The Resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God and His Ascension
The resurrection of Jesus in the physical body is the prevailing concept that we have today. Let us, however, examine the words of the Scriptures to see for ourselves whether indeed Jesus did resurrect in the physical body.
John 20:13-14 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” (14) Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.
John 20:15-18 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” (16) Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). (17) Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (18) Mary Magdalene went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.
It is obvious that Mary Magdalene who knew Jesus very well would undoubtedly have recognised Him under normal circumstances. The same thing happened with the disciples on the road to Emmaus when Jesus spoke with them for a long time without them recognising Him. Yet, they were His disciples, lived with Him for years and undoubtedly under normal circumstances would have recognised Him.
It is obvious that Jesus was not in His customary physical body; that we can safely surmise because if He had been, He would have been recognised at once. Jesus was not recognised by those closest to Him because He was not in His physical body. For those who are familiar with what constitutes man on earth, these events should already be clear.
Man on earth has not just the physical body with him but also the coverings of all the layers of Creation within him. If he drops the physical body, he is left with the densest layer after this, corresponding to the layer that he finds himself. If he still finds himself on earth even though he has died then the outermost layer will be the form of medium gross matter, what has generally been called the astral body. This body is different form that of the earthly body.
It is lighter and finer and Jesus, having dropped His physical body at death was left with nothing else but His Astral body or the body of medium gross matter. His body was therefore lighter and finer than His customary physical body. It was different and this is the reason that He was not recognised by anyone.
Luke 24:36-37 As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them. (37) But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit.
John 20:19-23 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assem- bled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. (20) And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. (21) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (22) And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (23) Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
John 21:4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
The ability of Jesus to make sudden appearances in rooms which doors were locked was another issue that has not been properly explained. As mentioned above, the body of medium gross matter, which is lighter and finer is the kind of body that can penetrate through the material substance of this earth. Jesus’ body, now lighter and finer could penetrate and enter into rooms without opening doors, things that He could not do when He still had His physical body with Him. Jesus therefore, could not have had His physical body with Him for these reasons alone.
Jesus entered a room where the disciples were gathered. They thought that they saw a ghost and were startled. This alone is enough to explain the condition of the body of Jesus after He had left His physical body. Many of us have heard stories of ghosts, or even experienced them and our experiences correspond to these experiences of the disciples.
Some sentences have found their way into the Scriptures, probably in the zeal of the disciples, or some other people to show that Jesus was with His physical body. It is important to note here that Jesus would not have made special efforts to prove His physical nature after He had laid down His physical body. All He had to do was convince His disciples that it was Him, whatever body He was in.
Some verses went so far as to say that Jesus ate broiled fish and things like that. He had no need to do that. It was not necessary. He did not have to prove His physicality to anyone. But somehow this found its way into the Scriptures. It is left to the individual to examine the words. It will not be difficult to recognise that which man had inserted deliberately to cause confusion.
The question of His appearance to Thomas is not difficult to explain: John 20:27-28 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” (28) Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”.
Jesus commanded Thomas to believe, to open his spirit. It was this condition of Thomas opening his spirit that made it possible for him to feel the marks on Jesus. Jesus had no need to say these things if these marks were ordinarily physically visible. There would have been no need for that because being physical everyone could see them with or without faith. However, with the ethereal marks that Jesus bore on Him, something more was needed to recognise them and this is the reason that Jesus asked Thomas to have faith and not doubt.
Doubt is the work of the intellect. It closes down our spirits. Faith, however, opens up our spirits to the wonders of Creation. Thomas opened himself and he was allowed to behold the marks of Jesus and even more to feel them. Of course he felt these marks with his own ethereal body, which we all have with us on earth.
At that moment, Thomas’ body of medium gross matter was able to feel the marks on the medium gross matter body of Jesus. He was then able to transmit this perception to his consciousness. Many of us have perceived pain or feeling or pressure from our body of medium gross matter. This is the case with phantom pains where people who have had a limb amputated still feel as if the limb was still there, and sometimes can feel some pressure there.
The body of medium gross matter is the counterpart to the physical one and the removal of some member of the physical one does not at the same time remove the member of the medium gross matter one. It is therefore the same process, whereby Thomas used his medium gross matter hands to feel and this feeling was transmitted to his earthly consciousness.
Thomas therefore, through his faith was able not only to feel the ethereal marks of Jesus but also to transmit this perception to his day conscious brain, something which under normal circumstances could only take place when dreaming.
Jesus’ ascension could be described along the same lines. His body was now lighter, finer and it is this kind of body which has the quality or capability to ascend up to the realm which corresponds to its weight. Physical bodies cannot and do not ascend. The Law of Gravity keeps it down because the weight of a physical body corresponds to the material weight of this earth. This is the reason it stays anchored here.
Other bodies, however, be they those of medium matter and so on are no longer held by Law of Gravity as it applies to the earth, and as such can ascend to places in the Beyond which correspond to their weights, unless such souls are earthbound, in which case they are held down here by threads of fate. There, in the Beyond, they can go no further until through inner experience, they change and as such become lighter as a consequence. They then rise again and so it goes on until they reach their destination, which is Paradise. In the case of Jesus once He began to ascend, He shed all the bodies that He had acquired on His way down until He was absorbed back into His Origin and held there.