Without the bodily resurrection of Jesus, Christians have no hope and their faith is worthless.
Yet misconceptions and outright untruths have persisted about this event, the greatest of miracles, that God who took on flesh and walked among us, died a brutal death on the cross and was supernaturally raised from the dead on the third day.
“The greatest misconception we have of Jesus, most particularly in the West, is that we can take measure of him; that we can reduce divinity to our mortal understanding,” commented Fay Voshell, a theologian and a contributor to The Christian Post in Wednesday interview.
“It is Christ who takes measure of us, who saw and sees our helpless state; who came from glory to live among us, to die for us, to give us the hope of resurrection and to welcome us to his home in heaven. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Any attempt to make him fit our finite understanding utterly vitiates the glorious hope of Easter.”
Here are 3 more misconceptions about the resurrection.
1. Jesus did not just make appearances after death, his body was fully restored
The resurrection of Jesus was physical, bodily. He did not rise from the tomb in a ghost-like state. His body was fully restored.
Yet according to a 2017 BBC-commissioned poll, almost one in 10 people who did not identify with any religious affiliation surveyed said they believed in the story of Easter but that it has “some content that should not be taken literally.”
Nine percent of non-religious people believe in the resurrection, only one percent of which indicated they believed in it “literally.”
The survey also showed a quarter of respondents who identified as Christian said the resurrection did not happen.
The notion that Christ was ghost-like in his resurrected form is perhaps based in thinking that it would have been impossible for him to appear before them “suddenly” as a physical body when his disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, as is explained in John 20:19.
But then, “as he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side,” the next verse explains.
“Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have,” the gospel of Luke recounts Jesus’ word when he appeared to disciples after revealing himself to the men on the road to Emmaus.
More recently, a newer BBC poll found that “fewer than half of Christians in the UK think Jesus actually died and rose again for the forgiveness of their sins.”
“Just 46 percent of people who identified as Christians said they believe this key tenet of the Christian faith,” the survey found.
2. Metaphorical resurrection versus Literal
Among more liberal mainline denominations the view persists that the resurrection of Jesus is but a metaphor and is not to be taken in the literal sense.
While much of the recent divisions within mainline denominations in the West have centered around marriage and sexual ethics, the nature of Jesus’ resurrection has also been contested.
In May 2018, Methodist minister Roger Wolsey penned a blog making the case for progressive Christianity including the statement: “Going to heaven after we die isn’t what the faith or salvation is about. … Jesus’ resurrection didn’t have to be understood as a physical one for it to be a real and meaningful one.”
He argued that Paul and many of the early disciples encountered a “spiritually risen” Christ.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter