The New Testament clearly affirms that
the Lord appeared to the apostles on
several occasions after his resurrection.
They touched, saw, heard, spoke and
ate food with him on at least one of
The purpose of one such appearance
was to convince the apostles that they
had seen not a spirit, but a real flesh and bone body. (Luke 24:35–42)
What body did the apostles see? Now some believe the apostles saw the glorified resurrection body of the Lord. That is, they believed this body was quite different in nature than the mere human body put to death at his crucifixion.
In an attempt to prove that the resurrected body of Christ was the exact glorified body which the saints
receive at the resurrection described in 1 Corinthians 15, and in support of the resurrection of the physical body view, it is argued that Christ’s resurrected body is the glorious new body.
It Does Not Yet Appear
However, the apostles later affirmed both that they had seen and handled the human body of Christ after his resurrection. Yet, they emphatically state that they had not seen Christ in his glory.
In addition, (writing in the late 60’s AD) they stated that his glorious body had not yet been revealed and that the image of that body in which they would be like him was unknown.
This creates a serious problem if the body Jesus had when he arose from the dead, was the glorious body and likeness saints are to have with him at the general resurrection.
“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when he is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)
Does not this text say that Jesus had not been revealed in his glory, that they had not seen him as he is, and they did not yet know what they were going to be like?
This would be a clear contradiction based on the post resurrection appearances of Christ recorded in the gospels. They saw and handled exactly what that body was like.
What Body Did The Apostles’ See?
In further consideration of this topic, note that Paul affirms Christ in his glory was hidden, i.e. not revealed or not manifested to the church.
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. (Col. 3:3). This text actually says that Christ was “hidden” in God. In other words, something about him was not open to display.
Likewise, he affirmed that the saints also were hidden with Christ in God! Now they were not physically invisible. Paul could see them. He knew where to send the letter so they could get it. He even gave instructions to them for sharing it when he sent it, (Col. 4:16).
Christ’s Glory Was Hidden
It must be the case that the glory of Christ was (at the time of writing) hidden from the church. This is what the Apostle John meant when he said it was not yet revealed and that they didn’t know what it was like.
However, at the parousia, (the eschatological end time coming of the Lord), when Christ “appeared” the church would “appear” with him in glory.
Therefore, it is at the Parousia, not at Jesus resurrection from the dead that his glorious body is revealed.
Does this not seriously call into question, the physical body of Jesus raised from the tomb which the apostles saw and handled after his resurrection, as the glorious body which would “appear” at his parousia!
In our next segment we offer more on the discussion of when Jesus entered into his glory enabling us to “see” a better image of his “glorious body.