To be a human being is to live with a body, but on this side of Adam’s fall, this is a complicated experience. On the one hand, our bodies have been created by God to delight in Him and His creation. To hear a soaring melody, read the Psalms, or hold our children, all involve our bodies in distinct and beautiful ways. Yet the consequences of the fall fill our embodied life with pain, temptation, and ultimately death. The brokenness of our bodies has led some throughout church history to decry bodily life as evil and picture their hope as the life of their souls without their bodies.[1] Yet, Scripture gives us a different hope, a future where all of creation is made new in Christ, even our bodies.

The closing words of The Apostle’s Creed point towards this truth. In it, we confess: “I believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.” Reflecting on this article of the creed, J.I. Packer writes: “Here, Christianity stands out… among the world’s faiths and ‘-isms’ it views death as conquered.”[2] Or in the words of Paul: “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9). Christ is not only the means of our hope, He is also the revelation of it. As the first fruit of “those who have fallen asleep,” the resurrected Christ gives us a peek at what’s in store: the dead in Christ will be raised with Him not as bodiless souls, but with “new bodies fit for [humanity]” (1 Cor 15:23-6, 42-4).[3]

According to Luke’s gospel, a few days after the death of Jesus some of his female followers return to the tomb to honor his burial by anointing his body with prepared spices and ointments (Luke 24:1-2). However, when they arrived, they did not find Jesus’ body, instead, they were met by two men “in dazzling apparel” who asked them “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but he has risen” (Luke 24:3-6).

As two of His disciples walked the Road to Emmaus, Jesus met them. Although He came to them with a body, for some unexplained reason they did not recognize Him until He broke bread with them (Luke 24:13-35). Although Jesus ate fish with them on the beach, He also disappeared seemingly into thin air (Luke 24:31, 41-43). Luke makes it abundantly clear that the readers know Jesus did not appear as a bodiless soul, but in His risen body which could be touched, could eat food, and was really with those to whom He appeared. Yet on the other side of the grave, His body was transformed into a glorious body, with which He ascended, sits at the right hand of the Father, and will one day “transform our lowly body to be like his” (Acts 1:9; 7:55-56; Philippians 3:20-21).

Reading Luke 24 and 1 Corinthians 15 amidst our pain and mortality can be like Thomas reaching out his hands to touch the wounds of Christ. In its pages, we recognize our mortality and yet are offered the hope-filled assurance that in Christ death is no longer the final word. The resurrection of Jesus is the best of news— through the “it is finished” of Christ on the cross God says again that the human being has been made “very good” (Genesis 1:31).


[1] Packer, J. I. Growing in Christ (2022: Crossway Books), 97.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Packer, Growing in Christ, 98.