April 24 – LD 17, Day 2: The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus
Wednesday the 24th of April
in Heidelberg Catechism Meditations
I Corinthians 15:20 - “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”
As with all teachings of the Christian church, there are those who claim to be Christians but deny all miracles. The bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead was a miracle. If you cannot accept the miraculous, you cannot be a Christian. It is that basic. It is easy to demonstrate this. Creation is a fundamental teaching of Christianity and it is from beginning to end a miracle. The very first words of the Bible challenge our faith as Christians, “In the beginning, God”. It is good that we accept by faith this creation, Hebrews 11:3. Then we are in a spiritual frame of mind to accept the virgin birth of Jesus, His ministry of miracles, His death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. It is for this reason that the Heidelberg Catechism treats the resurrection of Jesus as an article of faith, “I believe the third day He arose again from the dead”.
We do well to emphasize that this confession directs our attention to the body of Jesus. He took on our flesh from the Virgin Mary when the Holy Spirit conceived Him within her womb. In this body He was born. In this body He walked on earth and accomplished His public ministry. In this body He suffered and died. In this body He arose from the dead.
Even though no one can explain this scientifically, we believe it by faith because the Word of God tells us that this is true. In the preceding verses of the text quoted above, Paul set forth for us the importance of the resurrection of Christ in order to accomplish His ministry, the reconciliation of the lost sinner with the Father. It is so critical that if it did not take place “your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” In addition, those Christians who had already died would have perished. In the Holy Spirit he asserts,” BUT, now IS Christ risen from the dead.”
It clearly refers to His body which was placed in the grave but now came forth changed.
Jesus had to take on our earthly body, weak and humiliated by sin, in order to make satisfaction for our sins. Once that was accomplished, God rewarded Him with a body fit for heaven.