Read: Luke 24:8-12 NRSV
Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.
What do we learn about Jesus in this passage? When Peter runs to the tomb, he is amazed to find it empty. Perhaps he does not yet believe that Jesus is alive, but now he knows at least that the corpse is gone. This is important to remember because when Jesus reveals himself, it is with the same body that was placed in the tomb in the first place. He doesn’t seem to be a ghost or a spirit or a fresh new clone from a science fiction movie. The same heart that stopped on the cross is pumping blood through the same veins of the same man. Maybe the act of resurrection changed his flesh on some atomic level, but Jesus the body remains Jesus the body, even when that body is carried away to heaven. He is fully man and fully God. The resurrected Jesus is the whole soul and the whole body.
Acknowledging the corporeality of Jesus leads to many questions that I am unqualified to answer. Do we enter heaven in our bodies? Will we have the same features? The same birthmark? We know that our corpses remain in the dirt, but what happens to our consciousness? I do not know. The living, crucified, and resurrected Jesus is the same body, so it is unwise to think of our own bodies as temporary vessels for our true selves. Jesus redeems us all and all of us. My brain, the coils of flesh and neural circuitry will be redeemed as much as the thoughts it is currently producing. Our bodies are made in the image of God, so we should not be so eager to shed them.