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    Ansar Al-'Adl's Avatar
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    The Paradox Of The Resurrection

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    Friday, March 25, 2005

    The Paradox Of The Resurrection
    by Ali Ataie

    We are told in the canonical Gospels that Jesus Christ appeared to his disciples in the Upper Room after the alleged crucifixion and resurrection. Was he a ghost or a physical body at this point? You probably don’t see the relevance of such a question but I will assure you that this is the crucial issue that needs to be answered.

    The entire religion of Christianity is centered on the event of the crucifixion. -- This event that happened on one day, almost 2000 years ago, for three hours. If this incident is refuted then the resurrection becomes impossible and the entire belief system of Christianity is in vain.

    I once asked a Christian, "After the resurrection, if a group of blood-thirsty Pharisees saw Jesus, would they be able to kill him again?" His immediate answer without any hesitation was "No, of course not!"

    But why? Was not Jesus raised physically by God according to Christian dogma? If he was resurrected in the body then he had EXACTLY the same physical composition as he had before. Therefore if the Pharisees so desired, they could flog and crucify him all over again.

    "No," he said, "You see Jesus is now resurrected into his power and glory, he is eternal. Besides, scripture says 'ordained unto all men is to die ONCE, then the resurrection’ (Heb 9:27).

    Therefore Jesus cannot die twice since that would be a contradiction in the Bible. He is a physically resurrected yet eternal body.”

    The fallacy of such a belief is quite obvious. Either Jesus was physically resurrected from the dead and he became susceptible to physical needs such as food, drink, sleep, etc. OR his body was resurrected into a spiritual form and is now eternal -- no longer susceptible on physical needs.

    Here’s the bottom line: Christians cannot have it both ways. If Jesus was raised immortal, he CANNOT be a physically resurrected body.

    Take Lazarus as an example. This man was PHYSICALLY resurrected from the dead by Jesus by the leave of God. Where is Lazarus now? Dead. Therefore he actually died twice. This contradicts the passage from the book of Hebrews that our Christian friend quoted earlier.

    The orthodox Christian teaching is that the resurrection of Jesus was of the same type as that of Lazarus. Yet in the same breath Christians make a point that Jesus is eternal while Lazarus is dead! If Christians continue to maintain that the post-resurrected Jesus is eternal, then they are also saying that he is spiritualized, a SPIRIT!

    Immortality is an attribute of spirits. Physical bodies however, die in all cases. The Christian at this point must either agree that there is clear contradiction in his Bible, or admit that Lazarus’ resurrection was the exact same type as that of the Christian Jesus, namely, physical yet transformed (spiritual). So what is the solution? It’s a lose/lose situation!

    This is also precisely what the Jews at the time of Jesus believed about the resurrection. Jesus says himself “In the resurrection men and women do not marry, they are equal unto the angels” (Matthew 22:30).-- Meaning that resurrected bodies become spiritualized and eternal.

    When Herod heard of Jesus performing miracles such as quickening the dead, healing the lepers, and casting out demons, he comments "This is John the Baptist back from the dead, THIS IS WHY these miraculous powers are at work with him." In other words, John is a resurrected body that can perform miracles that are supernatural in nature because HE IS supernatural in nature.

    Paul agrees: “But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?... There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: IT IS SOWN A NATURAL BODY; IT IS RAISED A SPIRITIAL BODY. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” – I Corinthians 15:35-44.

    Back to the Upper Room: Luke narrates: “And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you” (24:36). Notice the reaction of the disciples in the next verse: “But they were terrified and affrighted, and SUPOSSED that they had seen a spirit” (24:37). Why did the disciples suppose that Jesus was a spirit or ghost when he looked no different than before?

    They thought he was a ghost because they had heard from hearsay that the Master was hanged on a cross and dead and buried for three days. The Gospels tell us that at the most crucial juncture in the life of Jesus "ALL of his disciples forsook him and fled." There wasn’t a single eyewitness among them who was present at the proceedings at Golgotha three days earlier. The author of the Fourth Gospel, realizing this problem, falsely places John the Beloved disciple at the foot of the cross.

    Jesus sets them at ease: “Why are ye troubled? Why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me and see; for a SPIRIT hath no flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he showed them his hands and his feet” (24:38-40).

    Jesus is essentially saying, “Why are you scared? Can’t you see that it’s me, Jesus! Look at my hands and feet, I’m the same person. Do spirits have flesh and bones like this?” The disciples, however, were still very doubtful so Jesus asks them, “Have ye here any meat?” And they gave him a piece of a “broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took [it], and did eat before them” (24:41-43).

    What does eating prove? It proves that he is the SAME physical Jesus.

    This act of Jesus proves that he is NOT a resurrected body. Since resurrected bodies become spiritualized they no longer need food, drink, sleep, etc. as stated earlier. A body that eats also needs rest. A body that rests becomes vulnerable to attack. This takes us back to the original question: If Jesus were spotted by the Pharisees can they kill him again?

    If you say no, then you are deluding yourself. He is not spiritualized and thus NOT resurrected. Yet Christian apologists such as Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb continue to refer to Jesus as being in a “transformed body,” meaning the same body but now immortal, unworldly, spiritual!
    They are making the same mistake that the disciples made. He is NOT transformed. He is the same Jesus in all respects. Joshua McDowell similarly says that the body of Jesus had passed “right through his grave clothes and into a new existence.”

    What DID happen to Jesus then?

    As recorded in the Synoptic gospels, a group of Pharisees came to him and asked, “Master would that we have a sign from thee?” In other words, perform a miracle for us so that we can see that you are the one we are waiting for. Jesus responds, “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after signs, no sign shall be given unto it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so shall the son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

    I asked my Christian friend "How was Jonah in the belly of the whale, dead or alive?" "Alive" he said. "And how was Jesus in the heart of the earth?" "Dead!" he responded. This contradicts Jesus (See the article “The Sign of Jonas” on this site for a more detailed explanation).

    The only logical conclusion that we can draw from all of this is that Jesus was never killed by the Romans but escaped death by the grace and mercy of God. He himself says "God would grant you whatever you ask Him” (John 11:22); “Would any father among you give his son a serpent when he asks for a fish” (Matt. 7:9-10)?

    Yet when Jesus with “sweat like blood” asks, “My father remove this cup away from me, yet not as I will but as thou will,” God ignores him and instead has his beloved “only begotten son” spat upon, mocked, beaten beyond recognition, flogged down to his bowels, nailed to a cross between two thieves, and sent to Hell for three days. And this they call love?

    The Solution:

    The Qur’an also mentions Jesus’ God-given power to raise the dead: “And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God’s leave” (Qur’an 3:49). Allah also tells us of the Prophet ‘Aziz: “Or take the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: ‘Oh! how shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after this its death?’ but Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up again” (Qur’an 2:259).

    As Muslims we believe that both of these aforementioned resurrections were purely physical. Therefore, we can conclude that in GENERAL, resurrected bodies become spiritualized. But God can do what He wills, and if He wants to raise someone from the dead in exactly the same form physically, then He certainly can. “Exactly!” the Christian will say, “that’s what happened with Jesus.” Let’s examine this claim.

    There are only three possible explanations for Jesus’ physical appearances after the “resurrection.” The first possibility, known as the Doomsday resurrection, maintains that Jesus was raised in a physically “transformed” body identical in nature to that in which we are all raised on the day of general resurrection at the end of time.

    This would make Jesus immortal and spiritually oriented. This was also precisely the type of body that the disciples thought Jesus was raised into in Luke 24. Again, Jesus corrects them by stating that he was NOT a spirit, but the same Jesus. He then eats to further prove that he is not spiritually but rather PHYSICALLY oriented.

    Christians run into trouble here when they claim that Jesus was physically resurrected yet immortal, but NOT spiritual. This argument is completely devoid of logic because, as stated earlier, immortality is an attribute of spiritualized bodies, not physical ones. If a Christian wants to say that Jesus was resurrected immortal, then he MUST also say that he was a spirit, yet Jesus denies this.

    Unlike Luke, John mentions that the “doors were locked” when Jesus appeared to his disciples, seemingly materializing out of thin air! (John 20:19). Only a spiritually resurrected body can do this. So was he a spirit or not? Who is lying, John or Jesus?

    A second possibility, known as the Earthly resurrection, asserts that Jesus was raised into the same exact physical body that he had been in before his death. This would make Jesus mortal and physically oriented. This type of resurrection is identical in nature to those of Lazarus mentioned in the Gospel of John, and ‘Aziz mentioned in Sura 2 of the Holy Qur’an. This would also mean that Jesus was subject to hunger, thirst, pain, fatigue, and death.

    The burning question once again: Can Jesus be killed again? The Christian will say no. But why? He will answer, “Because he was immortal.” Ask him, “Do you mean he was spiritualized?” If he answers no, then remind him once again that ALL immortal beings are spiritualized. That is why “God is Spirit” (John 4:24). If he answers yes, then you’ve got him trapped because Jesus says: “A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have” (Luke 24:39).

    The third possibility, known as the Jonas resurrection, states that Jesus never died in the first place, but had escaped death as Ahmad Deedat says, “by the skin of his teeth.” This is the only way to reconcile Christianity’s 2,000-year parade of confusion and misguidance with regards to the dogma of the resurrection.

    RECAP:

    Jesus ------------------> Purely resurrected in the body (Lazarus)------------> not eternal, not spiritualized---------------->can be killed (contradicts Hebrews and Christian theology).


    Jesus--------------------------------> Resurrected into eternity------------------------------>Spiritual, immortal---------------->yet Jesus says he's NOT a spirit! He eats to prove this.


    Jesus-------------------------------> Neither killed nor resurrected----------------->not eternal, not spiritual--------------------->like Jonah. (This can only be the answer).

    The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

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    Eric H's Avatar
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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    Greetings brother Ansar, I have lurked here for some time without posting, but feel compelled to say something now.

    I believe in one God who had no beginning, but I cannot give you a logical explanation of no beginning.
    I believe God created the universe from nothing, but I cannot give you a logical explanation of how.
    Mans logic and understanding of God falls short, and I just accept and believe these things to be true.

    I believe that Jesus rose from the dead with a physical body that would need food and sleep, I cannot give you a logical explanation for my beliefs I just accept them and believe them to be true.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ansar Al-'Adl

    I once asked a Christian, "After the resurrection, if a group of blood-thirsty Pharisees saw Jesus, would they be able to kill him again?" His immediate answer without any hesitation was "No, of course not!"
    I would disagree and say that Christ's physical body could be killed again by a blood thirsty Pharisee if that was a part of God’s plan.

    In the spirit of sharing God

    Eric

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    Ansar Al-'Adl's Avatar
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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection


    Thanks for your post Eric. Nice to see you here. I hope you'll share more of your thoughts with us.

    With regards to your post, I think you're comparing two different things. One one hand there is the question of the human being trying to comprehend the "how" in God's inconceivable attributes - which is impossible. On the other hand, you have a concept which is self-contradictory. God being eternal is not self-contradictory, but some of the Christian concepts of Jesus and God are self-contradictory.

    I would disagree and say that Christ's physical body could be killed again by a blood thirsty Pharisee if that was a part of God’s plan.
    To my limited understanding, this would contradict Christian theology that Jesus was resurrected as an immortal. And there are the verses which hint at spiritual traits.

    Btw, the article was taken from http://www.voiceforislam.com

    The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

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    Eric H's Avatar
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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    Greetings Ansar, and thanks for your welcome,

    To me the death and resurrection of Jesus gives me hope that there is life after death. I understand that Muslims also have a belief in life after death, and you just believe this because of what is written in the Qur’an.

    Up until his death Jesus lived fully as a man just like you or I, and I believe and accept this to be true. After his death and resurrection, the scriptures are open to interpretation by the individual as to how physical or spiritual his body may have been.

    Beliefs are more to do with inspiring people to do something, and so I do not have a great problem if other people interpret Christ’s body to be more either more physical or spiritual after his resurrection. One of the main messages that comes across is that there is life after death in some form that we do not fully understand.

    It only seemed like five minutes ago that you steamed through the 2k with your posting at UI, and you have done it again here, I think they must be putting something in the water where you live!!!!

    In the spirit of sharing God

    Eric

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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    hello Eric , I have to admit it , it is the most confusing thread I have ever read

    here we have you claim that Jesus died and was dead for 3 days
    then you also claim the Jesus is one of your triune gods (so called the holy trinity)

    today`s question for you:
    what happened to your trinity when one of them was dead for three days, did you guys have the holy DUALITY instead??

    thanks

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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    I know is a very hard question brother Eric , so please let me help you:

    you have one of two choices :

    1.to admit that Jesus has never died , to save the trinity , then you would have to find another savoir to bleed for you

    2.or to admit that Jesus is not god (and the true God does not die) to keep your savior , but then you would have to find another god to save the trinity :applaud:


    your choice
    thanks

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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection


    Quote Originally Posted by Eric H
    To me the death and resurrection of Jesus gives me hope that there is life after death. I understand that Muslims also have a belief in life after death, and you just believe this because of what is written in the Qur’an.
    If the story was just of a human being who got resurrected after death, then maybe what you said would make sense. But in reality, Christians believe that Jesus was God and was resurrected on account of his divinty and atonement. This is incomparable to human resurrection.

    There are other examples of resurrection which God mentions in the Qur'an.

    3:49 And will make [Jesus] a messenger unto the Children of Israel, (saying): Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird, by Allah's leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah's leave. And I announce unto you what ye eat and what ye store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you, if ye are to be believers.

    2:260 When Abraham said: "Show me, Lord, how You will raise the dead, " He replied: "Have you no faith?" He said "Yes, but just to reassure my heart." Allah said, "Take four birds, draw them to you, and cut their bodies to pieces. Scatter them over the mountain-tops, then call them back. They will come swiftly to you. Know that Allah is Mighty, Wise."

    2:259 Or (take) the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said: "Oh! how shall Allah bring it (ever) to life, after (this) its death?" but Allah caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up (again). He said: "How long didst thou tarry (thus)?" He said: (Perhaps) a day or part of a day." He said: "Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thy food and thy drink; they show no signs of age; and look at thy donkey: And that We may make of thee a sign unto the people, Look further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh." When this was shown clearly to him, he said: "I know that Allah hath power over all things."

    2:72-73 And when you killed a man, then you disagreed with respect to that, and Allah was to bring forth that which you were going to hide.
    So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand


    And Allah gives us the examples in nature as well:
    30:50 Then contemplate (O man!) the memorials of Allah's Mercy!- how He gives life to the earth after its death: verily the same will give life to the men who are dead: for He has power over all things.

    If the whole story about Jesus is just to give faith in the resurrection, then we don't need it, and we don't need to cling to soemthing that is self-contradictory.

    Up until his death Jesus lived fully as a man just like you or I
    Yet Christians will say, "fully man and fully God", which makes as much sense as saying something is "fully square and fully circle".
    After his death and resurrection, the scriptures are open to interpretation by the individual as to how physical or spiritual his body may have been.
    I agree with you on one point- the scriptures are open to interpretation. There are so many thing in the Bible that are confusing and that Christians have fought and differed over, and altered. Thus, in God's infinite mercy, He sent a revelation, the Last Testament, the Holy Qur'an. It is a criterion, please read the following article:
    http://www.islamicboard.com/showthread.php?t=1798

    Beliefs are more to do with inspiring people to do something, and so I do not have a great problem if other people interpret Christ’s body to be more either more physical or spiritual after his resurrection.
    The problem is that either way you interpret it, there is a problem, a contradiction.

    It only seemed like five minutes ago that you steamed through the 2k with your posting at UI, and you have done it again here, I think they must be putting something in the water where you live!!!!
    Funny isn't it? I just post too much.

    Thanks for your post.

    The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    Too many posts until zAk passed you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lol hahahahah
    The Paradox Of The Resurrection


    So Glorified is He and Exalted above all that they associate with Him, and in Whose Hands is the dominion of all things, and to Him you shall be returned.
    (Sura Ya-Seen 36:83)

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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    Greetings and may peace rest with you.

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by Rima
    what happened to your trinity when one of them was dead for three days, did you guys have the holy DUALITY instead??
    Maybe as you say for a very short time in eternity there may have existed the Holy Duality.

    In the spirit of sharing God

    Eric

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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    Greetings Ansar, I would not expect you to believe as I do, you have your own beliefs that are seated deep in your heart.

    You must understand that as a Christian the Bible stories make sense to me and they are an inspiration, I look at them in awe of Christ and of the Father and Holy Spirit. I do not want to single out passages to argue with you, because I am talking about beliefs and faith, which I do not have any proof for, I just accept them to be true.

    Thanks for your post but maybe it was a mistake for me to engage in this thread.

    May God bless you in your journey through life,

    Eric

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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric H
    Thanks for your post but maybe it was a mistake for me to engage in this thread.

    May God bless you in your journey through life,

    Eric
    I don`t think that is a mistake , I mean your last statement expalin everything
    you said , this is your beliefe and you can not expalin it logicly OK ,very normal, even muslims have some troubles like this

    the subject is that Jesus is one of the triune god , and he died ,, how can you explain it ??
    Does god die?

    everybody who would like to ingage in some interfaith dialogue has to expect some problems like that , nobody could explain everything in our human logic sence
    that is why it called : FAITH
    everybody has faith in something hoping that he is right, now when you ingage in some interfaith dialogue like this , don`t be sensitive ,expect everything expect that somebody would may shake your faith

    now if you take a tour on internet , you will see 1000000000 forums attacking Islam and without even any argument , some forums are made just in the purpose of insulting islam and muslims (like ---), where they insult our prophet , and when I wanted to to expalin that they are wrong , they ban me

    on the contrary, muslim would never insult Jesus ,Muslims on the contrary love Jesus , his mother ,and all prophets

    believe me in every (Muslim-Christian) dialogue muslims would win the debate

    may God bless you too
    MODERATOR'S COMMENT: ANTI-ISLAMIC LINKS ARE NOT TO BE POSTED.
    Last edited by Ansar Al-'Adl; 05-26-2005 at 03:03 PM.

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    Re: The Paradox Of The Resurrection


    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Thanks for your post but maybe it was a mistake for me to engage in this thread.
    Not at all, dear Eric. I have always appreciated your thoughts and your kind and gentle manner of dialogue, may God reward you. By discussing these issues you can give me insight on how Christians view these problems.

    When I'v brought up these issues with Christians before, I've noticed a variety of responses. Some will claim that following the Bible is not as important, but you have to follow your personal "inspiration" from God. The Qur'an comments on this view by saying:
    2:78 And there are among them (People of the Book) ignorant people, who know not the Book, but they trust upon false desires and they but guess

    And then there is your view, that you simply accept the beliefs to be true.
    You must understand that as a Christian the Bible stories make sense to me and they are an inspiration,
    Well that's all I'm asking about. I don't understand how these beliefs make sense, as they would seem self-contradictory to me. I really appreciate your explanation, but it still seems as though the problem remains in Christian theology/beliefs. We can't be sure what the truth is until we consult God's final revelation.

    Now, i know that you often ask how can there be only one truth, when God gave us so many religions.

    The answer to this is simple. We agree that there is only One God, whom we both worship. To say that all religions are valid ways of life given to us by God, is to say that God is a liar, because He told one group one thing about Himself and told another group a totally contradictory thing. The truth is that ever since the beginning of humanity, God gave us a single path in life - submission to Him with true love, and devout worship. Our relationship with God is one of love. He told us to follow His commandments and not to deviate from the truth.
    But throughtout history humanity has deviated, changing the religion of God and breaking His covenant. You look at Islam as though it is a different religion, but Islam is really the message that was preached through all the Prophets, including Prophet Moses and Prophet Jesus pbuh. You are a follower of Prophet Jesus pbuh, and although you still have some remains of His message, much confusion and corruption has crept in. This is why God has sent His final Messenger - Prophet Muhammad pbuh. God blessed you with a mind and reason, so that you may discover the true teachings of your Prophet.

    Islam is not another religion. It is the way that all the Prophets taught, but was changed to form the various religions we see today. If you read the Bible, and you read the Qur'an, you can recognize that the Qur'an is the Final Revelation from the same God, the one and only God.

    Since you already believe in One God, the question for you is, do you accept Prophet Muhammad pbuh as God's Final Messenger? Do you recognize the truth in his teachings?
    If you recognize that he is a prophet, you have accepted Islam whether you realize it or not. And when you have accepted this, then you must strive to follow the last revelation of your creator, which confirms the truth of the Bible, while negating the falsehood written by human beings.

    In the spirit of peace and interfaith relations
    The Paradox Of The Resurrection

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
    "Surely I was sent to perfect the qualities of righteous character" [Musnad Ahmad, Muwatta Mâlik]


    Visit Ansâr Al-'Adl's personal page HERE.
    Excellent resources on Islam listed HERE.

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