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Article 44 - Christ's Resurrected Body
What Happened to Christ's Resurrected Body?
Jon Gary Williams
Questions have been proposed concerning the resurrected body of Jesus. It is known that His physical body was resurrected. Likewise, we know that the body in which Jesus ascended was not physical. So, what happened? Here are a few thoughts to consider.
First, Jesus departed the tomb in that body which was brought back to life. The tomb was empty and several people witnessed His resurrected presence.
Second, Jesus moved among His disciples; He talked with them and ate with them, manifesting that it was indeed His actual resurrected body. On multiple occasions Jesus suddenly appeared to some of his disciples, and on one occasion He entered a closed room. These were instances of Jesus' miraculous power, not unlike the miracles He performed prior to being crucified.
Third, as Christ's ascension to heaven neared, a transformation took place -- quite literally, a transfiguration. The occasion of that transfiguration is recorded in Matthew 7:2. His body, as well as His raiment, were transfigured in such a way that gave Him a completely different appearance. An angelic description is given -- face shining as the sun, raiment white as light. (cf. Luke 24:4; John 20:12; Acts 1:10) Could this have been what happened at Jesus' ascension?
Then, fourth, could it be that at the last day dead bodies will be raised -- not the same bodies that went into the grave, but rather bodies transfigured into the likeness of Christ's transformation? And does this explain the awesome description given to the resurrected bodies in the fifteenth chapter of I Corinthians: "glorious...spiritual...image of the heavenly...incorruptible...immortal...? This appears to be not merely bodies raised from the dead, but rather a complete, total transformation of immortal bodies, ready for the habitation of immortal souls.