Christ’s Resurrection

CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
How To Believe / What To Believe

There are many teachings and opinions that surround the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  For example: Some claim the whole thing was nothing more than a hoax; some say He never died and got married instead. There is even a church that teaches He rowed away in a boat.  Then we have the Gnostic gospels.  One teaches that Jesus Christ had a twin brother, and the gospel of Thomas teaches that the body of Christ did not rise from the dead – only His spirit did.  The Watchtower (“WT”) doctrine is similar to the Gnostic gospel of Thomas but with a twist.  They mirror the Gnostic teaching that only Christ’s spirit rose, but include the claim that His body dissolved into gases.  With so many teachings on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it’s no wonder people find it difficult to separate truth from fiction.

The most important doctrine of Scripture, and upon which the Christian faith rises and falls, is the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.  If the body of Christ did not come back life (as the WT teaches), the Christian faith is worthless.  These words of the apostle Paul were written for those who did not believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ: “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.”  (1 Cor. 15:16)

However, despite the words of Christ, Jehovah and The Holy Spirit telling the world that they resurrected the body of Jesus Christ, the WT teaches that the body of Christ was not raised but dissolved into gases.  The WT refuses to believe, and instead contradicts, the God whom they claim to worship.  To be sure, if the WT’s resurrection doctrine is correct, then the above words of the apostle Paul ring true for the 144,000 (the WT’s only heaven-bound members), the great crowd (their earthly-bound members), and all deceased family members.  In other words, no one will be resurrected, come back to life, or live in heaven or on earth, because the body of Christ failed to rise.  The words of Paul are proof positive that no one will survive death if the body of Christ did not rise.

As a former 18-year member of the WT organization, I want to approach this topic with the Jehovah’s Witness mindset in view, demonstrating their interpretation that Jesus “We know nothing about what became of it, except that it did not decay or corrupt.  Whether it was dissolved into gases or whether it is still preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God’s love, of Christ’s obedience, and of our redemption, no one knows; nor is such knowledge necessary” (1913 Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 2, pg. 129), and setting it alongside the scriptural text (God’s Breathed Word).  In this way, we can learn what the Bible teaches on the subject, and what happened to the body of Christ once it was resurrected, as well as whether Jehovah agrees or disagrees with the WT position.  Since the foundation of the Christian is based on this event, we must look to the highest authoritative source available – God’s inerrant Scripture – for guidance.  Because if you believe and put your trust in the WT on this point, the apostle Paul’s words are addressed to you, and it is my prayer that you come to understand and believe God’s inerrant Word above the words and beliefs of man.

Repetition is the Mother of Retention

For the purpose of instilling biblical truths, repetition becomes a valuable and necessary tool to continually reinforce God’s authority verses man.

As I have said many times before, and will quote again from 2 Timothy 3:16-17:  “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness, that the man of God may be fully competent, completely equipped for every good word.”  (NWT)  If man’s teachings do not mirror Jehovah’s inspired Word (the Bible), we must always trust God over man.  The problem that arises with members of the WT (myself once included) is their total reliance and devotion to the WT Organization.  Whatever is taught by the WT, their members will accept, even if the WT doctrine contradicts God’s inspired text, as this short door-to-door experience demonstrates:

“David Reed:  Revelation 7:15 places the great crowd before the throne of God in heaven, doesn’t it?

Mrs. JW:  Well, the throne of God is in heaven, but the ‘great crowd’ is on the earth.  All creation stands before the throne of God.

David Reed:  I don’t think the verse would mention their location before the throne if it meant it in such a general sense.  But there is one other place where Revelation talks about the ‘great crowd.’ Would you please read Revelation 19:1 in your own Bible to see where it locates the ‘great crowd?

Mrs. JW:  Certainly!  It says, ‘After these things I heard what was a loud voice of a great crowd in heaven.’

David Reed:  A great crowd where?

Mrs. JW:  The great crowd is on earth!

David Reed:  Is that what the verse says?  Read it again.

Mrs. JW:  It says heaven, but the great crowd is on earth.

David Reed:  How can you say that the great crowd is on earth, when the Bible plainly says a great crowd is in heaven?

Mrs. JW:  You don’t understand.  We have men at our headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, who explain the Bible to us.  And they can prove that the great crowd is on earth; I just can’t explain it that well. Wait just a minute.

At that point she ran out into the street and shouted to another Witness woman, who was a few houses away, to come help her.  This woman recognized me as an ex Witness, and that ended the conversation.  But the point had already been illustrated.  A JW can look at the word heaven in the Bible but see earth instead, if the organization says so.”

(Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse, David Reed, pgs. 109-110.)

Although Jehovah’s inspired Scripture uses the word “heaven” in Revelation 19:1 (the location of the great crowd), the WT usurps God’s word and tells their members that God means “earth” in that verse, not “heaven.”  However, when we read Holy Scripture, the inspired words were written precisely as intended, and communicate exactly what Jehovah wanted taught.  Since language is God’s creation, there is no need to question His communication skills.  His words are there for us to learn from, not to question or change to accommodate the theology of a particular group or sect.  God is the teacher (not the WT), and we are His students.

Man’s words are of no consequence when compared to God’s.  His Word is absolute and final for those who wish to follow Him.  It cannot be changed or usurped by any man, woman, or organization, including Joseph Smith (Mormon leader), Mary Baker Eddie (Christian Science leader), or the WT (the Faithful and Discreet Slave Class) – all of whom claim, by the way, to be God’s “exclusive” spokesman on earth, but all of whom fail the scriptural test outlined in Deuteronomy 18.  (See my book “The Bible vs. The Watchtower … You Decide” which articulates this evidence.)  Therefore, let us all show our respect and love for God by trusting His “teaching manual” (the Bible) and walking by His light (His inspired Words, not those of men), thereby keeping ourselves on that narrow path to eternal life.

Resurrection of the “Body”

When Scripture uses the Greek word soma (body), what does it mean?  It is important to understand, since the word soma brings essential clarity to the resurrection doctrine.  To help us with this, I’d like to introduce Dr. Norman L. Geisler, Professor of Theology and Apologetics at Southern Evangelical Seminary.  He is a leading Christian apologist with numerous books to his credit, and he will teach us the scriptural meaning of soma:

“Soma Always Means a Physical Body”

“When used of an individual human being, the word body (soma) always means a physical body in the New Testament.  There are no exceptions to this usage in the New Testament.  Paul uses soma of the resurrection body of Christ (1Cor. 15:42-44), thus indicating his belief that it was a physical body.  The definitive exegetical work on soma was done by Gundry.  As evidence of the physical nature of the resurrection body, he points to ‘Paul’s exceptionless use of soma for a physical body (Gundry, 168).  Thus he concludes that “the consistent and exclusive use of soma for the physical body in anthropological contexts resists dematerialization of the resurrection, whether by idealism or by existentialism” (Gundry, 168).’

For those who think Paul should have used another word to express physical resurrection, Robert Gundry responds: ‘Paul uses soma precisely because the physicality of the resurrection is central to his soteriology’ (Gundry, 169).  This consistent use of the word soma for a physical body is one more confirmation that the resurrection body of Christ was a literal, material body.’”

(Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Norman L. Geisler, pg. 668.)

So we now know that the Greek word soma as used in Scripture when referring to the resurrection body, always refers to the physical body.  It never refers to anything other than the body.

Since our topic concerns Jesus Christ, He will be the first source we consult on the resurrection issue.  We will listen to Him because Jehovah told us to at Luke 9:35:  “And a voice came out of the cloud, saying: ‘This is my Son, the one that has been chosen.  Listen to him.’”  (NWT)  So let us first examine the words of Christ in John 2:19 and John 2:21:

“In answer Jesus said to them: ‘Break down this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’”  John 2:19 (KIT)

“But he was talking about the temple of his body” John 2:21 (KIT)

Here, Jesus said He would raise His soma (body) – that His body would be resurrected and come back to life.  He did not teach that His body (soma) would dissolve into gases; rather, He refutes it.  Thus, Christ’s own words contradict the WT’s teaching, and their doctrine fails the biblical test of authority.

We understand, as the apostles did back then, that Christ was referring to His bodily resurrection: “But he was talking about the temple of his body.”  John 2:21 (KIT).  Christ also said, “No man has taken it away from me, but I surrender it of my own initiative.  I have authority to surrender it, and I have authority to receive it again.  The commandment on this I received from My Father.”  John 10:19 (NWT).

Not only did Christ raise His body, the Scriptures communicate that Jehovah and The Holy Spirit also raised the body of Christ.  The Scriptures are proof positive that the WT’s doctrine “dissolved into gases … is preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God’s love” (Studies in the Scriptures, 454) is not only erroneous but is actually contradicted by Jesus Christ, Jehovah and The Holy Spirit:

            The Holy Spirit Raises The Body of Christ:  “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.”  (Rom. 8:11)

            Jehovah Raises The Body of Christ:  “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.”  (Acts 2:32)  “… that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, THOU ART MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN Thee.  But He whom God raised did not undergo decay.”  (Acts 13:33, 37)

There are other Scriptures used by the WT in support of their position.  Although the passages already presented discredit the WT doctrine, we will examine the other passages they rely on to prove the body of Christ failed to rise.

The first passage is found in the book of Peter: “Why, even Christ died once for all time concerning sins, a righteous [person] for unrighteous ones, that he might lead you to God, he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit.”  1 Pet. 3:18 (KIT)  The Greek side of the KIT reads: “Because even Christ once for all about sins died, righteous (one) over unrighteous (ones), in order that you he might lead toward to the God, [he] having been out to death indeed to flesh having been made alive but to spirit.”

Since Scripture teaches us that Christ, Jehovah and The Holy Spirit were all involved in the resurrection of Jesus, the inspired words of Peter cannot contradict what God has already said.  So then what was Peter communicating in this verse?

In view of the WT’s interpretation of 1 Peter 3:18 (i.e., that Christ rose as a spirit), I wanted a Greek scholar, Dr. Spiros Zodhiates, to address this passage and explain its meaning.  In other words, what do “put to death in the flesh” and “made alive in the spirit” mean in Greek?  In what context does Peter speak these words? As Dr. Zodhiates demonstrates the meaning of Peter’s words, keep in mind that Scripture must harmonize with Scripture.  Thus, if Christ told the world His body would be raised, Peter would not contradict His Lord and would never bring into question the truthfulness of His statement at John 2:19-20.  That said, what was the intent of Peter’s message, and what did he want communicated to the brethren?  The following is an excerpt from The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible”(pgs. 1649-1650), written by Dr. Zodhiates:

“A more correct translation of this passage from the Greek will help in the interpretation.  In v. 18 the expression ‘made alive in the Spirit,’ referring to Jesus Christ, does not have the definite article in front of the word ‘spirit,’ and thus it is not to be understood as God the Holy Spirit, but as the spirit or reasonable soul of Christ, that spirit which He delivered to the Father when He was dying on the cross.  The last clause, therefore, of v. 18, should read, ‘Being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the spirit.’  Here the two clauses form what is termed an antithetical or contrasted parallelism.  ‘Quickened in spirit’ is set over against ‘put to death in flesh.’  The word ‘flesh,’ sarki, also does not have the definite article in front of it.  The law of translation compels us to give the same preposition to both ‘flesh’ and ‘spirit.’  Whichever we use in one part of the clause, we must employ the same as an equivalent in the other.  Thus, if we translate thanatotheis men sarki, ‘put to death in the flesh,’ we must also render zoopeoetheis de pneumatic, ‘made alive in the Spirit,’ and vice versa.  It must either be ‘put to death by the flesh, but made alive by the spirit,’ or, ‘put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.’  We must also note that here there is no preposition used at all in the Greek which is translated once in regard to the flesh as ‘in’ and in regard to the spirit as ‘by.’  The dative case is used. To translate, however, the dative case in regard to the flesh as ‘put to death by the flesh’ has no meaning, and so we conclude that the preposition ‘by,’ presumed by the dative, is unacceptable either in the case of the flesh or the spirit.  Therefore, the preposition ‘by’ in the English translation cannot be employed, either regarding ‘flesh’ or ‘spirit.’

The next thing to be accomplished is to ascertain the aim of the Apostle in this portion of his Epistle.  He is here dwelling upon the issue of the sufferings of God’s persecuted people, illustrating the same by the glorious results of the sufferings of Christ.  The first of these results is manifested or seen in the difference between the nature of that body that was put to death and that body in which He was bought back to life again.  Only in respect to the natural body or fleshly organism was it possible for Christ to be put to death.  In order that He might become subject to death we are informed that “the Word became flesh.”  And only by the withdrawal of the reasonable soul or spirit of Christ from the fleshly organism could death be manifested.  By the use of this language, the Apostle distinguishes between the mortal body in which Christ was born and crucified, and the imperishable immortal body in which He was raised from the dead.  In other words, Christ suffered death in what the Apostle Paul would have termed a “natural body,” but was quickened or made alive again in a “spiritual body” (1Cor. 15:44).  This seems to be the only intelligent interpretation of this passage.  To speak of Christ as being quickened in His human spirit conveys no adequate sense, for that spirit (or reasonable soul) never died, and to speak of His being quickened in the Holy Spirit is equally vague, but to say that He was quickened in a spiritual body makes the whole passage clear.  We see the mortal and immortal here being brought out in striking contrast.  Just as He was put to death in the flesh (or natural body), so in like manner He was quickened in the spirit (or spiritual body).  Peter was writing to persecuted Christians, and this interpretation would convey the very encouragement and comfort they so much needed.  Concerning being put to death ‘the just for the unjust,’ Christ had, as it were, changed the frail body of flesh in which He had tabernacled, ‘endured such hostility by sinners against Himself,’ for a glorious, spiritual, immortal body which was not subject to pain or death any longer.  Even so, the believer suffering the martyr’s painful death would, by the very blow that crushed the poor, frail tabernacle of flesh, come into possession of a glorious resurrection body, spiritual and immortal.”

As we learn from Dr. Zodhiates, Peter’s words at 1 Peter 3:18 were not said to contradict Christ or accuse Him of lying, but rather to reaffirm the bodily resurrection of Christ and to demonstrate that our bodies, too, will rise in the same manner – our natural bodies will put on immortality while still being flesh and bone, and will become spiritual bodies like our Lord’s.  The apostle Paul confirms this conclusion at 1 Corinthians 15:44: “it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”  Finally, and most persuasively, Jesus Christ affirms His bodily resurrection with His own words at Luke 24:39:  See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

The WT attempts to escape passages that do not promote their theology by turning to other passages that appear to support their position.  One example of this tactic is found at 1 Corinthians 15:50, which the WT uses to prove that the body of Christ did not rise: “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”  However, they fail to see the entire message within its context:

“Paul correctly noted that corruptible ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’ (1Cor. 15:50), but Jesus did not have corruptible flesh; he was sinless (2Cor. 5:31; Heb. 4:15).  He was fleshly but not fleshly.  He did not have sinful human flesh (Heb. 4:15); nevertheless, he died and rose from the dead in actual human flesh (sarx, Acts 2:31).  John stressed Jesus’ continuing incarnation in flesh, when he warned: ‘Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming [and remaining] in the flesh, have gone out into the world’ (2 John 7).  The use of the present participle in Greek means Christ remained in the flesh even while this was written.  The claim that it was physical flesh before the resurrection but non-physical flesh after is a form of Gnosticism or docetism.’”

(Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, Norman L. Geisler, pg. 667.)

Let us continue with verses 51-54: “Behold, I tell 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 will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.  But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.’” 

The WT chooses to ignore verses 51-54, which inform us that our resurrected bodies (like Christ’s) will put on the imperishable and put on immortality.  Our resurrected bodies will be like His, made up of “flesh and bones.”  Our natural bodies become spiritual bodies (having put on the imperishable and having put on immortality). In this way, our spiritual bodies, like that of Christ’s, will be able to access heaven because our bodies have put on immortality and put on the imperishable.  (I liken it to batman putting on – or putting over his natural body – his batman cape for protection.)

No inspired Scripture supports the WT teaching concerning the resurrection.  To put it bluntly, Jehovah, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit all refute the WT’s doctrine.  An Organization that claims to be God’s sole mouthpiece (earthly representative), yet ignores God’s teaching manual (the Bible) and dogmatically asserts their own private theological interpretation is not only dishonest, it is diabolically deceitful.  Moreover, the WT’s resurrection dogma falls into the category of God-condemned and their teachings reprehensible.  While these are strong words, the failure to recognize God’s authority and the choice to actually teach contrary to Holy Scripture merits the “liar” label.

I also find it interesting that WT theology mirrors Gnostic teachings.  The Gnostics also believed that Christ did not rise bodily; however, the apostles Paul and John condemned Gnostic heresy.  (If you find this truth illuminating, you may want to further research the teachings of the Gnostics, the false Christian heresy discovered in 1945 called the Nag Hammadi Library.)

The following quote from Greek scholar Dr. Spiros Zodhiates further illustrates the concept of the bodily resurrection:

“Christ’s body after the resurrection appeared to be, in most respects, the same body as before His death.  His disciples may have doubted and hesitated at first (Luke 24:16, 37; John 20:14), but they did not fail to recognize Him (Luke 24:31, 52; John 20:16, 20, 28; 21:7, 12; Acts 1:3; 2:32).  We find the Lord eating and drinking as a man (Luke 24:43), making use of the natural process of breathing (John 20:22), declaring to His disciples that He had flesh and bones (Luke 24:39), showing them His hands and His feet (Luke 24:40), and giving them the assurance that His body was the identical body which they had seen stretched upon the cross by inviting Thomas, who doubted, to put his finger into the print of the nails and thrust his hand into the wound in His side (John 20:27).

Our Lord’s resurrection body, however, was freed from previous material conditions and possessed altogether new capabilities.  It is indicated that He could pass at will through objects (John 20:26); and was not bound as before to the laws of movement (Luke 24:36), visibility (Luke 24:31), or gravitation (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:51).  These new powers constituted the difference between His pre-resurrection and His glorified body.  It was in His glorified body, thus differentiated, that He ascended into heaven; and in that same glorified body He is to be expected in His final coming (Acts 1:9,11).

During his earthly post-resurrection life, for forty days He moved along the borders of two worlds.  For the sake of His disciples and His future Church, He made use of the natural in order that He might reveal the spiritual.  It was one way of revealing to us what our spiritual body (1Cor. 15:44) will be capable of doing.  It is in this manner that we must explain His asking for and receiving food (Luke 24:41; Acts 10:41).  He did not depend on this food for His bodily support.  His purpose in taking it was to convince His disciples that He was still a living man, in body as well as in spirit – that same Jesus who had so often, in past days, partaken with them of their simple meals.

In respect to His body, the risen Jesus now belonged to the same mysterious regions of the invisible world, and it was only when He chose to reveal Himself that His disciples were aware of His presence.  It is to be noticed that John describes His appearances as manifestations using the word phaneroo (5319), to manifest (John 21:1, 14).  He could hide His identity at will and again He could manifest His identity (Mark 16:12, 13; Luke 25:13-35), His resurrection body was a spiritual body, but it had the power of materializing itself to the natural senses, and Jesus made use of this power from time to time in order to convince His disciples, by the actual evidence of sight, sound and touch, that His victory over death via the resurrection was real.

In the body of Christ’s glory, both Paul and John find the model after which the believer’s resurrection body is to be fashioned (Phil. 3:21; 1John 3:2).  We will be like our Lord possessing a human body so fully imbued by the spiritual that it will be transformed into a spiritual body (1Cor. 15:42-49).”

(The Complete Word Study Dictionary New Testament, Spiros Zodhiates, ThD., pgs. 1357-1358.)

There is one more important passage relied upon by the WT to support their resurrection dogma.  It is found at Mark 16:12:  “Moreover, after these things he appeared in another form to two of them walking along, as they were going into the country.”  (NWT)

As we already established, the resurrected body of Christ (His now Spiritual Body) was raised, walked, talked and ate.  His body – the same body that died on the cross – was seen by hundreds of people.  Doubting Thomas became a believer, as did Paul and James, the brother of Jesus.  For 40 days, Jesus Christ showed Himself as proof of His resurrection.  The book of Acts and the Gospels give detailed reports of various sightings.  What then is the passage in Mark 16 communicating?  First, let me point out that this passage (Mark 16:12-20) was not found in the two oldest manuscripts, that of the codex Sinaticus, and the codex Vatacanis.  Does that really matter?  Some say yes and some say no, but I will not go into that discussion in detail now because of the length of time it would require.  Instead, I will proceed as if the passage were Holy Writ.

As I said before, Scripture cannot contradict Scripture.  It must harmonize with all of God’s inspired Word.  And as we know from the discussion above, the Greek word for body (soma) always refers to the physical body.  It does not refer to anything else.  With that in mind, we will look to John and Luke for clarity concerning the message in Mark 16:12.

According to John 20:15-16:  “Jesus said to her, ’Woman, why are you weeping?  Whom are you seeking?’  Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, ‘Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’  She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means, Teacher).”  Here, Mary thought she was talking to a gardener!

In Luke chapter 24, the resurrected Christ walked alongside two disciples going to Emmaus, but these two disciples failed to recognize their Master.  Why?  Holy Scripture tells us at Luke 24:16:  “But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.”  After which, verse 31 reads:  “And their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.”  As these verses demonstrate, the resurrected Christ was not recognized, because He prevented it.  But when He was ready to reveal Himself, He opened their eyes so they could recognize Him.  The resurrected Christ (in His Spiritual Body) had the power to vanish at will, appear as someone else (like a gardener), and keep His identity hidden until He wanted to be seen.  His Spiritual Body was no longer confined to gravity or earthly rules of life and had powers our natural bodies do not possess.

Mark 16:12 is another reference to the interaction between the resurrected Christ and the two disciples discussed in Luke 24.  Again, Jesus appeared in physical form, which contradicts the WT’s teaching that He dissolved into gases.

To further help us understand this passage in Mark, I turn your attention to the following commentary by Matthew Henry:

“He appeared to two of the disciples, as they went into the country, vs. 12.  This refers, no doubt, to that which is largely related (Luke 24:13), of what passed between Christ and the two disciples going to Emmaus.  He is here said to have appeared to them in another form, in another dress than what he usually wore.

These two witnesses gave in their testimony to this proof of Christ’s resurrection; They went and told it to the residue, v.13.  Being satisfied themselves, they were desirous to give their brethren the satisfaction they had, that they might be comforted as they were.

This did not gain credit with all; Neither believed they them.  Now there was a wise providence in it, that the proofs of Christ’s resurrection were given in thus gradually, and admitted thus cautiously.  We have the more reason to believe those who did themselves believe so slowly:  had they swallowed it presently, they might have been thought credulous, and their testimony the less to be regarded; but their disbelieving at first, shows that they did not believe it afterward but upon a full conviction.”

(Matthew Henry’s Commentary, pg. 1407.)

Conclusion

Again, as stated earlier, the strongest and by far most compelling proof establishing the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ comes from the One who died and rose again … Jesus Christ.  He said, “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  (Luke 24:39)

If Thomas could speak to members of the WT today, I wonder what he would say.  Perhaps he would start with a question:  Who told you the resurrected body of Christ dissolved into gases or that no one knows what happened to His body, when I myself saw Him with my own eyes.  Or maybe Thomas would ask:  What other proof can one provide if Scripture is not enough?  Or, finally, perhaps doubting Thomas would say:  With all the eyewitness testimony, including mine, why do you continue to deny that the body of Christ came back to life?  If Scripture does not convince you, then perhaps nothing will.

The entire 15th Chapter of 1 Corinthians is dedicated to the resurrection.  The raised body of Christ is paramount to the Christian faith.  If the body of Christ did not rise, Paul informs us that our preaching and our faith is worthless and in vain.  He also said, “if we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19) and “you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17).  I recommend reading the entire Chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians for further edification.

It is my hope and prayer that all members of the WT stop listening to man and start recognizing the importance of listening to Jehovah’s Son, Jesus Christ.  After all, was it not Jehovah who told the world to listen to His Son?  He must have had a good reason.  Christ alone conquered death and will resurrect your dead body, too.  However, if His body did not rise (as your Faithful and Discreet Slave Class teaches), then the sobering words of the apostle Paul become a real reality: “For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.”  (1 Cor. 15:16-18)

by Cochise Pendleton

www.thebiblevsthewatchtower.com 

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