When Jesus returned to heaven, He went back with a body (both body and spirit). Therefore, when He returns to earth again at the end of the world, everyone will be able to see him, since He has a body (Revelation 1:7). God is spirit (John 4:24) and therefore Jesus for all eternity past had no body. However, when Jesus was born as a baby, He took on a human form: “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:7-9)
He was raised with His body
For the 33 years (or so) of Jesus’ life on earth He bore this body, and it was this same body that died. And yet, when Jesus was raised to life again after His death, He still had a human body (John 20:14, 17) that bore the scars of His death (John 20:20, 26-27). Therefore, Jesus was able to eat and drink with His disciples (John 21:12-13; Luke 24:41-43).
He ascended with His body
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He ascended with this same body (Luke 24:50-51; Acts 1:9), and He will return in the same way that He went (Acts 1:11). Therefore, Jesus still possesses His human body. At this point it is also worth noting that when Jesus was resurrected, while still possessing His human body, that body had also changed in various ways. For example, Mary didn’t initially recognize Jesus (John 20:14), and Jesus could go through closed and locked doors (John 20:19). In other words, there is both continuity and discontinuity between Jesus’ pre-resurrection and post-resurrection bodies (there are some things that are the same, and some things that are different).
The fact that Jesus still has a human body is very important, because according to Philippians 3:20-21, Jesus will transform our present bodies to become like His glorious resurrected body: “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.”
What a glorious hope the Christian has!
How does this Bible passage speak to you? Please share your thoughts below!
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