The Resurrection of the Son of Man
Jesus is a man who is God’s Son. He is the Word who became flesh and came to the world. What does ‘the Word became flesh’ mean? The Word is God. Though God cannot be seen with our eyes, He is a Person who really exists. The Word became flesh. The Word was originally a spiritual being without flesh and bone. But because He became flesh, He has flesh and bone. Jesus said, “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” (Lk 24:39).
Jesus was born as a man by a woman’s childbearing, having flesh and bones. He was originally a spiritual being who dwelt in God’s bosom. He did not need to be born in a woman’s body. He could have come down directly from heaven. But He was conceived in a woman’s body, grew inside her, and was born to the world by childbearing. Jesus has both flesh and bones. He had flesh and bones when He died and resurrected, He had flesh and bones when He went to heaven.
Jesus’ flesh and bones are fundamentally different from man’s flesh and bones. Man’s flesh and bones came from the dust. As for Jesus, the Word became flesh. The flesh that came from dust will decay and disappear, whilst the flesh and bones which came from spirit will never change. Man’s flesh and Jesus’ flesh are the same in the sense they are flesh and bones, yet their essences are completely different.
Man’s flesh and bones are from the dust, but God breathed a spirit into him. Though the spirit is immaterial and cannot be seen with our eyes, it clearly exists. If man did not have a spirit, his mind (which is his person) will perish together with his flesh. The flesh will return to the dust. But because man has a spirit, his mind will live forever together with his spirit.
Mankind produces descendants when a man and woman meet and reproduce. The woman receives the seed from the man and conceives—just like a field. No matter how good the seed is—if there is no field, it cannot bear fruit. Likewise, if a man wants to have children, there must be a woman. Jesus Christ was also born by a woman’s body. Since He was not born of man’s seed, He is unrelated to man’s lineage. When Jesus was born, Mary was still a virgin who did not know a man. A field produces a crop depending on what the farmer sows. If you sow beans, you will get beans. If you sow garlic, you will get garlic. Similarly, when a woman receives a seed from Mr. Park, she has a child named Park. If a woman receives a seed from Mr. Kim, she has a child named Kim.
People commonly say, “My mother gave me birth.” A poet once wrote, ‘My father gave me birth, but my mother raised me.’ Strictly speaking, all humans come from their fathers. A woman’s duty is to receive the seed from a man, nurture it, and give birth. The duty of the Virgin Mary was to conceive a child by God’s power, nurture it, and give birth. When Mary heard the news she would give birth to a child, she said, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Lk 1:34). The power of the Almighty God enabled a woman who never knew a man to conceive without trouble. Mary’s body had conceived by God’s power. She did not conceive by man’s lineage, but the Word of God. The Word of God was conceived in a woman’s body. If He was not, He could not be born as a man with flesh and bones. Man is conceived according to his lineage, having flesh and bones. In a similar way, the Word of God was conceived according to God’s power. He was born as a man with flesh and bones.
Christ’s flesh and bones felt pain, hunger and fatigue just like our own flesh. But our flesh and bones are essentially dust, whereas Christ’s flesh and bones are essentially spirit. Christ’s flesh does not decay but lives forever. Even when Jesus died and resurrected after three days, His flesh and blood did not decay. It remained the same. If He resurrected 3 years later—since He is the Word of God who became flesh—His body will not decay and will remain the same. Even if He resurrected 30 years later, His flesh and bones will not decay in the slightest.
When man dies, his flesh and bones will decay and disappear. Only his spirit will not decay. Mankind easily dismisses the spirit’s presence because they cannot see it with their eyes. Man’s most important component is his spirit. This is because his spirit does not decay but lives forever. When Jesus returns, our spirits will change into incorruptible flesh and bones. This is a spiritual body. The body we now have is not a spiritual body. It came from the dust and will someday return to the dust. The spirit will live forever. This eternal being will change into a body when Jesus returns. This is the resurrection.
The body coming from dust will grow old as time passes. Growing old means to ‘wear away’. The spirit will never wear out. If a man passes away at the age of 80, he will not resurrect in an old man’s body when the Lord comes. When we have spiritual bodies, there will be no distinctions between young and old. If a person lives and dies on earth without an arm, he will not have an armless body at the resurrection. Though the arm made of dust disappears, the spiritual arm does not disappear. Though the arm from dust decays and becomes dust, his spiritual structure remains the same.
We receive God’s word for our spirits’ sakes. Though Adam heard God’s word which said, “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die,” he still ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As a result, he died. What exactly died? After Adam ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he lived about 900 years and bore children. Adam lost his right to receive the word and power of eternal life. A person can be punished in jail while he is still living in the flesh. But he has lost his citizenship. In the same way, the moment Adam ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he lost all spiritual rights and only his flesh lived. We are saved today by Christ. This means that though our spirits once died, they live and start to show their function. We can now receive God’s word and feed on the spiritual food supplied by God.
Man must eat his food to live. This is only helpful for his flesh. This is not helpful for his spirit at all. No matter how much our bodies eat their fill of food, the spirit cannot be satisfied. If the flesh does not eat food, it gets weak. If it eats food, it gains strength. In the same way, the spirit can be healthy like a fully fed person and become tired like a starving person.
Jesus said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’” (Mt 4:4). Man needs God’s word because he has a spirit. Even if you diligently read God’s word and receive much of His grace, this will not satisfy your hunger. Despite how much of God’s word you receive, if you do not eat your food, you will starve and die. Food is nourishment for the flesh, while God’s word is nourishment for the spirit. Since this is true, God’s word is a command. This command is eternal life (Jn 12:50). Man’s spirit must be sustained by God’s command. Though God’s command gives suffering to your flesh, it gives your spirit wisdom to gain life.
We must receive God’s word as spiritual food for the sake of our spirits. We must receive it as the command of eternal life. When we do this – though there is no visible trace in the flesh – it will be shown at the resurrection how each person planned to promote their spirits. To slow the aging of their bodies, people put expensive makeup on their faces, eat healthy foods and do other things. They do not spare their efforts. However, no matter how much you improve and polish your flesh, it will grow old. On the other hand, all plans to promote your spirit will not vanish one bit. It will be shown clearly at the resurrection. Therefore, we must receive God’s word and treat it as food, and receive God’s command and treat it as wisdom.
Though the woman who gave birth to Jesus was standing next to Him, Jesus asked, “Who is My mother?” Jesus has no relation to man’s lineage. If you do not possess faith according to God’s will—even if you are the mother who bore Jesus—you cannot have a relationship with God. Furthermore, though we received God’s word and heard His command, they are valueless if they do not affect our spirits. We must regard God’s word as food giving life to our spirits. We must regard God’s command as wisdom and power given to our spirits. When we do this, our spirits will change to a more glorious body at the resurrection.
Even unbelievers have spirits. They will resurrect and have incorruptible bodies. While they dwelt on the earth, they rejected spiritual food and disdained the principle which makes their spirits live. They never lived for their spirits and never trained for them. When their spirits change into incorruptible bodies, their bodily senses will be restored and enter eternal punishment. Believers will gain the resurrection of life, and unbelievers will gain the resurrection of judgment (Jn 5:29).
At the resurrection, our spirits will change into spiritual bodies. Our bodies will finally reach a level like Jesus’ body. When Jesus returns, we will take these bodies and enter heaven with Him. We will live there forever. Our spirits will change into spiritual bodies. For our spirits’ sake, we must eat spiritual food and receive God’s command. His command is filled with wisdom. Those who do this will discover God’s word taking effect at the resurrection and discover themselves going into heaven with ease. On the other hand, unbelievers will discover their spirits arriving at the resurrection of judgment. They will weep and struggle. If they are not born again and do not promote their spirits while they are in flesh and blood, they will never get another chance.
The bodies we have now are a kind of promise and pledge, showing us our spirits will change into visible beings at the resurrection. Because we have flesh and bones, our senses are alive. When we resurrect and have flesh and bones again, we will maintain our senses. It will be no different from our bodily senses now. The only difference is that the resurrected body will be a spiritual body, while our body now is a corruptible body. The moment we lay down our corruptible bodies and resurrect into spiritual ones, we will see the evidence that we lived by God’s word taking effect.
For the sake of our spirits (which will resurrect into spiritual bodies), we must receive God’s word. This is why we study the Bible closely. The Bible is the book containing God’s word. Though the world has many books, there is no book like the Bible which so accurately understands human nature. Worldly writings claim to understand mankind, but they only drive mankind to license and corruption. The Bible accurately understands man’s situation and clearly instructs them about what they need. We must fully receive God’s word, so that when the Lord comes again, our spirits can resurrect into spiritual bodies.
in LET US KNOW JESUS, Chapter 12 “The Resurrection of the Son of Man” by Semuon