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As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe that Christ after his death took up his physical body and that it was this now-perfected body that he showed the disciples, and that he still lives and has a physical form that can eat fish and has wounds.

What other denominations believe that Christ has a physical body at this time?

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2 Answers

CAVEAT: I am not familiar with whatever differences might exist between the Chalcedonian Creed's perspective on Christ's humanity and the CJCLDS's perspective on the same. I'll let my answer stand, however, if only to provide a traditional Protestant (and perhaps Roman Catholic?) perspective in the matter. If I have failed the questioner by not comparing and contrasting the two perspectives (assuming contrasts do exist), perhaps another contributor would care to weigh in and do what I have failed to do.

ORIGINAL POST: I'm confident in saying that most Protestant denominations believe Jesus, the eternal Word of God, became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). In fact, one of the most important creedal documents within Protestantism is the Chalcedonian Creed, which says, in part:

"We, then, following the holy Fathers, all with one consent, teach men to confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the same perfect in Godhead and also perfect in manhood; truly God and truly man, of a reasonable [rational] soul and body; consubstantial [coessential] with the Father according to the Godhead, and consubstantial with us according to the Manhood; in all things like unto us, without sin; begotten before all ages of the Father according to the Godhead, and in these latter days, for us and for our salvation, born of the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to the Manhood; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, inconfusedly, unchangeably, indivisibly, inseparably; the distinction of natures being by no means taken away by the union, but rather the property of each nature being preserved, and concurring in one Person and one Subsistence, not parted or divided into two persons, but one and the same Son, and only begotten, God the Word, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the prophets from the beginning [have declared] concerning him, and the Lord Jesus Christ himself has taught us, and the Creed of the holy Fathers has handed down to us."

In one of His post-resurrection appearances, however, Jesus referred to His body as "flesh and bone," not flesh and blood.

"'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 NIV).

That Jesus did not say "flesh and blood" is significant. Evidently the resurrected Christ had what Paul referred to as a "spiritual body" (1 Corinthians 15:44). Moreover, after His resurrection Jesus had the ability to "beam himself" (thanks, Star Trek) wherever and whenever He wanted, suggesting that His post-resurrection body, though still human, was no longer limited in the same way it was prior to His resurrection.

Interestingly (though not in answer to your question!), the truth of Messiah's coming into the world as a flesh-and-blood human being is found throughout the Old Testament, and not just in the sacrificial animals of the cultus (i.e., the Tabernacle and later the temple). In Exodus 21, there is a touching ceremony pictured for us, and it involved a slave who out of love for his master would allow his ear to be pierced with an awl in the sight of God, his master, and a priest, thus signifying he was his master's for life (vv.5-7).

Psalm 40 picks up on the meaning of this ceremony when King David, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said, in effect, that the offering of oneself to God is dearer to the heart of God than a million animal sacrifices. With this ceremony in mind, David said,

"My ears you have opened [or pierced or dug]" (v.6) . . . I come . . . I delight to do Your will, O my God" (vv.7,8).

The writer to the Hebrews picks up on this theme and adds a thought to it:

"Therefore, when He [viz., Jesus] comes into the world, He says: 'SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME. . . . BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD'" (VV.5-7, excerpts, uppercase letters are in the NIV text).

All to say, the flesh-and-blood humanity was required for Jesus to become the Lamb of God who bears away the sin of the world (John 1:29 & 36). More importantly, however, Jesus' self-emptying (Greek, kenosis, as in Philippians 2:7) included His willingness to remain a man forever.

Thus you can see in the imagery of Exodus 21, with a slave's willingness to serve his master for a lifetime, the humiliation, the condescension, and the self-emptying of Messiah Jesus, which He gladly submitted to out of love for His Father and love for his family, which comprises all those who, in a similar fashion, submit their lives to God in an ongoing service of worship (see Romans 12:1).

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So you think all Protestants agree with the Mormon definition of God having a body and glorification and all that? If not, this question calls for some clarification on the distinctives between views. –  Caleb Feb 13 at 15:59
    
@Caleb: Not being knowledgeable about CJCLDS, I cannot speak authoritatively about their perspective on the nature of Christ's humanity. I suppose I could spend a few hours researching their views. Rather than doing that, however, I'll simply edit my post to suggest the Mormon view of Christ the man may differ from the Chalcedonian Creed's view of Christ the man. I also suggest you might think of adding a post yourself, in order to 'splain the differences whereof you speak. Don –  rhetorician Feb 14 at 0:46
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Although I am only able to answer for my Church as a Baptist we believe that the resurrection means that Jesus Body reclaimed life just as it was when he was crucified.

And that belief we base on several Scriptures such as:

Luk 24:38 through 43 KJV

And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and 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 not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto 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.

In light of these Scriptures an others since Baptist believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God we can only accept that Jesus still resides in his physical body at the right hand of God the Father.

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Do you know how the Baptist view contrasts with the LDS understanding of what God having a physical body means? –  Caleb Feb 13 at 16:01
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