But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:24-29).
Someone asked me recently if the Resurrected Body of Christ was a “real body”. That is way beyond the pay grade of an uneducated country boy from Crow Corner, SC but here are some things we know:
There was not a body in the tomb on Resurrection Day and Christ appeared in bodily form no less than 16 times after His Resurrection. 5 times on Easter Sunday, 6 times between then and the Ascension, and 5 times between Pentecost and the completion of the Bible.
Thomas was told to put his finger and hand into the wounds of the body of Christ-[Interesting side note: Paul said “that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption” (1 Corinthians 15:50) and God said “The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 17:11). Jesus shed His Blood on the Cross for our sins so there was no blood dripping from His wounds onto the floor when He met with the Disciples].
It is important to note that Paul said, “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” and “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another” (1 Corinthians 15:44, 40).
It is true that the flesh as we know it returns to the ground at death but the Spiritual part of us has some sort of body in either Hell (Rich man in hell was tormented and wanted a drop of water for his tongue) or Heaven (When people on earth saw people either IN Heaven or FROM Heaven they always saw a body- Rich man saw Lazarus, Disciples saw Moses and Elias talking with Christ on Mount of Transfiguration (Matt 17:1-8), …
We await our Resurrected Body: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
These Resurrected bodies will be our permanent abode: And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2).
Now, back to the Message! In the Spiritual Warfare that Christians wage every day it is important to remember several Principles:
1. If Satan cannot defeat you then he will attempt to defeat someone whose defeat will defeat you. If Thomas would have continued in disbelief it would have split the disciples, generated tremendous harmful “fake news” for the Pharisees and Sadducees, and possibly prevented the Gospel from reaching the 1.4 billion people in India (Thomas is the one who carried the Gospel to India).
2. Satan will support your Doubts but demand proof for your Faith. Gossip spreads like wildfire but the Gospel crawls on the back of a turtle or as one man said it, “A Lie Can Travel Halfway around the World While the Truth Is Putting On Its Shoes”. Satan supports your Doubts because:
A) Doubt limits God’s ability to work: And Jesus did not many mighty works there because of His Hometown people’s unbelief (Matthew 13:58).
B) Believing a Lie keeps you in Satan’s Prison of doubt and despair. Jesus said, Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:32).
Why is this important to us today? Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:12-19).
1> If Christ did not rise from the dead then Christianity is a sham: if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not
2> If Christ did not rise from the dead then God did not accept His sacrifice for our sins: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
3> If Christ did not rise from the dead then we have no hope of seeing our loved ones after death: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished
4> Believing in the Power of God over Death is the only way to Enjoy Life: If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
In a day when people are sacred of dying from a virus they cannot see it is important that:
1. We believe in the Resurrection of Christ EVEN IF WE CANNOT SEE HIS RESURRECTED BODY.
2. We TRUST THE TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD EVEN IF WE CANNOT UNDERSTAND GOD’S WAYS.
3. We realize THE IMPACT OUR FAITH HAS ON THOSE AROUND US.
So we answer this question by allowing the Apostle Paul to ask, and answer, this question: But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:35-44).
So Rejoice in this Good News: I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men (John 1:14 “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us”), and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God (Rev21:3). Glory!