When most of us think of Easter, it’s usually a simple one. Jesus rose from the dead, then ascended into heaven. What we don’t hear much about is what happened just after Jesus resurrected.
Some dismiss or try to explain away the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, saying that he was only a spirit-being (like a ghost). Jesus rising as a spirit-being does not qualify as a resurrection. That’s a Star Wars myth like what we see in Obi-Wan Kenobi (New Hope) or Luke Skywalker (Last Jedi). To be resurrected in a physical form is much harder to believe. A resurrection is a bona fide miracle.
After Jesus had resurrected from the dead, left the tomb, he walked and talked with people in a physical form as a real human being. A week after Jesus had resurrected, we know the bible says he was still around before his ascension. The resurrected Jesus walked around, made himself known to a lot of people, and he showed himself to people. He was not hiding himself.
Furthermore, he wasn’t just a spirit-being floating around in ethereal space somewhere. He actually had life in physical form. It was not the same physical body that we have today but it was a resurrected body.
In the bible, the word used for “spirit” is pneuma, but in 1 Cor. 15:44, Paul used the words: soma pneuma (“σωμα πνευματικον”) which means “spiritual body”. This is the type of body that we, as believers in Jesus, will also be raised with.
Here are some places in the bible where the post-resurrected Jesus showed himself to his disciples in that “spiritual body”:
John 20:19-23 Enters locked room
John 20:24-29 Doubting Thomas
John 21:1-14 Another big catch
Luke 24:13-35 Road to Emmaus
Matthew 28; Mark 16:9 Women
1 Cor. 15:6 500 followers
1 Cor. 15:8 Apostle Paul
Think about it. First Corinithians 15:6 said that Jesus appeared to over 500 of his followers! Jesus became a legendary figure. Witnesses testified they had been with the real live walking-and-talking Jesus. Their testimonies would have been very hard to dispute. No wonder the church grew.