This is my simplest, strongest and most logical case for bodily resurrection. Which makes this my simplest, strongest and most logical defense of orthodoxy against American Gnosticism.
There are a million biblical arguments I could make. There are a million theological arguments I could make. This one is just logical.
When Jesus Christ came out of the grave (the tomb was empty, it wasn’t as if his rotting corpse remained and his “soul” floated around for 40 days) it was called his “Resurrection.” Then after a period of about 40 days (of eating fish, walking and talking, touching, and appearing to over 500 people), he ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. First, he was resurrected. Then he ascended. Those are two different events. They are not two ways of saying the same thing. And that is important. Because what we are promised in the New Testament over and over again, at almost every turn of the page, is NOT ASCENSION! We are promised Resurrection. Never once are promised ascension. Not. One. Single. Time.
The Christian hope held out in the gospel has NOTHING to do with leaving earth and going off somewhere in the sky when we die. That, quite frankly, is heresy. Rather, the Christian view is Bodily Resurrection.
Not ascension. Resurrection.