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Thursday, May 17, 2012

What Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe About Jesus' Body Being 'Dissolved' Before He Was Resurrected as a Spirit?

Original Q and A's

The term “dissolved” was last used of Christ’s dead body in the 1953 Watchtower (w53 9/1; 518). Today we do not use that term to explain how God disposed of Christ’s human body. There (does not appear to be) anything inaccurate in using the word since one of its definitions is “to separate into parts or elements; disintegrate. Its just that “dissolve” also has unwanted connotations such as a slower process.

Witnesses believe exactly what the Bible states and they can also draw valid conclusions from those clear statements.

First, every explicit Scripture says that Jesus was resurrected with an invisible "spirit" body and not a visible fleshly body (1 Tim. 6:16; Eph. 1:17,18; 1 Pt. 3:18; 1 Cor. 15:42-50; Acts 13:34; 2 Cor. 5:16; Lk. 17:20; Mt. 24:3-39; 25:31; Jn. 6:51; Heb. 2:7-9, Phil. 2:7-10).

"Even Christ died once for all time concerning sins ... he being put to death in the flesh, but being made alive in the spirit."

Heb. 1:3 says that Jesus is now "the exact representation of [God's] very being." God is a Spirit and has never been flesh.

Christ's own words specifically said: "The world will see me no more... (Jn. 14:19).

Now we are given several facts in God’s Word from which we can draw reasonable conclusions as to what happened to Christ’s human body.

1.) The Bible says of Christ: “... concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he forsaken in Hades nor did his flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:31; Ps. 16:10).

Death and corruption was the punishment for sinful humans and so was NOT appropriate for the perfect man Jesus. It Christ body was not allowed to see corruption or decompose like sinful humans then God must have disposed of it in some instantaneous manner. So it is only logical to conclude that God miraculously caused Jesus’ body to disappear without corruption by being disintegrated (dissolved) back into the elements from which all human bodies are made.

2.) Next, Jesus Christ gave his flesh as a ransom for us (Jn. 6:51). Having given us his flesh if he ever took it back again he would nullify his sacrifice. If Christ had kept his body then there was no ransom!

According to Heb. 10:5-10 Christ's physical body was "prepared" so that it could be "offered," once and for all time. So when it had been "offered" then it had served it's purposed. Then, just as the animal sacrifices under the Law were disposed of so likewise would the body of Jesus would be disposed of (Heb. 13:10,11).

3.) Additionally, Moses foreshadowed Christ. When Moses died God took his body away (Deut. 34:5,6). Similarly, God removed Jesus' body just as he had removed Moses' body. While Moses’ body returned to the dust by process of decay, Christ’s body could not see corruption.

We also can draw several other logical conclusions as to why God removed Christ’s body.

Removing the body also helped Jesus' disciples to understand that he had been raised from the dead. A body would hamper the belief of the disciples in the fact that Jesus had been resurrected.

The body could have made it difficult to prove that Jesus had been resurrected. Opposers of the Christians could point to the body of Jesus after he was resurrected and claim that as evidence against his resurrection.

God's disposing of the body would prevent it being used as an object of worship as is done by the apostate church with the supposed bones of "saints." Again, this was prefigured with Moses. Jude writes that the Devil desired to get the body of Moses to use it as an object of worship.

Therefore, the conclusion that God miraculously disposed of Christ’s dead human body by simply disintegrating it is a reasonable conclusion. It logically follows from the evidence found in God’s Word.

On the other hand, the teaching that Christ was raised with a physical body must break every major rule of exegesis and demand that we have an ignorance of Greek grammar, of word definitions, and of the context..

Further, such an idea must contradict EVERY explicit statement in the Bible regarding Christ's heavenly body.

The only way we could believe that the heavenly Christ has a body of flesh would be to rip figurative language out of context and twist it to agree with our personal theology.

"Corporeal visibility to men in the present life is a dream, altogether unsanctioned in the New Testament, and calculated from age to age to involve feeble believers in disappointment."— Glasgow; The Apocalypse, Translated and Expounded, p. 126. Edinburgh, 1872.

(Source: This is the chosen best answer given by Bar_Anerges to this question.)

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