The Person and Work of Christ Part XV: Christ in His Resurrection -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 120:479 (Jul 1963)
Article: The Person and Work of Christ Part XV: Christ in His Resurrection
Author: John F. Walvoord


The Person and Work of Christ
Part XV:
Christ in His Resurrection

John F. Walvoord

The Resurrection Body

The facts concerning the resurrection body of Christ have been obscured by the modern rejection of the details of Christ’s resurrection as recorded in the Scripture. Liberals and neo-orthodox scholars have summarily rejected the facts of the Scriptural records, often with hardly any supporting argument. Common among such scholars is the view that Christ arose only in a spiritual sense—continued existence after His death, but not a bodily resurrection.

Though no new evidence has been advanced in support of this rejection of Scripture, the technique has been to assume that the gospel narratives are in serious contradiction of each other, and that what actually happened is that Christ appeared to the disciples in visions or dreams. With no documentary proof whatever, they consider the accounts of the appearances of Christ on the resurrection day and immediately subsequent to it as later fabrications. Even Filson, who seems to accept the fact of the resurrection of Christ, in one sentence sweeps all the resurrection-day appearances into discard in his statement: “Most likely the first appearances to the apostles were in Galilee, and this led to a rallying of the believers in Jerusalem where such appearances continued.”1

Though many liberal arguments have been so soundly refuted as to have fallen into discard even among liberals (such as the swoon theory, the imposture theory, the wrong-tomb theory, and the wishful credulity of the disciples), the modern

mind still assumes that the resurrection is an impossibility and that early Christians were deceived either by their own senses or by other men. On the contrary, conservative scholarship has demonstrated for many generations that the Scriptural accounts are self-sustaining, that they do not contain differences which cannot be reconciled, and in fact offer a web of interrelated facts which make the resurrection of Christ one of the best attested facts of the ancient world. If Scripture may be considered as reliable and infallible revelation, it is found to unfold a marvelous doctrine of resurrection as illustrated in the resurrection of Christ Himself.

The resurrection body of Christ is not only an important aspect of Scriptural revelation unfolding the nature of Christ’s resurrection, but is significant of the fact and character of the resurrection which believers in Christ may anticipate. The resurrection of Christ is at once an apologetic for His deity and His substitutionary death on the cross, and at the same time is substantiati...

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