Most of us think in pictures. We try to imagine what things looked like when Jesus appeared to the apostles. We hear how they were all huddled in a room. Fearful of the Jewish authorities they had locked the doors. Suddenly he appears! Right through the locked doors!
How’d he do that? He still has a body. He shows his hands so they can see the nail marks of the crucifixion. How then can he suddenly appear and disappear? Walk through walls?! These are important questions. We’ll try in these weeks of Easter to understand more deeply what Jesus’ Resurrection is like.
First, we need to rule some things out – – what the Resurrection is NOT. The resurrection is not resuscitation. This is not a corpse come back to life. Remember Lazarus, friend of Jesus who was dead some four days before the Lord could come to him. Lazarus was resuscitated – brought back to the same life (same body), he’d been living. In time Lazarus would die again.
No. Jesus was resurrected, and the world had never seen that before so it’s been hard to find the words and science to explain it. This we know:
++ Jesus’ resurrected body was a real body. He was not a ghost. To make sure the apostles knew it was really Jesus he showed them his hands with the nail marks. On anoth- er occasion he would sit to eat a meal with them.
++ But, this body of Jesus had changed. It was no longer limited by the laws of space and time. He appeared and disappeared, passed through physical barriers yet main- tained the identity he had with the body he’d been given by Mary. It’s Jesus . . . but he’s changed.
++ Jesus now lives in a state different from the one we live in here on earth. He is “raised up”. He lives in the Divine Life of the Trinity (Heaven). But here’s the neat thing . . . he has brought our human nature and its necessary vessel, the human body, into heaven! The glorified human body of Christ is now and forever in the Holy Trinity of God. It’s sort of “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Humanity has landed in God.
++ It is in Christ’s transformed mystical body that the human soul finds it’s “space”, its own “bodily participation” and communion with God that is “eternal life”.
++ What will this new life in the Body of Christ look like and feel like? I don’t have the slightest idea!! Let’s start with . . . “Pretty Wonderful”, and spend the rest of eternity describing this infinite beauty.
We’ll let Jesus take care of the living arrangements in eternity. What’s important is the Resurrection as it effects life here and now.
Can I meet Christ in his resurrection like the disciples in the gospel? No. That’s because after 50 days he “Ascended into Heaven” (the life of God beyond space and time).
Can I meet The Resurrected Christ in another way – – just as real? Yes! Through Faith. Remember Jesus’ words to Thomas? “Thomas you believed because you saw me . . . Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Jn. 20: 29.
Faith is a new way of seeing. It’s a gift. If you’ve read this far —– you got it!
Happy Easter again.