present tense] presently filling those two positions. Folks, John wrote the Book of Revelation in 96 A.D., some 63 years after Christ had been crucified, resurrected, and ascended back to the Father in Heaven. Yet at that time Christ was still living in His resurrected human body as a “glorified” man, for only a “man” could qualify to serve as our “Kinsman Redeemer.” . Christ Jesus at that very minute was still “the Lion of the tribe of Judah; an Israelite of the tribe of Judah,” [Hebrews 7:14] and the promised “root” of David, Isaiah 11:1-5. This also requires that He be a man who had descended from David. And so He still is today!
Keep in mind that this is a prophecy of the future redemption of the earth and everything lost by Adam, to be fulfilled during the yet future seven year Tribulation period. This means that Christ Jesus is still living in His resurrected glorified human body now some 2,000 years after He ascended back to the Father in Heaven following His resurrection. Christ Jesus is indeed and in truth our wonderful Jewish Kinsman Redeemer still living in His same resurrected glorified body as a man. Glory to God!
Because Christ Jesus lived as a man during His personal ministry, and is still living as a man today, is exactly why He understands mankind intimately, and therefore is “touched with the feeling of our infirmities.” Christ Jesus “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,” Hebrews 4:15. The inspired Word tells us that “…there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother,” Proverbs 18:24. That “friend” is the Lord Jesus Christ. After His resurrection He told His people plainly in Hebrews 13:5, “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” See also Matthew 28:20.
To Forever Remain with Mankind
As I pointed out in my previous study on the Hebrew Slave, the Lord Jesus Christ, for the love of His bride and His children, made the choice to leave His Father’s house and cleave to His bride. Compare Genesis 2:24. Because of His absolute obedience in carrying out His Father’s will, Father God has “highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father,” Philippians 2:9-11. In other words, Christ Jesus, as the second Adam, has regained everything that the first Adam lost and even more.
But now what will Christ, dwelling in His resurrected, glorified, human body do? For the answer to this question we need to turn to Ezekiel 43. In the preceding chapters the prophet Ezekiel has been shown the great Millennial Temple that will be built on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem during the Millennial Kingdom and reign of the Lord. In chapter 43, Ezekiel is shown “…the glory of the God of Israel” coming from the east and entering into the completed Millennial Temple.
Folks, “the glory of the God of Israel” is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, John 1:14. Now listen to what Christ says as He speaks to the prophet in Ezekiel 43:6-7, “And He said unto me, Son of man, the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever…” Glory to God! This plainly sets forth Scriptural proof that Christ Jesus, in His resurrected human body, will dwell with mankind “forever.” Christ Jesus is the Kinsman-Redeemer, the Savior, the Lord God, the appointed King and Heir, the husband married to the land of Israel, but also the Heavenly bridegroom of His presently espoused Gentile church. Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
The Answer to the Question…..
In writing to the Corinthians about the resurrection and rapture of true believers, the Apostle Paul explicitly said, “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?” 1 Corinthians 15:35. What is the answer to this question?
The answer to this question should be obvious to all of our readers who have true spiritual discernment. Dear readers, we who are true believers are going to come forth from the grave, or if still living, be changed and raptured to glory with a body “…fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself,” Philippians 3:20-21. See also 1 John 3:1-3. Christ Jesus is our glorious Savior and Lord and “second Adam,” who, through the sacrifice of Himself at Calvary, bought back [redeemed] all the dominion and authority lost by the first Adam. Turn again and read Genesis 1:26-28, and then let the Holy Spirit of God carry this truth home to your heart and soul.
According to the inspired inerrant Words of Bible prophecy [2 Peter 1:19], it is the appointed time
for all things pertaining to “the time of the end” to be fulfilled. The coming of Christ Jesus in the air
to resurrect and rapture His saints to glory is right at the door. Christ Jesus could return at any minute of any day now. When He comes all true New Covenant believers will be “caught up” in the rapture “to meet the Lord in the air,” 1 Corinthians 15:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
I issue this word of caution. Not one lost “religionist” will be taken in the rapture. A vain “profession,” a worthless “baptism,” “church membership,” faithfully attending church services, a fine “moral life,” will count for nothing, UNLESS one has truly received Christ Jesus as their own personal Savior, Matthew 7:21-23. Every person reading this had better have a real personal saving relationship with Christ Jesus, if they expect to be raptured to glory when He comes for His people. This is why I continue in many of my Bible studies to set before our readers 2 Corinthians 13:5 and 1 Peter 1:10. I truly do want every reader to “examine themselves” and make their “calling and election sure” so that we can meet in glory. Our God does give assurance of forgiven sin and salvation to those willing to seek for it, 1 John 5:13.
Now earnestly pray for God’s guidance as you read again John 3:3-8, 3:16, 3:36, 5:24, 14:6, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31, Romans 10:8-13, Ephesians 2:8-10, and Titus 3:5. May God grant every reader His grace and peace through His saving grace is my prayer.
“Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” Revelation 22:20.
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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote for it in context as written.
Thank you beloved brothers and sisters in Christ for your prayers and your gifts. You have so blessed this old preacher with your many kindnesses extended to me. May our gracious Lord bless each one of you dear folks back into your bosom a hundredfold is my prayer.
Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256, or I can be contacted by email at:
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