The following is a simulated discussion between a Jehovah's Witness named Joe and a Christian named Chris.
Joe: Chris, I would like to share with you today why Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus was resurrected as a spirit creature.
Chris: I would love to discuss this topic with you, Joe. The way I understand the Watchtower's teaching on the resurrection, is that your spirit called Jesus had two major hurdles to overcome before he could go to heaven.
Joe: I don't know what you mean. I don't see any problems that Jesus had to overcome.
Chris: Well, when your Jesus was resurrected, it was very important that he proved two things to his disciples. The first thing that he had to prove was that his body, the one that died on the tree, was not resurrected. The second thing that was very important for him to prove was that he had been recreated as a spirit being named Michael.
Joe: Chris, we know that he was called Michael in the heavens before he came to earth but he is now also called Jesus.
Chris: Joe, tell me, what would be the very best proof that the body of Jesus was not resurrected?
Joe: There were lots of proofs. Jesus walked through walls, he appeared in different bodies to his followers and at times they didn't even recognize him.
Chris: But what would have been the very best proof for him to give to show without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus did not take back his body that had died on the tree?
Joe: Hmm.... I don't know if there is a best proof. I am not sure if there is anything that would have shown his disciples immediately that he was not resurrected in the body. You see, Chris, even his disciples had to have time to understand this important truth. It was not until after holy spirit was poured out that they came to understand what Jesus had been trying to teach them all along.
Chris: That seems to be a major failure for Jehovah God.
Joe: What do you mean?
Chris: Just think of it. All of the resurrections in the entire Bible had been of the dead bodies. There was not one single example of a spirit that had been resurrected from the dead. The disciples could not possibly have understood a spiritual resurrection.
Joe: But Jehovah God was doing a new thing. Jesus was to be the first of a special group of his brothers who would receive a resurrection to spirit life in the heavens.
Chris: If that is true, then Jehovah God destroyed the very best evidence available to prove there was no bodily resurrection!
Joe: Where are you getting that idea from? Jehovah God would never destroy evidence.
Chris: Think about it, Joe. The dead body of Jesus was the very best proof that the body was not resurrected. Jesus could have taken his disciples to the tomb and shown them his dead body. Not even one of his disciples would have been misled into believing that his body was resurrected if they could see or touch his dead body. You can't get better evidence then the dead body itself.
Joe: But Jehovah God couldn't keep that body around. Jesus' body wasn't to see corruption. After three days the body would have started to go through the decaying process even in the cold tomb.
Chris: Then God could have done one of two things. He could have had the resurrection happen before the third day or he could have preserved the body miraculously. In fact didn't the Watchtower originally teach that Jesus' body was being preserved in heaven as a memorial to God?
Joe: Well, yes, they did teach that. But the Watchtower doesn't teach that anymore. We now understand that Jehovah God dissolved Jesus' body into gases.
Chris: Then Jehovah destroyed the very best evidence that could be used to prove that Jesus' body was not resurrected. Joe, tell me, would the disciples have understood that Jesus was not raised bodily if they could see and touch the dead body?
Joe: I suppose so. I don't know why Jehovah God didn't keep the body around, but Jesus provided so many opportunities for them to figure it out for themselves later.
Chris: If Jehovah God took the body of Jesus to dispose of it, then he was guilty of causing people to believe that Jesus had been raised bodily. Even the Jews knew that Jesus claimed that he would rise bodily. In Matthew 27:63-64 the chief priests and Pharisees knew that Jesus prophesied he would rise from the dead. They wrote him off as a fraud, but they were afraid his disciples would take the body and then claim a bodily resurrection. The chief priests knew that the body was the key evidence. If they could stop the body from being stolen, then no one could claim that Jesus had been bodily resurrected. They would have the body as the evidence that the resurrection did not happen.
Joe: Okay, so the body could have been used to prove to his disciples that Jesus was not raised bodily, but can you tell me how Jesus walked through walls if he was resurrected in the body?
Chris: That's a great question, Joe, let's talk about that next week.