Did Jesus rise from the dead in the same body in which He died?

by Matt Slick

Yes, Jesus rose from the dead in the same body in which He died. In John 2:19-21, Jesus said, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up."1 The Jews, therefore, said, 'It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?' But He was speaking of the temple of his body." Jesus prophesied that He would rise from the dead in the very body in which He died. Right now, in heaven, Jesus has a physical body. He has scars on his wrists, ankles, brow, and side. He has retained the wounds of His crucifixion.

After His resurrection, He appeared to Thomas. "Then He said to Thomas, 'Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side; and be not unbelieving, but believing, '" (John 10:27). Notice that Jesus still retained the hole in His side where he was pierced. "but one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water" (John 19:34).

Some scholars think that when Jesus appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35 and that the reason they did not recognize Him was that Jesus had been beaten about the face, and His beard had been ripped from His face and was simply not recognizable. It wasn't until after He broke bread and exposed His wrists that they then saw who He was; but, this is just a theory.

Though He was raised physically, His body was a glorified body. It was the same body, but it was different. 1 Cor. 15:42-44 says, "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body."

We do not know exactly what a resurrected body is capable of doing; but, Jesus did appear in rooms unannounced. Perhaps we might have the same ability at our resurrection.

The physical resurrection of Jesus is a very important doctrine. 1 Cor. 15:14 says, "and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain." The reason it is so important is that Jesus' physical resurrection is the proof that death has been conquered, and that we too will be physically resurrected. To say that Jesus did not rise from the dead is to say that death had victory over Him. If that were so, we would be without hope; and sin would still have its power.

1 Cor. 15:53-57, "For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. 55"O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

  • 1. Scripture quotes are from the NASB.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.