Re: Geoff comment

John Misasi (
Mon, 4 Nov 1996 00:56:41 -0500 (EST)

At 03:19 PM 11/3/96 EST, Burgy wrote:

>Geoff wrote, in part: " Some people will tell you that they couldn't accept
>Christianity if they had to believe in a physical Resurrection. They have
>accepted Christianity, or think they have. Should we therefore conclude that
>they're right about the Resurrection? "
>It is NOT "Christianity" that one accepts, but "Christ."
>The question needs to be -- "Can one accept Christ without believing in a
>physical resurrection?"
>I think the answer is "yes," but others may differ.
>But I think the question is "right."

Hi, first there are two forms that Christ has taken on since His
resurection. The first we see the day of His resurrection when he appears to
Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18). Here He has not returned to "the Father"
(vs 17). After this He appears to the disciples, but the interesting note
is that He is capable of going through locked doors (John 20:19,26) . THis
suggests a spiritual or "multidimensionality" to the resurected Christ.
Also, one sees Thomas touching Jesus. This shows that Jesus has had a
bodily resurrection as well. Further more, in Chapter 21, Jesus eats
breakfast with the disciples (John 21:11-15). {Also, see lazerus's bodily
resurrection... }

Based on this, I would hypothesize the following: Jesus was both bodily and
spiritually resurected. Upon His resurection He was no longer (self-)limited
to His human traits and was able to do things a normal man could not (such
as walk through doors). But he retained His body as well. Spiritual wise,
He was resurrected by being made clean and made one again with God. This
was needed because He took on all the sins of the world and would therefore
be seperated. Only by a spiritual resurrection could this happen.

Another point i would make is we no longer see Jesus in a physical form
after the ascension. We se Jesus appearing to Paul and others but only in
visions. This is in the realm of the spiritual (i.e. non-bodily form) of
Jesus. Yes, Jesus is alive, but after His ascension and the sending of the
Holy Spirit, we no longer need His physical presence, for we have the Spirit.

Therfore, I think the writers of the gospels thought that Jesus was bodily
resurrected and i also feel Paul did as well. My thought on this are
basically based on the following: (BTW my answer to the question posed
would be No, Christ was resurected both physically and spiritually. To deny
either is to deny the miricle of the resurrection, a solely spiritual
resurrection would be like saying, "Christ is gone, but his memory lives on
within us")

1 Corinthians 15(NIV) [excuse any typos]
1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of hte gospel I preached to you, which
you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you
are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you
have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ
died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that
he was raised on the thrid day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he
appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to
James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as
to one abnormally born.

9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an
apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by hte grace of God
I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked
harder than all of them -- yet not I, but by the grace of Gid that was with
me. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is
what you believed.

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can
some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no
resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if
Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
15 More thatn that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for
we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did
not raise himn if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are
not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not
been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those
also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we
have hope in Chrsit, we are to be pitied more than all men.

20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those
who have fallen asleep. 21 for since death came through a man, the
resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all
die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own turn:
Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24
Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father
after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must
reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 the last enemy to
be destroyed is death. 27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now
when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this
does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he
has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put
everything under him, so that God may be all in all.

29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for
the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for
them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every our? 31 I die
every day -- I mean that, brothers-- just as surely as I glory over you in
Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If i fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely
human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
"Let us eat and drink,
for tommorow we die."
33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 34 Come back to
your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are
ignorant of God -- I say this to your shame.

35 But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body
will they come?" 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless
it dies. 37 WHen you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just
the seed, perhaps of wheat or something else. 38 But God gives it a body as
he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39 All
flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another,
birds another and fish another. 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there
are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and
the splendor of earthly bodies is another. 41 The sun has one kind of
splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs form star
in splendor.

42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown
is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is
raised inglory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown
a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is
written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a
life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural,
and after taht the spiritual. 47 The first man was of hte dust of the earth,
the second man from heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are
of the earth; and as isthe man from heaven, so also are those who are of
heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so
shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen,
I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- 52
in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the
trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and the mortal
with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the
imperishable, and the mortal with immoratality, then the saying that is
written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in the victory."
55 "Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
56 the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks
be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always
give yourself fully to the work of hte Lord, because you know your labor in
the Lord is not in vain.

John Misasi, Senior Research Technician
Center for Advanced Biotechnology Home Page