For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.Jesus was physically seen since He physically resurrected. He even said, Himself, that he was not a spirit, but had flesh and bones after His resurrection. And to further convince them of His actual resurrection, He ate food before their very eyes!
(1 Corinthians 15:3-8)
But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 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 showed 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 a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them.If He did not physically resurrect from the dead with the same body in which He died being changed, then He certainly went to great lengths to deceive the disciples into thinking He did! And we know the Lord is simply not deceptive.
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.If we say that the resurrection of Christ was indeed physical, but yet the resurrection Paul was speaking about is not, then this destroys the entire reasoning Paul is using. He is implying the two resurrections (that of Christ and the church) are the same in nature. If Christ did not resurrect, then there will be no resurrection for the church. And we already noted that Christ did indeed rise physically and was not a dis-embodied spirit.
(1 Corinthians 15:12-14)
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.How is this so? Christ's death and burial and resurrection are the Gospel in a nutshell. He died as us, and was buried because we had to die due to sin. The soul that sins must die. And His resurrection saw Him alive forevermore, no longer subject to death. In Romans, Paul informs us that we were baptized into His death so that we could say that we died with Him. And if we died with Him, and He was freed from the powers of sin when He arose, then we also arose with Him, and are free from the power of sin.
(1 Corinthians 15:16-17)
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.Did you read that? We are dead with Christ! And death frees us from sin! We are alive unto God as much as Jesus was alive unto God.
For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.In the passage that follows, Paul implies resurrection is after "this life" which he described as the life he then lived as a born again Christian, demanding that we not view "this life" we now live as Christians to be the resurrected life he is speaking about in 1 Corinthians 15.
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.This coming is not the coming in judgment at 66-70 A.D. This coming includes a physical resurrection of the church, as we will see as we continue reading.
(1 Corinthians 15:17-19)
But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
(1 Corinthians 15:23)
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.Whenever this coming occurs, Christ will not be ruling any longer, but will have given the rule and dominion up to the Father that God may be all in all. So if His 1 Cor 15 coming occurred in 70 AD, then Christ is no longer our King! Death will be ended when this coming occurs. That is the reason resurrection of our bodies is necessary. And because death shall be ended in the physical sense, Paul said that he was risking his physical life in his day, which would not have been necessary nor desirable if there is no physical resurrection to come!
(1 Corinthians 15:24-26)
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.Some say the above verses speak of a "spiritual" dying to self, but that flies right in the face of the entire context of a physical resurrection and the cessation of physical death! No, Paul was saying that he physically put his life on the line in his continuing efforts to preach, due to the persecution that abounded in his time against Christians. And he simply would not do that if there was never going to be a physical resurrection of the church in his future. So this not only proves the resurrection is physical, but also that it was considered to be a future event from Paul's perspective, unlike the "spiritual" resurrection which Paul already claimed in Romans 6.
(1 Corinthians 15:29-32)
But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?He explains that there are varying bodies given to varying creatures and forms of life that are suited to the purpose for which the form of life was created. Grain is different in body than the stalk that rises from the ground. The stalk that results from the planted grain is different in body but yet is the grain that has been changed. The grain that is planted is not entirely separated from the resultant stalk as though it was obliterated, and a new body of the stalk was created out of thin air. No, the stalk is the grain that has been changed.
(1 Corinthians 15:35)
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.The natural body is going to be changed into a spiritual body. Notice that the "IT" in the verses is changed. "IT" is not obliterated and vapourized. "IT" is changed. And "IT" comes forth again. the same "it" that is buried is the "it" that comes out again. So the idea of "it" being destroyed and re-created is nonsensical and goes against everything Paul is trying to say by use of analogy with grains and stalks, etc.
(1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.Notice that he makes the spiritual body synonymous with the heavenly body.
(1 Corinthians 15:44-49)
Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.We presently possess flesh and blood. And the Kingdom of God is not inherited by flesh and blood. This gives rise to the revelation of a mystery that Paul received from God. Our bodies are actually going to change at the last trump. This is not speaking about 70 AD either. It cannot! Otherwise the saints living at that time of 70 AD have experienced a resurrection that all of us who have been born and lived since that time have never experienced! And that makes God a respector of persons in giving them new spiritual bodies and holding this experience away from us. And I do not think any believer who survived 70 AD saw their physical bodies changed into spiritual ones without flesh and blood, being changed to possess only flesh and bone as Jesus had.
(1 Corinthians 15:50-53)
There was a coming of Jesus in judgment against Jerusalem, just as God came in clouds of judgment against His own people Israel in Old Testament times using heathen armies. Nobody saw God come then, and nobody phsyically saw Jesus come in 70 AD.
Please check the study entitled "How Did Jesus Come in Clouds in 66-70 AD?"