More on Resurrection
Philippians 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
Last week we touched a bit about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today we will be talking more about the details and I would say more specific information about the resurrection. I honestly think that the resurrection is one of the causes of rejoicing of Paul. He knows that if he dies, he will be resurrected by the Lord. Before I start this message let me give you Biblical examples of people resurrected or raised from the dead.
Illustration 1: Accounts of People Raised from the Dead
1. Elijah raised the son of the Zarephath widow from the dead (1 Kings 17:17-22).
2. Elisha raised the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead (2 Kings 4:32-35).
3. A man was raised from the dead when his body touched Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20, 21).
4. Many saints rose from the dead at the resurrection of Jesus (Matt. 27:50-53).
5. Jesus rose from the dead (Matt. 28:5-8; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:5, 6).
6. Jesus raised the son of the widow of Nain from the dead (Luke 7:11-15).
7. Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Luke 8:41, 42, 49-55). 8. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44).
9. Peter raised Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-41).
10. Eutychus was raised from the dead by Paul (Acts 20:9, 10). (J. L. Meredith, Meredith’s Big Book of Bible Lists, (Inspirational Press, NY; 1980), p. 115).
I. General idea about resurrection
A. There are two main ideas about resurrection in general
1. Resurrection of the dead. This is for Christians. This is the first resurrection of believers to be with God
2. Resurrection from the dead. This is the resurrection of non-Christians to face judgments.
II. More Details:
A. Resurrection means to be raised from the dead (John 5:28, 29). The word is used in different contexts in the Bible. Lazarus was raised from the dead (John 11:43). This is a resurrection, but it is not part of the resurrection that will occur when we receive our new bodies when Christ returns (1 Thess. 4:13-18), on the last day (John 6:39-44) when the last trumpet is blown (1 Cor. 15:51-55). Lazarus died again.
B. The resurrection of Jesus is promissory in that as we know He was raised, so we will be raised also. In reality, Jesus is the first to have a resurrected body. That is why He is called the first-fruit from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20-23). We will receive our new bodies at the rapture.
C. Some have argued that the doctrine of a bodily resurrection was unknown to the Israelites of the Old Testament. However in the gospels, this denial was an important doctrine of the sect of the Sadducees at the time of Christ (Matthew 22:23). They don’t believe in bodily resurrection.
III. The different resurrections.
A. There will not be one general resurrection. There are at least four different resurrections spoken of in the Bible:
1. The resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:20). The O.T. feast of first fruits was a picture of Christ’s resurrection as the first fruit of those who sleep in death (Lev. 23:9-14).
2. The resurrection of N.T. believers at the Rapture (1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:13-17).
3. The resurrection of Israel and O.T. saints at the coming of Christ (Dan. 12:1-3,13; Re 20:4-6).
4. The resurrection of the unsaved dead following the Millennium (Rev. 20:515). The saved shall be raised to eternal glory; the unsaved to eternal punishment and shame (Jn. 5:28-29).
IV. Historical Background:
A. Probably the oldest book in the OT is the book of Job. Yet Job knows about resurrection. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25, 26). Daniel knows about resurrection also. “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2). Such promises were not referring to some unclear “immortality of the soul,” as taught in pagan religions, but to resurrection of the body!
B. Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour must become man, dies for the sins of the world, and defeat death by His own bodily resurrection. When Jesus rose from the dead, “the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many” (Matthew 27:52,53).
C. Then, when Jesus ascended to heaven, He led those who had been in “captivity” in the grave with Him into heaven (Ephesians 4:8). All who have trusted Christ in the Christian era will likewise be raised from the dead when He comes again. He has defeated death and has promised, “because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19).
V. Transformed Body
A. It is a real, physical body (Lk. 24:36-43).
B. It is an incorruptible body (1 Cor. 15:42). It is not subject to decay and infirmity.
C. It is a glorified body (1 Cor. 15:43). This speaks of the kingly glory of the resurrected Christ in which the believer will share.
D. It is a spiritual body (1 Cor. 15:44). This does not mean the resurrection body is not physical, which would contradict the entire testimony of Scripture; it means the resurrection body is not natural like man’s present body. 1 Cor. 15:44 contrasts the natural body with the spiritual body. Both are real bodies, but they are different types of bodies. In man’s present condition, man’s spirit is subject to the body to a large degree; in the resurrection, the spirit will control the body. Of the cherubim, the Scripture says, “Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went” (Ezek. 1:20). This will be true for the resurrected believer.
E. It is an immortal body (1 Cor. 15:53). This means it is not subject to death. (WOLE by D. Cloud).
One of the question I’ve been thinking is that during the rapture when the dead in Christ will rise first, is, will the graves of the saved be opened also just like when the Lord Jesus resurrected? Will the dead just pass through the concretes, granites, etc.? If not then open graves will add more to the chaos and confusion to those that are left behind.
VI. Spiritual Resurrection
A. The N.T. also teaches a spiritual resurrection. This happens when a person is born into God’s family by faith in Christ’s blood. Such a person is raised spiritually with Christ and seated with Him at the right hand of God in Heaven (Rom. 6; Eph. 2:4-6).
VII. Paul will do everything
A. If by any means. Implying, that he meant to make use or do anything in his capacity to obtain his objective
B. Paul knows that all man will be resurrected but the resurrection of the dead which is the resurrection of the righteous to be with the Lord in heaven was his desire. Paul wants—to secure it at any cost or sacrifice.
As we have seen last week resurrection is what sets Christianity apart from the others. There will be resurrection of the righteous and resurrection of the wicked. You have to choose which one you want. Choose life, choose Christ.