Unraveling the multiple mysteries of the resurrection for all
Most people seem to have a sense there is something beyond this life, that death is not a permanent end. This “sense” is expressed in a myriad of differing beliefs about life and death. Every Christian denomination believes in the resurrection of the dead, but the similarities stop there. Looking at the Scriptures we find a complex and easily-confused story of how the resurrection works. First, when we look at the word that describes being raised from the dead, it actually has a surprising meaning. Secondly, we need to ask who gets resurrected? When does it happen? Is it all at once, one at a time or in groups? Are all those who are resurrected receiving the same treatment? With all of these questions and varied beliefs, let’s see if we can follow the Bible’s reasoning.
The Old Testament has a surprising number of references to the resurrection. This tells us two things. First, it lets us know that resurrection was a part of God’s plan right from the beginning. This is a comforting thought, as it verifies the power and foresight regarding humanity God had from the start. Second, the Old Testament resurrection references tell us those ancient faithful ones before Christ looked forward to being raised. This expands our vision and expectations as to what coming back from the dead is all about. It clarifies that Jesus’ sacrifice really is for all mankind at all times.
As common as resurrection is in the Bible, it turns out it is not that easy to understand. Jesus raised several people from the dead, but technically he did NOT resurrect them. While this sounds contradictory, it actually makes perfect sense. What Jesus did with the 12-year old girl, the widow of Nain’s son and Lazarus was resuscitate them. He revived their lives to the same fallen state as they had before they died. This is in contrast with THE resurrection that happens in the last days. At that time people will be raised to life in an entirely different environment. Of course, this is not nearly as simple as it sounds. Any individuals raising will be entirely dependent upon which category of resurrection they qualify for. While this may sound ominous for some, it is not.
Check out our July 22, 2019 podcast, “What is the End Times Resurrection About? How Does It Work?” for details. We lay out the several different resurrections revealed in the Bible. We look at who is raised when, and what they are raised to. This journey of discovery brings us to an enlightened and powerful understanding of how God’s plan works. The most important conclusion is: Every human being who ever lived experiences a resurrection that gives them opportunity. This opportunity for all is based on the sacrifice of Jesus and it brings accountability to each and every person. What better plan could there be than that?
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