Fish Guts and Extradimensionality
When Jesus resurrected He did some pretty strange but fascinating things. He suddenly appeared to the men on the road to Emmaus; he appeared to his disciples a couple times, ate with them, then suddenly disappeared; He ascended a distance into the atmosphere, then disappeared into the clouds. Yet all this time he was flesh and bone – he was no mystical ghost that was “sorta there” and you could “kinda see through like in the movies.” I could never figure out how he managed this, but I could accept it. After all, he is God and he can do anything.
But there was something about his appearance to the disciples – when he ate and drank with them and then vanished – that nagged me for years. I mean, I didn’t lose sleep or anything like that, but I could never figure this out: Where were the fish guts? When he left and disappeared through the walls, why did the fish that he ate go through the walls with him? Why didn’t they just slop up against the wall and run down in an oatmeally slime trail to the floor? Only recently I discovered how it could all happen. Oddly enough to some people, I found out through a method which has helped me understand a lot of the Bible – through my studies in the sciences. It has to do with extradimensions…
Extradimensionality has to do with those dimensions beyond which we live. We all know about the three spatial dimensions around us: length, width and depth. But do you know there are at least six other dimensions beyond and surrounding us? Without getting into the technical aspects of it all, scientists tell us there are at least ten dimensions of space and at least two dimensions of time. Don’t even try to imagine them – you can’t. But I’ll try to help you understand with an analogy and then tell you some of the spiritual implications it has for us. Here’s the analogy:
Imagine there is a place called Flatland which is filled with Flatlanders, people who live in a two-dimensional world. This would be an existence which only knows left and right, up and down, like Mr & Mrs Flat. They are like stick figures who live in the two-dimensional world of this paper (or screen) you are reading; thus they cannot see you because you are in a dimension they don’t even know exists. He “sees” only his wife next to him. Because you have the gift of just one extra dimension (depth), you can do some pretty nifty things. Touch Point A (inside his stick body) and you are touching his insides without going through his skin. Touch Point B (anywhere outside his body) and you can “appear” to him in his world; take your finger away and you “disappear.” Of course, you’ve been near him the whole time, but unless you choose to reveal yourself to him, you are invisible and he is completely unaware of your existence. There are a lot of other things we can do with him which we will cover in a future article, but for now let’s concentrate on how this relates to Jesus and the fish surprise.
Imagine that Mr Flat has the gift of being able to “rotate” into our third dimension. Suppose that he has the ability to leave Flatland merely by slipping out of those two dimensions into the third dimension we are watching him from. He may slip out and above the paper, leaving Flatland and “disappearing” from Mrs Flat. He may then choose to enter into Flatland somewhere else on our page, maybe at the top, “suddenly appearing” to someone else in Flatland. Is he no longer aware of Flatland? Has he forgotten about Mrs Flat. No, not at all. Can he still love her and be near her even after he is “gone”? Yes, of course. Just because he has access to the third dimension doesn’t imply he has left Mrs Flat to fend for herself.
Now let’s get back to the real world. Jesus, being God, by His nature has access to the other dimensions around us. He can live as one of us, as He did, limited to only three spatial dimensions. But he can, at will, leave these dimensions for a fourth or fifth or sixth dimension and then reappear elsewhere. And he can carry that half-digested fish with him. He is no Casper the Friendly Ghost, a see-through nebulous being. He was, and can be at will, the incarnate, flesh and blood God who can eat and drink, and can say “See me, feel me, touch me,” but can also disappear from a closed room. And He can be with us always, even though we cannot see him. Hallelujah!
Extradimensionality explains a lot of things in the Bible: the Beginning of the universe, the Trinity, angels & demons, miracles, earlier appearances by Jesus, heaven & hell, free will & predestination, Paul’s visit to “the third heaven.” In later issues we’ll look at some of these things. They are really quite extraordinary and they can strengthen our faith by giving us solid reasons to believe.
Will we be forever imprisoned in our three spatial dimensions? Only for now. Jesus’ post-resurrection body was a sign of what is in store for us. Be patient, there is a New Creation coming.