The last description of Christ’s resurrection appearance is found in Acts.
“The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:1-3).
The word translated here as “infallible proofs” is a word that is used only this once in the New Testament. It meant something from which a matter is “surely and plainly known”—it points to “indubitable evidence,” and establishes something beyond all reasonable doubt. And Luke here uses the plural, and says that there were many of these proofs.
What then, did these proofs consist of? Clearly, if the disciples knew that Jesus died, and they also knew the one in front of them was alive (moving, speaking, etc.), the thing that would need to be proven is that He was the same one who had died. “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).
What is Jesus demonstrating here? What is He proving? Two things—that He is not a spirit or a ghost, and that “it is I,” the same one who had died. They could have touched His back to determine that He was not a ghost, but He shows them His hands and feet—the wounds still visible—in order to show them that the body in front of them was the same body they had seen on the cross.
It was the same body. Neither did a ghost emanate from that one dead body. Christ’s body was always physical. Christ ascended to the throne as a man in order to reign on earth.
His resurrection was not ghostly but real and that means that His reign is equally real over the physical world.
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