To them He presented Himself alive after His passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.
When people say, “I’ll be there in spirit” what they really mean is “I won’t be there.” When modern people say of Jesus Christ, “The true meaning of the myth of the resurrection is that Jesus lives on in our hearts and thoughts” what they really mean is “Jesus is dead as a doornail.” The New Testament has no patience with such sentimental claptrap. It bluntly denies that Jesus of Nazareth “lives on in our memories” in that watery, sentimental Unitarian way of speaking. It asserts rather that Jesus of Nazareth rose in a glorified body that could eat fish, be touched, and break bread. This seems terribly crass, crude, and physical to a world that wants to reduce all “spirituality” to odorless, colorless, platonic ideas. But then the world tends to do this because it fears the biggest and dirtiest secret of all: death, which is a crass, crude and physical thing. Jesus came to be with us in spirit and in truth. And so, when He rose on Easter, He did not rise merely “in spirit” but in truth as well. God defeated the stink, rot, and worms of death, not just the “idea” of it. And He proved it by saying, “See my hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). And because He really did rise bodily, we shall too, if we remain in Him.