Crown Him the Lord of Love. Behold His hands and side,
Rich wound, yet visible above, In beauty glorified.
No angel in the sky Can fully bear that sight,
But downward bends his wond’ring eye At mysteries so bright.
(ELH 55, v. 3)
On Easter Sunday, our victorious Savior rose bodily from the dead just as He will raise up our bodies on the Last Great Day. For forty days, He appeared to His disciples. The first time He came to them in the upper room, He ate fish in their presence after telling them, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39 ESV). A week later, He called Thomas’ doubtful bluff, ordering him to walk over to Him and put his fingers into the nail holes in His hands and to put his hand into His side.
After the forty days of appearances, Jesus physically ascended into heaven right before the eyes of a multitude of disciples. Finally, a cloud hid Him from their sight.
Years later, the Apostle John was transported “in the spirit” into heaven, where he describes the vision he saw: Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders…. And they sang a new song: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:6a, 9 NIV84).
What a glorious truth it is, that “He lives, my Jesus, still the same!”—only glorified and exalted. My flesh and blood Divine Brother and yours is seated at the right hand of the Father and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34). When you pray in Jesus’ name, you are talking to your brother. He wept. He grew weary. He was hungry. He was tempted intensely in the wilderness for forty days. That is the One now seated on the throne! As True God, He hears every word when you cry out to Him. And as true man still to this day, He “knows where you’re coming from.”
Furthermore, He has blazed the path that we will follow! “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:20–23 ESV).
What a glorious and comforting truth that Jesus is “Flesh Forever!”
Reverend Timothy Buelow
Faith Lutheran Church