“we shall certainly be united with him
in a resurrection like his.”
We’ve been talking about keeping our attention focused on what lies ahead, at the hope that is to come. One of the things we have to look forward to is the resurrection. Our resurrection. Yes, we celebrate Resurrection Sunday (Easter). That is in remembrance of the first resurrection. There will be another, this time when countless spirits will be united with transformed, resurrected bodies.
This is going to be a very big deal. Now, I’m not sure how all this is going to work. It seems there are two general resurrections, one to eternal life (heaven) and the other to eternal damnation (lake of fire). Of the first, I read somewhere that there are three stages, one that happened at Jesus’ death, another to happen at the rapture, and the last with the 144,000 witnesses. Now, I have done very little homework on this, so don’t think of this as a teaching. For now, just know that your body, and mine, will one day be imperishable, totally remade. Just like Jesus’.
It is interesting to ponder the raising of the dead at Jesus’ death. We don’t hear much about that one, do we?
Matthew 27:51-54 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
That’s crazy! Now, it doesn’t say anything about these raised people after that. Perhaps they ascended to heaven. If, indeed, they had resurrected bodies, they would have been imperishable. And, since not one of us knows of someone that is 2,000 years old, they either ascended to heaven or were not resurrected but rather raised and died again. The latter may be the case because Jesus was the firstborn of the dead (Rom. 8:29, Col. 1:1, Rev. 1:5). Either way, they are saints and will end up with a resurrected body, one way or another. That can be a study for another day.
For today, ponder these two passages:
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.
What wonderful things to ponder, don’t you think?
Father, one day, soon, Jesus will come! What a glorious day that will be. I pray that I may keep my eyes looking for this and live with expectation that He could come at any moment. Amen.
Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers