Advancing the Revelation of Truth
Resurrection Stages Leading to The Calling on High.
I N T R O D U C T I O N
In this study we shall be considering the details concerning the body of The Lord Jesus Christ following His death. His interment, resurrection and ascension.
An outline of all the happenings during that period has been carefully examined and set forth on the following page ‘Events During Passover in 30ad’. The author is the devoted Bible student Mr. Maurice Lloyd of Glasgow. If you would like to turn to that page now, you can refresh your memory of these life changing events before we begin to examine the details of God’s actions by Jesus Christ in establishing the offer of Eternal Life to all peoples.
The Truth of this story is well known and deeply embedded in a Christian’s heart. It is the True story which, when believed, establishes and identifies the believer by faith in The Lord Jesus Christ. This brings enormous blessing in every day life and the promise of a body which does not enter into the condition of death but will live in a changed and new condition according to the Calling of God. [John 11:26]
We will examine the words that God has spoken regarding the changes to the physical body of Jesus in order to compare them with the promises that God has made to those men and women who are identified with Jesus Christ.
We will begin after Jesus bowed His head and drew His last breath which led to His side being pierced with the spear, before it was taken down from the cross. [See also Resurrection Episodes. Pamphlet No. 34ML]
THE INTERMENT OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
Following the removal of the body of Jesus from the cross…..
Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that He might take away the body of Jesus…….and there came also Nicodemus….and brought a mixture of Myrrh and aloes, about one hundred pounds. Then they took the body of Jesus and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new place of remembrance, a tomb, wherein no man had yet been laid. There they laid Jesus [John 19:38 & 42]
The women from Galilee followed after and beheld the sepulchre, and how His body was laid and they returned, and prepared spices and ointments and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment [Luke 23:55-56]
Note that it was the body of Jesus and not Jesus Himself which was encased in the linen clothes because the Scripture tells us that after death
The Spirit returns to God who gave it. [Ecc 12:7]
After a period of time, (one and a half days to be precise), on the first day of the week, life returned to the body of Jesus as He lay in the sepulchre covered in His grave clothes.
Between the first and third day, that is late on the Thursday to early on the Saturday, one and a half days, whilst the body of Jesus was in death, Peter tells us that during that condition
In Spirit, He went and heralded His triumph unto the spirits in prison who long ago disobeyed when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. [Peter 3:19]
Let us now consider the recorded details of these changes that took place at the time of Jesus’ resurrection and ascension
THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
When Jesus was risen early the first day of the week Mark 16:9] In the end of the Sabbath came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre [Mat 28:1] They came to the sepulchre bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them [Luke 24:1]
They witnessed an angel rolling back the stone from the door. He said to the women
Do not fear, Jesus is not here, He is risen, see the place where the Lord lay.[Mat 28:5-6]
And they entered in, and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus [Luke 24:3]
Mary Magdalene ran to Simon Peter and John and told them ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre’. They ran to the sepulchre and John looked in and saw the linen clothes lying. Peter followed and saw the same, and the napkin which was about His head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. . Then the disciples went away again to their own home, but Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping. [John 20:2-11]
Mary was then privileged to see the two angels, sitting one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. These were they who had no doubt assisted in the resurrection of Jesus indicated by the linen clothes lying and the face cloth wrapped together in a place by itself.
Mary then turned and saw whom she first thought was the gardener, but He, being Jesus, said to her:
Touch me not for I am not yet ascended to my Father…..I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God. [John 20:17]
Following this meeting with Mary Magdalene, Jesus ascended for the first time to His Father.
THE MEETINGS OF THE RESURRECTED JESUS WITH THE DISCIPLES. A PERIOD OF 40 DAYS ENDING AT BETHANY.
Shortly after Jesus’ ascension to The Father, the disciples, Peter and John, who had departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy…….... as they went to tell His disciples, behold Jesus met them, saying ‘All hail’. And they came and held Him by the feet and worshipped Him. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid go tell my brethren that they should go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. [Mat 28:7-9]
Later that eventful day, two disciples whilst journeying to Emmaus, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them but they were kept from recognising Him. After listening to Jesus explain the events of the day, as they neared Emmaus, they persuaded Him to stay for a meal during which they recognised Him when He took bread, gave thanks and broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognised Him and He disappeared from their sight. [Luke 24:13-35]
This same event was described by Mark in ch.16 v.12. He appeared in another form unto two disciples as they walked, and went into the country.
After this, when the eleven were gathered together, Jesus Himself stood in the midst for the first time and said to them…….Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as I have…….have you here any food? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and of an honeycomb. And He took it and did eat before them. [Luke 24:36-43]
At this time, He appeared before the eleven whilst they were eating, He upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart [Mark 16:14]
But at this time Thomas Didymus was not with them when Jesus came. When the disciples told him that they had seen the Lord, he said: Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. [John 20:24-25]
After a further eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: Then came Jesus the second time, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said Peace be unto you. Then He said to Thomas: Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side and be not faithless but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and my God. [John 20:26-28]
The angel who rolled back the stone told the two Marys to tell His disciples ‘to go into Galilee and there shall they see me’. The eleven disciples went into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them, and when they saw Him they worshipped Him. Mat 28:16-20
The disciples, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, the sons of Zebedee, John and another, decided to go fishing at the Sea of Tiberius, Jesus showed Himself to them the third time. It was not until they had caught an abundance of fish after following Jesus’ instructions that John recognised Him and told Peter. The other disciples feared to ask Him, Who art Thou ? but they knew it was The Lord. [John 21:7]
After that He was seen of James then of all the apostles at the time of His departure at Bethany [1Cor 15:7]
THE TRANSLATION OF JESUS FROM THE GIVING UP OF HIS SPIRIT TO HIS SEATING ON THE RIGHT OF GOD HIS FATHER.
The First State of the body of Jesus.
The body of Jesus lay in the Sepulchre with the face cloth removed, not lying with the linen grave clothes but folded up in a place by itself. Could this suggest that it was removed from the face of Jesus to allow Him to breath when life returned to His body? . We are told by John that Mary Magdalene had seen two angels in the sepulchre, seated one at the head and the other at the feet where the body of Jesus had lain. It is probable that it was the hands of the angel at the head who removed the face cloth to enable Jesus to breath when He came back to life. This is the life which all breathing creatures have. It is defined in the Scripture by the Greek word psuchE. meaning ’breath’. The injuries suffered by Jesus on the cross did not cause Him to loose His ‘breath’. He freely gave up His spirit of life.
We are reminded of the resurrection of Lazarus, the friend of Jesus. Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus called him forth from the grave. His body was wrapped in grave clothes and would have had to float from the grave being dead and unable to breath until, as commanded by Jesus, his family released him. This is the first step in the process of resurrection…..a return to life. However, the implication is that the body is healed from whatever caused its death, as the Scripture says: the dead shall be raised incorruptible [1Cor 15:52]
Although this is the evidence relating to mortal mankind, the body of Jesus retained the marks of its injuries as identification and authority
And I saw and behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures and in the midst of the elders, a lamb standing as having been slain. [Rev 5:6]
The apostle Paul tells the Thessalonian Christians that their hope is in this condition.:To be brought back to life with bodies healed of all ailments.
The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet The Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. [1Thess 4:16-17]
This is the initial hope of all those Christians generated during the first phase of The Kingdom of Heaven in Israel during the time of the record of the book of Acts.
The Second State of the body of Jesus.
Our attention should now be drawn to the condition of the grave clothes. We are told that they were just lying, not folded or moved as was the face cloth. What was it about this characteristic of the grave clothes that causes John to confess that he then believed. What would John have thought had the grave clothes been unwrapped and dropped in a bundle on the floor of the sepulchre. He could have recognised that Jesus had been resurrected even as Lazarus was. There is no suggestion that the grave clothes were unwound, but just lying. The implication is that the condition of the body of
Jesus' body had changed, allowing it to pass through the grave clothes leaving them lying, or as we would say, collapsed upon the surface. This condition of bodily change after raising without ailments is referred to by Paul when writing to the Corinthian Christians concerning their hope in resurrection
Behold I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [1Cor 15:51] .
When the seventh angel begins to sound the last trumpet
the mystery of God shall be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets. [Rev 10:7]
When that last trumpet is sounded The Hope of all the Christians generated during the Kingdom of Heaven in Israel will be fulfilled by incorruptible resurrection.
It is recorded that food was requested by Jesus at the time of this changed condition of His body, He ask for broiled fish and a honeycomb when He appeared behind closed doors at a gathering of the eleven disciples.
Three other characteristics of this changed body of Jesus are noted in the Scripture:
a. Jesus appeared in another form unto two of the disciples as they walked and went into the country [to Emmaus]. Jesus was personally manifested in a different external appearance.
b. Whilst eating a meal with Jesus, the two disciples who were journeying to Emmaus recognised Him before He vanished from their sight. The changed body of Jesus could be personally manifested and also disappear, that is to vanish away.
c. The same hour they returned to Jerusalem and found the eleven gathered together….Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them…..and He said to them Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see me have. Although He could pass through closed doors, His changed body still had flesh and bones.
The Third State of the body of Jesus.
When Jesus was outside the sepulchre talking to Mary Magdalene, He asked her not to touch Him before He ascended to The Father. He then ascended and presented Himself in a condition untouched before His Father.
A ‘preview’ of Jesus’ body of glory was witnessed by Peter, John and James when in the mountain to pray. And as He prayed the appearance of His face was altered, and His clothing was white and glistening [Luke 9:29]
Following this Mark tells us that He continued to work with the disciples throughout their ministry, at the close of which Jesus chose to appear in His body of glory before the apostle John when He commanded him to write the things which you have seen and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter. [Rev 1:19]
one like unto the Son of man clothed with a garment down to the foot and girt about at the breasts with a golden girdle. and His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire and His feet liken to fine brass as if they burned in a furnace and His voice as the sound of many waters. [Rev 1:13]
After Jesus was crucified, dead and buried, then after He was raised during the following forty days He showed Himself to many of the disciples until He was taken up at Bethany. From that time onwards He has been seated on The Father’s right in glory. [Romans 8:34 Hebrews 10:12 etc.]
After Paul had completed the commission given to him by Jesus on the road to Damascus, he wrote to the Philippian Christians describing his desire to put away all of his religious character as an Israelite in order to gain Christ ….by stretching out towards this goal he pursued for the prize of the calling on high of God in Christ Jesus. That he attained this prize is understood by the new doctrine according to this present Administration of God’s Grace defined in his letters to the Ephesian and Colossian Christians.. His prayers recorded in these letters, encourages the Christians of this Administration:
That The God of our Lord Jesus Christ The Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened that you may know what is the hope of His calling. [Eph 1:17]
IThat is: to know Christ, as he wrote in the letter to the Philippian Christians I press towards the goal for the prize of the High Calling of God in Christ Jesus. This High Calling leads to the understanding of
the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand amongst the heavenly beings far above all principality and power and might and dominion [Eph 1:19-21]
Paul continues: to know the power of His resurrection which changes our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His body of glory This is the prize revealed through the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ in recognition of the Hope of His Calling, that is The Calling on High to sit together with Christ in The Rights of God.[Eph 2:6] This is the Hope to be experienced at the close of this present Administration of God’s Grace.
Return to Contents Page.