This past weekend, the Christian community, for the most part, celebrated the passion of Jesus Christ. The Church showed her appreciation of His resurrection by acknowledging the great significance of that event for all of mankind.
As I meditated on it, I could not help but think about the body of Christ. When He rose from the dead it was in bodily form. It was not a spirit entity that was resurrected, but an actual body.
It is now a glorified body. It is a body that has enhanced capabilities – more than anyone born of the flesh ever possessed including Adam and Eve! It is that body, the body of Jesus Christ, and what it means to us, that I want to focus in this post.
Question: Does Jesus Christ now have blood flowing through His body? Does His body which rose from the grave regenerate new blood? I do not know. Wasn’t it all poured out at the cross? I am going to speculate that, yes, He now has blood coursing through His veins in some way or fashion. I could be wrong here. Most likely He does not as a way to immortalize His shed blood for us.
Does the body of Christ have a heart that pumps that blood? Does Christ’s resurrected body have other organs such as a liver, a spleen and kidneys? Again, I do not know this. But I do know that Christ rose from the dead having two eyes, a nose and teeth. I cannot imagine His resurrected body being completely hollow – without even a brain.
The resurrected Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene who did not recognize Him right away. Why? Was it because Jesus had a new face as He spoke to Mary or were her senses blocked from recognizing Him? I do not know. But she wanted to hug Him right then and there when she realized who He was. But Christ told her no since He had not yet been glorified (John 20:11-18). What did that mean? Was Christ fulfilling the Wavesheaf ceremony found in Leviticus 23:9-11? Very possible.
Then that body, the body of Christ, appeared out of nowhere in the room where the disciples were gathered and hiding for fear of the Jewish leaders (John 20:19). They were astonished and ecstatic in seeing Christ in the flesh right before them. I am sure that Jesus’ body was then glorified, ready to be touched and that Mary, His mother, hugged Him. Oh, did she ever hug Him! Why not? She saw Him beaten, crucified and left bleeding to His death. Now He was in person right before her very eyes. Let me ask this to everyone out there: Was Jesus highly emotional when He met His mother again? I wish I were there to see that moment! I’ll make sure to get the DVD of that event in my next life.
Several times Christ appeared to where the disciples were gathered. Then disappeared. There is no indication that He stayed over anyone’s home to sleep for the evening.
When Jesus first appeared to His brethren, the disciple, Thomas, was not there. When told, he wanted proof Christ was alive by touching Him. Christ soon reappeared. This time Thomas touched His pierced hands and stab wound in His side (John 20:24-29). In other words, it was further evidence that it was not a spirit being that appeared to them – but the actual risen body of Christ.
Was that punctured-body-appearance the only time He would display His wounds? Or did Christ continue appearing to people (500 of them at the same time at one occasion – 1 Corinthians 15:3-6) with pierced hands and wounded side as a witness until He ascended to the Father after Pentecost? I do not know. I am going to speculate that, yes, He showed His deep scars for all to see at every appearance.
On another occasion, He appeared and reminded two disciples of His body when He broke bread and gave it to them. When they instantly recognized Him as their Messiah, He vanished (Luke 24:13-31).
The risen Christ ate food. He partook of fish with His overjoyed followers (John 21:1-10). That means Christ has a stomach. He will eat and drink at a future banquet after He returns to this earth (Matthew 26:27-29). What does that mean for us? Well, because of Christ ‘s resurrected body, Christians will dine with Him.
But Christians will have new bodies when Christ returns. They will be very superior and much like the one Christ has – but not the same one we are dealing with now. The Bible says since Christ is the firstborn of many brethren (Romans 8:29), we will also have incorruptible bodies and shall see Him as He is ( 1 John 3:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:53).
Our bodies will be able to do incredible things! They will move about the vast universe tremendously quick and powerful than any invention man has created (airplane, train and automobile) or ever will devise. Our bodies will traverse the galaxies instantaneously without the aid of contraptions – more than man today would ever imagine:
In a previous post entitled: The Pull of the Flesh, (part 2), I mentioned that it is not our hearts, but the flesh, that pulls against us toward our inherent and habitual sins. Yet we Christians are promised, at Christ’s return, to be changed to immortal, incorruptible bodies that, as stated previously, are very much what Christ now has. That new body will be free of these pulls and therefore not fall under fleshly temptations and habitual vices.
We Christians are presently a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) but still physical, mortal and subject to illness, disease and death. But why are we Christians, at conversion, not now given new bodies? Did we not “die” during baptism and became born again? Instead, we still currently possess our original bodies subject to the pulls toward sin which try to separate us from God. Why? There are reasons.
One reason is found in Romans 13:14 which states that we are to put on Jesus Christ:
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
How do we Christians do that? That is a huge topic you can bring up and discuss at a small Church group or Bible study. Some of the answers that will surface may surprise you.
Also, Christ said we are to eat His body and drink His blood. He told us that we are to eat Him! So, how are we Christians now to do this?
Roman Catholics interpret this to mean that at their sacrament of the Eucharist they participate, there is transubstantiation or a literal changing of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. I cannot swallow (pun intended) or support that view. What the Roman Church believes or not believe regarding the body of Christ is her business before God, not mine. I will let it go at that in this post.
But, Christ did state it was important to partake of Him. Again, let me ask, how do we Christians do this? Please study this among yourselves.
Other Homework Questions:
1) Why does Jesus Christ refer to His Church as His body (Romans 12:5)? If Christ has a glorified body already, why does He need another one consisting of Christians? And why is Christ considered being the head of it – the Church?
a. Jesus is the lamb of God – we are sheep, God’s flock.
b. Jesus is the light of the world – we are called to be lights to the world.
c. Jesus is King and will rule the earth – we are to be co- rulers with Him.
d. Jesus Christ still is working on earth.
2) Why did Jesus, in the evening when He first appeared to the disciples, breathed on them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit…” (John 20:21-23)? Does this mean Jesus has lungs but was not necessarily breathing before and after He said this? Or was He breathing all along but breathed something special when He spoke those words? Wasn’t Pentecost to occur days after He ascended which manifested the Holy Spirit? Sorry, no hints for you here.
3) When Jesus Christ returns, He will ride on a horse as King of kings, but will His body continue showing pierced hands and wound at His side? If He does, why will it be necessary?
4) Do you think the body of Christ highly resembles the body (including the facial features) that Adam had before he sinned, aged and died?
5) Will Christ’s body, as well as everyone else’s bodies, always be the same? Will we be getting other bodies, oh let’s say, 5 million years from now? In other words, do our new bodies have to be permanent? What do you think?
There is much to study and anticipate, everyone! There are exciting things to learn and experience! It is all due to a Being who died and rose from the dead for us and who now sits with a glorified body at the right hand of the Father in heaven waiting patiently to return.