The Bible makes it very clear that the resurrection of Jesus was a physical resurrection, not simply spiritual like some cults have claimed. Jesus Christ of Nazareth actually died a physical death and was physically raised from the dead. There are two main reasons why we know Jesus’ glorified, resurrection body was the same body He had before He died.
When Jesus visited the disciples after His resurrection, He showed them the scars in His hands and side where the nails and spear had been. Take a look at John 20:19-20. It reads “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” These scars were indicative of someone who had been crucified on a cross. This man was no impostor or impersonator; this was truly their risen Lord!
He said so
Jesus also made sure the disciples knew He wasn’t simply a spirit or apparition. Jesus had Thomas physically touch His hands and His side after Thomas said that he would never believe unless he did so to his fellow disciples (John 20:26-29). Listen again to the words of Jesus in Luke 24:38-39 “And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See My hands and My feet, that it is I myself. Touch Me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.“
What about the road to Emmaus?
People often ask why it was that the disciples on the road to Emmaus did not recognize the resurrected Jesus. Did He look so unrecognizable that these disciples did not know who He was? Not according to Luke 24:16; it says that their eyes were “kept from recognizing Him.” Jesus walked with them on the road teaching them all about the Scriptures concerning Himself (Luke 24:27). It wasn’t until Jesus broke the bread that their eyes were opened to Who it was that had been speaking to them (Luke 24:30-31).
The disciples go fishing
A similar event occurs in John chapter 21. Seven disciples, including Peter, decide to go fishing but catch nothing all night. Jesus then appears to them on the shore and tells them to cast their nets on the other side, but the text indicates they did not know it was Jesus. After heeding His words, their nets were miraculously filled with fish, so much so that they were unable to haul them in. It was only after this miracle that John exclaimed, “It is the Lord!” Furthermore, Jesus sat down and ate fish (a physical meal) with these disciples and “none of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord” (John 21:12). We too, can trust that it was our physically risen Lord! He is alive forevermore!
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