Resurrection and Reality

Just a few moments ago, I was working on some materials for a class I’m planning to teach this summer on eschatology … thinking about how the resurrection of Jesus guarantees our own … about how that incorruptible body might be different from the corruptible … and reading John 20:19-20:

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

… and I wondered how He got through those doors (or passed through a wall) with a resurrected body that Dr. Luke (24:39) says had “flesh and bones …”

“Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

… when the thought suddenly hit me: Maybe because Jesus was more real than a wall or a door.

A wall or a door – to Him – is only as “real” as smoke or fog seems to us. Insubstantial. Impermanent. Inconsequential. Walk right through it.

Remember how Paul said it in II Corinthians 4:18 – 5:3:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Tent vs. mansion. Naked vs. clothed. Temporary vs. eternal. Seen vs. unseen.

Unreal vs. real.

Or maybe I just read too much C.S. Lewis.

(Is it possible to read too much C.S. Lewis?)

9 thoughts on “Resurrection and Reality

  1. “Colossians 2:16. Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
    17. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” (NIV)
    The contrasts you were sighting are pretty cool when you grasp them.
    These are all shadows of the reality that is found in Christ.
    The wacked thing is we think on terms of this world being the reality…. nope this is “shadowland”. (c.s lewis)
    we live and dwell in the shadows, but God calls us to life in the light who is Christ Jesus…
    Cool,keep writing.
    be blessed,

  2. Keith, I think you are on the bull’s eye with this. Our main struggle is to see things as they really are, instead of how we perceive reality to be. We cannot understand eternity, or more than four dimensions, or anything with which we have no tangible contact until we realize that we are spiritual beings in a physical situation, rather than the other way around.

    Do you remember as a kid the first time you tried to grasp the concept of infinity (eternity)? My brain would hurt just thinking about it. It still does. I’m not much closer to understanding it, but I do realize that there is more to me than just my physical body, and the rest of the concepts just follow that thought.

  3. < HREF="" REL="nofollow">Amy Westerman<> has an interesting view of the seen and the unseen. Thanks for the comments!

  4. May we be your cyber-class, Keith?

    1 Cor. 15: 35-49, Paul contrasts the resurrected body as a composite of natural Adam and supernatural Jesus.

    seed vs plant
    each flesh vs other flesh
    earthly vs heavenly
    stars vs planets

    perishable vs imperishable

    sown in dishonor (sin),
    raised in glory (minus sin)

    sown in physical weakness, raised capable of supernatural acts

    sown from Adam, the first man, raised in Jesus, the last Adam

    In what ways do we demonstrate our belief in the power of the Resurrection?

    What do we mean when we say, as Paul did (1Cor.5:4),”I am with you in spirit”? Has your spirit ever left you in one place to be present in another?

  5. Why is it that we are so amazed at Jesus when he walks through a door (by the way that thought blew my mind, i went all matrix and stuff) but we read his miracle story’s with so much less awe? I blogged on that passage a while ago but i can’t remember what i said. In class today we talked about it in view of Augustine’s thoughts. Sorry just random information. Great post as always!

  6. Brandon, I know what you said. I < HREF="" REL="nofollow">found it<>.

  7. Are girls allowed to post? I’m only seeing boy names. Just kidding. If you want to read some great stuff on eschatology AND C.S. Lewis, check out < HREF="" REL="nofollow">the Thinklings site<> . They have some different theological views, even among themselves, but wow what conversations! Plus just a bit of insanity (check out the post “What Color is This Liquid?”).

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