I have often heard it emphasised by Christians how remarkable, how shocking, it was that God was incarnated as a little baby, lived, suffered and died an ignominious and agonising death.
But is it really so shocking? All of these are familiar possibilities for a being that is an 'avatar' of a God - a spirit part of God that takes on human form and lives as a human, perhaps a super-powered human, maybe even breeds with humans etc.
(Jesus is not an avatar - but my point is that the general idea of a God taking on a human form is common enough.)
Neither is it all that shocking when the incarnated God comes back to life after being killed - since all societies seem to have believed in some kind of continuation of existence after biological death (so nothing really dies altogether), posited some kind of afterlife; and Gods in particular would be expected to be unkillable.
What is really shocking that that when the divine Jesus came back to life it was not as a spirit. Instead God became a Man again, in a Man's body, and for eternity. Jesus was resurrected.
I think that this is so shocking that - as far as I can tell - most Christians still don't believe it, and have never really believed it; but instead have always tried to claim that Jesus's resurrected body was 'not really' what it seemed, but some kind-of embodied spirit.
I think it is very difficult for people to accept that a creator God could have a body like ours, eternally; and still be God. To most intellectuals, at any rate, this seems intrinsically ridiculous that something solid and unbounded might be superior to something unbounded of pure spirit; so they resort to various types of 'yes, but'... argument, that retain the appearance of an incarnate body while replacing its inner reality with spirit.
If this was so, the question is why? Why did Jesus bother with resurrection, if the body was merely a kind of illusion? Why didn't he make eternal life a thing of pure spirit?
Why go to all the trouble of making it 'look like' Jesus had an absolutely humanish body, why the emphasis on how normal his body seemed?
(An emphasis, but not not exclusive; after all Jesus was hard to recognise, could apparently appear and disappear etc; but certainly the primary point being made is that this was in some essential way the same human body that Jesus had inhabited before he died, with the same appearance, wounds etc; and it was certainly solid to touch, and he ate food.)
If we take the Fourth Gospel as primary (and the other Gospels as partial confirmations) it is evident that the resurrection was into a 'normal', solid, material human body - and that was the main thing about it.
We should not allow secondary explanations to remove that major - and shocking - fact.
The distinctive thing about Christianity is therefore not 'eternal life' in Heaven; but eternal life in some version of our actual solid human body.
There Must Be something very important about The Body, if it is to become eternal for us, in Heaven.
Note: On further reflection, the fact of resurrection has very wide-ranging implications for the nature of ultimate reality; including the nature of life in Heaven. In a nutshell, resurrection implies that the life eternal promised by Jesus to those who follow him is A Resurrected Life - a life certainly including resurrected entities, beings, things from this mortal life. Not, therefore, a life of pure spirit or thought; but a life of everlasting solid beings and objects of many kinds - thought consisting-of/ interacting-with solid things. Perhaps CS Lewis intuited this, in his fantasy of The Great Divorce?