If there is one event that Christianity relies on more than others, it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. John Stott once said, “We live and die; Christ died and lived!” And that “died” and then “lived” is what our Christian faith is about.
As I study books of the Bible, one literary feature I look for is a “pivot.” A pivot is where you see the a significant theme shift or change in the book. One example of a pivot is in the book of Daniel when King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that no wise man or magic astrologer could interpret. So Daniel is brought in front of the mighty powerful and high ruler of the known world, King Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel says, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or future tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future.” (Dan 2:27-28, emphasis added).[ref]Unless otherwise noted, all translations are from the New Living Translation[/ref] That’s a pivot: power from the earthly king to power to the heavenly king.
The pivot of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament predicted, the Gospels described it, and the book of Acts and New Testament letters explained what it meant. Let’s do a study of the resurrection.
The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ
I. BODY, NOT GHOST
First steps in studying the resurrection of Christ is to notice that the Bible describes him as having a real physical body. In other words, Jesus was not a “ghost.” Jesus’s interaction in the Gospel of Luke with two people walking to Emmaus tells us that Jesus had a “body” and was not a “ghost.” Jesus had appeared to these two people, was walking with them (Luke 24:15), talking with them (Luke 24:17-27), but they did not recognize him (Luke 24:16).