Jesus – Through Death…and Back Again

East of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount is the Mount of Olives, across the valley from the old city.

“A good many Christians who believe in the resurrection of Jesus have confused this resurrection with the resuscitation of a corpse. For instance many see no difference between the risen Jesus and the people whom Jesus is reported to have restored to ordinary life during his ministry (Lazarus, the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Nain).

“The NT evidence is lucidly clear that Jesus was not restored to ordinary life – his risen existence is glorious and [pointing towards our future existence – Philippians 3:21]; beyond the limitations of space and time; and he will not die again” (Raymond Brown, The Virginal Conception and Bodily Resurrection of Jesus, page 73).

And what does this mean for us?

Jesus our Forerunner (Hebrews 6:20) has retained human flesh, though glorified. Gerritt Dawson writes: “A human hand will greet us as we make our way into heaven. We shall be greeted by a face – the face of Jesus – that has a form we recognize.” He is, was and always will be the Way (to the Father), the Truth (about Death), and the Life (which he infuses in us already).

Second, the resurrected, ascended Jesus unites humanity to God. Christians already sit in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6-8). God’s Plan is the adoption of humanity for new life together in the New Heavens and Earth (Ephesians 1:5).

Third, Jesus is a Person, not a Ghost. This royal Personage is our Public Defender in heaven and the Shepherd of our souls. Because he lives, we shall live also (John 14:19).