If Jesus rose from the dead in a physical body, how did he suddenly appear in the middle of a locked room?
Let’s see if we can come up with a soundbite answer for this Watchtower question.
The Watchtower expresses its argument as follows:
It is true that Jesus appeared in physical form to his disciples after his resurrection… On one occasion, for the benefit of Thomas, Jesus appeared with the physical evidence of nail prints in his hands and a spear wound in his side. But how was it possible on that occasion for him suddenly to appear in their midst even though the doors were locked? (John 20:26, 27) Jesus evidently materialized bodies on these occasions, as angels had done in the past when appearing to humans.[i]
Its point seems to be that if Jesus rose from the dead in a physical body there is no way he could have suddenly appeared in the middle on a locked room. The explanation must be that he rose from the dead as an invisible spirit creature, entered the room in spirit form. Once there, he manufactured a physical body for the disciples to inspect.
If the Witnesses present you with this argument against the bodily resurrection of Jesus, I recommend that you draw their attention to the following passage which describes events that took place before Jesus died.
Matthew 14:25-29: “And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, ‘It is a ghost!’ And they cried out for fear. But immediately he spoke to them, saying, ‘Take heart, it is I; have no fear.’ And Peter answered him, ‘Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you on the water.’ He said, ‘Come.’ So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus…”
Here is a soundbite summary question you can ask the Witnesses: “Since Jesus was able to walk on water while in a pre-resurrection physical body, why couldn’t he enter a locked room in a post-resurrection physical body?”
Have you ever had difficulty answering the Watchtower’s “Locked Room” argument? What do you think of my response?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
[i] Reasoning From the Scriptures (1985), p. 217