|Jehovah's Witnesses -
officially known as 'The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society'
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|A False resurrection
The Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus rose as a 'mighty spirit creature' His body being either dissolved in gases, or 'like that of Moses' laid up as a grand memorial of God's love. They insist that if he (Michael the archangel) didn't die eternally, then his death had no meaning as a ransom for us. They believe the body that Michael clothed himself in was left behind on earth somewhere (they don't know where) and that he returned to heaven and resumed his previous work as an archangel. His body being either dissolved in gases, or 'like that of Moses' laid up as a grand memorial of God's love.
They insist that if He (Michael the archangel as a man and nothing more)- didn't die eternally, then his death had no meaning as a ransom for us. They believe the body that Michael clothed himself in was left behind on earth somewhere (they don't know where!) and that he returned to heaven and resumed his previous work as an archangel
But then Jesus went to great lengths to prove otherwise. He asked for a piece of broiled fish to eat 'in their presence' and of course He asked Thomas, the doubter, to touch Him, and the wounds in His hands and side. "A spirit has not flesh and bones as you see I have' (Luke 24 39) Clearly He had flesh and bones, and if He hadn't Thomas would not have fallen at His feet, on proof, and exclaimed "My Lord and My God!"
Mary didn't recognise Him immediately. In her distress she thought He was a gardener. Peter, out fishing, though even at a distance recognised the stranger on the shore and leapt out of the boat to get to Him first. And there on the shore they cooked fish on a charcoal grill and ate it together. His body was His resurrected body. Flesh and bone and breath, - yet there was a difference. His body was an immortal one this time, with different properties to His mortal body. The seed had fallen to the earth and the new had come forth. His resurrected body did not have the same worldly boundaries imposed on it as before His death. He 'appeared' to them even though the door was locked. And as if to confirm that it was from the original body, the Bible tells us that when He died the graves of many saints burst open and they came forth alive.'and the earth shook, and the rocks were split, the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs AFTER His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many (Matthew 27 51-52) That is, they came out of the grave after His resurrection to amplify the message. We who are His disciples will do the same. Follow Him into the grave and out the other side with a wonderful new body with immortal properties. But Jesus was the 'first fruit'
Jehovah's Witnesses will explain that he gave his body as a ransom for us therefore he could not take it back again.
This is not what Jesus said. In Matthew 20 28 he said..
"The Son of man came to give his life a ransom for many"
And in John 10 17,18 he said "I lay down my life -that I may take it again" "I have power to lay IT down, and I have power to take IT again"
Anyone could lay their life down. The death defying, death breaking, divine act was to take it back again.
The majestic, wonderful, divine, and devil-defeating part was that death could not hold Him. (satanists teach that Jesus died on the cross - end of story)
He humiliated the powers of darkness by breaking their hold on death forever. Because HE rose again. Bodily. Death was left with nothing but a memory of Him!
As far back as Job 19:25,26 we see the promise of bodily resurrection (flesh and blood) but yet, a different body to the one that was in the world. In the midst of his troubles he said.. "I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth..And though after my skin, worms destroy THIS body, yet in my flesh shall I see GOD'
The fact of Christ's bodily resurrection is foundational to all of the Christian faith. 1 Corinthians 15 states five dreadful results if the resurrection is not true..but goes on in verse 20 to rejoice with the words "But now is Christ risen from the dead" They had touched Him, seen Him cook and eat fish on the shore with them, teach them, scold them for doubt and lack of faith, and finally they saw Him ascend.
Ghosts and spirits clearly frightened them, (as in the storm at sea, and Jesus' first appearance to them) but they, and the five hundred who saw Christ at one particular time and place, knew a 'body of flesh and bones' when they saw one.
In the Jewish tradition there is a powerful meaning in how a table napkin is left following a meal.
If the napkin is left upon the table in an untidy / unfolded state the message to the restaurant or the host is 'I will be back'
However if the napkin is carefully folded up and set down for all to see it means "I will NOT be coming back here again!"
Before leaving the tomb Jesus took the time to ensure that the smaller -napkin like- handkerchief that had been around His head was neatly folded up and set aside for all to see. And it was the first thing that Peter noticed.
"Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself" John 20:6
Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, had risen from the grave in Spirit Soul and Body, and He was not coming back.