The Resurrection Of Jesus -- By: Francis B. Palmer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 073:291 (Jul 1916)
Article: The Resurrection Of Jesus
Author: Francis B. Palmer

The Resurrection Of Jesus

Francis B. Palmer

The resurrection of Jesus Christ should not be taken as a type of the final resurrection of men in respect to its manner or its purpose. We do not know nor can we conceive of any necessity growing out of his own perfection, why the Son of God, who was from the beginning and by whom the worlds were made, should return to the body laid away in the tomb. We may conceive that the created human soul, by virtue of the laws of its being, is so related to a former organization that soul and body are essential to each other; that for the completion and perfection and continuance of finite personal identity of the individual, whose beginning depends on the union of soul and body, a resurrection of the body after death may be a necessity. How it is in fact we cannot tell. But there seems no reason why the Son of God should take human form again, so far as his dependence on a body is concerned. For instance, we cannot conceive of limitations of the Eternal and Omnipresent One by conditions of time and space, although he might be self-limited in his manifestations to finite creatures, but conditions conceived of only in terms of time space are the alphabet of all human knowledge. When we use such words as “decrees” and “foreknowledge,” we are using the language of finite men, not the language of the Eternal. It may be that in the case

of mankind continued existence, or immortality, implies the necessity of resurrection of the body or some equivalent; perhaps some kind of metempsychosis. The subject is open only for conjecture, not for judgment. We may say that some one of these suggestions has seemed to be reasonable to one or another of the profoundest thinkers of the human race. But none of the reasons for the resurrection of mankind seem to belong to the Eternal Son, and it is of his resurrection that we are now concerned.

As we cannot discuss the necessity of Christ’s resurrection on the grounds of his divine nature, because we cannot conceive of any such necessity, neither will it be necessary to discuss at this point its relation to the faith of his people in him; because this feature is well understood, and it has been elaborated with clearness and copiousness in many exhaustive arguments. The necessity seems essentially to lie in the fact that he is the Son of Man. For the sake of his people he accepted human birth. He shrinks from nothing which this human birth implies. He accepts and maintains his relationship to earth as of woman born. The time may come when the earth itself will pass away and this order of relationship cease, but it is not yet. So long as his body lies in the tomb there is nothing left of earth on which the hope of immortality for man can fee...

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