Listen to the sermon here.
In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, Jesus is very concerned to show the disciples that he is not a ghost. He asks them to touch him. He tells them that he has flesh and bones. He even eats a piece of fish! He takes special care to show that he is truly alive.
Why? Why would Luke spend so much time on showing that Jesus was not a spirit? If Jesus was raised as a spirit, it would change the message of the gospel. It would mean three things:
- Jesus was not strong enough to break free from death.
- God had abandoned his material creation in favor of the spiritual.
- We are still in our sins and do not have salvation.
None of these three things would be good for us, because it would mean that we do not have eternal life. Jesus did not save us, because he could not save himself.
But Jesus is alive. He has risen from the dead, body and soul. He has a heart that beats, lungs that fill with air, and fingers that wiggle. He eats fish! That means
- Jesus was strong enough to defeat death for us.
- God has not abandoned his creation to decay and destruction. Instead he promises renewal.
- We will rise from the dead just like Jesus did.