THE DEATH & RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST: Biblical descriptions

A glance at the chart below will indicate how the various sources differ, sometimes in matters of minor detail, sometimes in matters of importance. Paul’s account in 1 Corinthians represents the gold standard for reconstructing the earliest resurrection traditions, taking us back to a relatively early stage of Christian experience. Paul probably received these traditions within less than a decade of the resurrection appearances. Nevertheless, we remind ourselves, his account does not necessarily represent biographical bedrock.

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Prophet The final but not any less significant mission of Jesus is that of prophet hood.

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However convincing this materialization of the resurrection body might seem, the development was not without its problems, as seen in the scenario offered by the two volume work, Luke-Acts. Why did the resurrected Jesus no longer appear to his followers in a physical body? The author’s solution was an ascension of this resurrected body into heaven. Yet what was intended as a solution becomes, with the advent of the Copernican universe, a problem. See further, .

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Bible passages such as 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 Peter 2:22 and 1 John 3:5 “witness that He [Jesus] did not give in to temptation, nor violate the moral standards of God, nor was He inconsistent with the nature of his character.” That is, Jesus was sinless.

Besides Mary and Joseph, they were the first to witness baby Jesus, and their journey confirmed the arrival of the Messiah.

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This image portrayed Jesus as a white man who preformed miracles for the poor and oppressed, and also sacrificed himself on the cross for all of humanity’s’ sins....

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(b) Or one might take a frankly developmental view, giving due weight to the early date of 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, and recognizing that at the earliest stage of the tradition that we can recover it was in a spiritual body that Jesus appeared to his followers, and finally, to Paul. How then would we explain the interest shown by our later sources in physical characteristics of the resurrection body? Part of the answer would be an acknowledgement that the Christian proclamation of the resurrection would sometimes be met with skepticism, and that it was difficult for some people to acknowledge the reality of a spiritual body. They might dismiss the appearances as “seeing a ghost.” So the response was to describe how Jesus could be touched, or how he ate food.

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What do we find in our earliest account, 1 Corinthians 15:3-8? We have good reason to suppose that the appearance to Paul, the last in the series, was an appearance of Christ in his glorified, spiritual body; click on , and . No physical characteristics of Jesus are mentioned in this passage. Hence we may conclude that for Paul the seeing does not necessarily involve a physical seeing. (And since Paul uses the same Greek verb, [“he appeared”], that he uses for the appearances to Cephas (Peter), the twelve, and others, it is likewise doubtful whether their experiences necessarily involved a physical seeing.)

Needless to say, there is more to the identity of Jesus, but it is my belief that Jesus is the Messiah, the second person of the Holy Trinity.

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Faced with this array of evidence, (a) one might decide to attempt to harmonize and reconcile the data that we have in the resurrection narratives. To a degree, such an approach might be possible; for example, one could propose that Christ’s resurrection body, though a spiritual body, could when appropriate take on physical characteristics, enabling him to be touched, or to eat food. While one might acknowledge that such a capability is without parallel in human experience, it could also be affirmed that Jesus was unique, and therefore is not to be judged by otherwise normal experience.

The New Testament is a contract between God and the humanity through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

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For example in the gospel of Luke there are many themes and ideas that are unique to the gospel and wouldn’t find in the other ones like salvation for the people by Jesus being portrayed as the Universal Savor, the Messianic Secret, God’s plan and the focus on poverty and the wealthy....