It seems there is some benefit to examining the question — what type of resurrected body did Jesus have?
It clearly was somewhat different in biological function and characteristics than His earlier body. Notice that Jesus had a body that bore the wounds and marks of his crucifixion. Picture the description that John has given us. His gospel describes how Jesus, when he first met with his disciples, “showed them His hands and His side” (John 20:25). To paraphrase, Jesus is saying, “Look! It is me! I am real flesh! I am not a ghost! You can touch me and handle me to see that I am alive!”
Thomas, who missed this first meeting, was not willing to believe unless he could put his finger into the wounds of Jesus, and Jesus was willing to give Thomas this opportunity. Jesus tells Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving but believing” (John 20:27). Notice the graphic language used by Jesus. The vividness of the Greek language involves the idea of thrusting the finger and hand into the wounds. Jesus’ body still had the nail-pierced hands and feet, and it still had the deep-penetrating, sword-inflicted cavity in His side.
When we turn to Luke’s gospel, Jesus says, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39). The body of Jesus truly bore the marks of the crucifixion experience. What is also interesting here is the descriptive phrase Jesus used of “flesh and bones.” Jesus, Himself, is saying my resurrection is not simply spiritual, visionary, or a metaphor, but a real bodily resurrection.
But is there more to Jesus’ description? This is the only time the phrase is used in the New Testament. The customary phrase is “flesh and blood,” which is used five times in the New Testament (NKJV) and is a typical way of referring to human life. However, Jesus here chooses a different way of expressing bodily life — “flesh and bones.” Could it be that Jesus uses this phrase because His blood had been shed and poured out for the forgiveness of humanity (Matthew 26:28)?
Therefore, when one considers the deep and visible wounds of Jesus and the phrase “flesh and bones,” he realizes that Jesus had a body that would not have been physically capable of sustaining life in a biological fashion. God did not just “zap” Jesus back to life with a defibrillator, but rather He was given complete power and victory over death. He conquered death through the power of God and proved such by living again in a body empowered and transformed by the power of God, not simply by the biological means of life!
Thus, his resurrection gives us great hope and confidence in the power of God.
Josh Ketchum preaches at Seven Oaks Church of Christ in Mayfield.