The following is a simulated discussion between a Jehovah's Witness named Joe and a Christian named Chris.
Chris: Joe, last week we talked about the nail holes in the body of Jesus. Thomas had to see and feel the imprint of the nails to believe in the resurrection of Jesus and Jesus said, go ahead, put your finger here and feel. Either Jesus showed him real nail holes that he produced himself by driving nails into the body that he had created, or he deceived Thomas by showing him holes that were not caused by nails at all. The only other option is that or Jesus' body, the one that had hung on the tree, was resurrected and Jesus was proving a bodily resurrection to Thomas! Joe, did Thomas after he put his finger in those nail holes believe that Jesus' body had been resurrected?
Joe: He did believe that for awhile, but he was corrected later. Chris, you just don't understand about the resurrection. Jesus allowed his disciples to believe for a time in his bodily resurrection, but then he started opening their minds to the truth after holy spirit was given.
Chris: Are you saying that Jesus promoted deception for a time because they were not ready to know the truth?
Joe: God knows we are just human and he corrects false beliefs in his time. For example even the Watchtower for a time allowed the celebration of Christmas and the belief in the cross but this did not stop the organization from being God's faithful and discreet slave. When Jehovah is ready he always brings new light that corrects error. I have some scripture that will help you to understand the resurrection of Jesus. Which version of the Bible do you have?
Chris: I have the New King James Version.
Joe: Look at Mark 16:12. See here in your Bible it says "After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country." You see, Chris, Jesus appeared in another form.
Chris: My Bible says that these verses from Mark 16:9-20 are not in the original manuscripts. The oldest and most complete manuscripts the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus do not contain this passage. Are you putting your faith in a verse that does not appear to be in the original Greek, a passage that is spurious?
Joe: There are other passages, too. Look at John 20:15-16 "Jesus said to her: 'Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?' She, imagining it was the gardener, said to him: 'Sir, if you have carried him off, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.' Jesus said to her: 'Mary!' Upon turning around, she said to him, in Hebrew: 'Rabboni!'..." Here Jesus appeared in the form of a gardener.
Chris: It doesn't say that he took on the form of a gardener. Let's look at the beginning of the passage. In John 20:1 Mary arrives while it is still dark. In Verse 11 Mary is weeping. With her eyes full of tears and the darkness of the morning she did not recognize Jesus. In verse 15 it says that Mary only supposed Jesus to be the gardener. It is not surprising that Mary thought that he was the gardener, after all, who else would be in the garden at this early time of the day? When Jesus called her name, Mary turned completely around and then she was able to recognize Jesus.
Joe: Sure she was crying and yes it was dark but surely if this was the same body of Jesus she would have recognized his voice.
Chris: Joe, she wasn't expecting Jesus to be risen from the dead. She was looking for a dead body not a risen savior. I actually had a similar experience recently. My son James lives in another province. One day the phone rang and I saw on my call display that is was a local number, but I didn't recognize the number. When I answered the phone the person said "Hi". I said "Who is this?" The person said "James". I said "James who?" Then my son said "Mom it's me!" I couldn't believe that I didn't even recognize the voice of my own son who I have known for 27 years! But you see I was going on the facts that it was a local caller and I knew that my son was not in town. My expectations caused me not to recognize the voice of my own son. It turns out that my son has a new long distance carrier that uses the internet to carry long distance calls. While the connection goes through the internet, when it gets to the other end it uses a local phone number to complete the circuit and reach the intended party. My son really was thousands of miles away but his voice was been routed through a local number. I have no problems in understanding how a distraught Mary did not at first recognize Jesus' voice. She was not expecting him to be alive. How could it be him talking to her when he was supposed to be dead in the grave in front of her?
Joe: Let's go to a passage where you will have to see that Jesus appeared in another body. Turn to Luke 24:13-32. Here Jesus walked and talked with two of his disciples. Here it was not dark and they were not crying. Yet neither one of them recognized him.
Chris: Why didn't they recognize Jesus?
Joe: That's my whole point. They didn't recognize Jesus because he was in another form.
Chris: Which verse says he was in another form?
Joe: Actually none of the verses say that directly, but why would they not have recognized Jesus?
Chris: Let's take a look at the passage to see if the Bible tells us why. Look at verse 15. Notice that it says Jesus Himself drew near. It doesn't say Jesus in another form, but Jesus Himself. Look at verse Luke 24:16. They didn't recognize him not because he had another form but because their eyes were "kept from recognizing him". The problem was not with the form of Jesus but with their eyes. In verse 31 it says when their eyes were opened, immediately they recognized him.
Joe: That doesn't make sense. Why would Jesus stop their eyes from recognizing him?
Chris: Look in verse 27. Jesus started with the books that Moses wrote and went through all the prophets to show them the prophecies that were written about him. If they had known who he was their joy at seeing him would have so overwhelmed them that they would have had trouble hearing what he needed to teach them. When he was done teaching them, their eyes were opened and they immediately recognized him.