|Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life|
|Written by arkwriter|
|Friday, 21 August 2009 03:16|
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life
When God created Adam He “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Gen. 2:7) The King James Bible translated “and man became a living soul.” Man that is living is composed of body, soul and spirit (1 Thes. 5:23). Death is the separation of spirit from the body (Jas. 2:26; Ecc. 12:7). When the spirit that has departed rejoins the body then life comes back to the person. This is called the resurrection of the body. In the Old Testament we read about Elijah who prayed for the dead son of the woman of Zarephath and he was brought back to life (1 Kn. 17:17-24). Elisha also prayed for the dead son of the Shunammite woman and he was also resurrected. (2 Kn. 4:32-37). The Lord Jesus Christ resurrected Jairus’ daughter (Mt. 9:18-26). In the city of Nain Jesus resurrected a dead man who was being carried in a coffin (Lk. 7:11-16). The most spectacular physical resurrection recorded in the New Testament is that of Lazarus who had been dead and buried in the tomb for four days (Jn. 11:1-44). Here our Lord Jesus Christ made a profound statement to Martha, the sister of Lazarus.
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (Jn. 11:25-26)
Jesus was telling Martha that although her brother had died, he would be resurrected and even if he would die again physically, but because of his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ he “shall never die”. Jesus gives this promise to everyone who believes in Him because He is “the resurrection and the life”! Jesus is the one who is able to raise the dead in the present age and also at the Last Day because He is God who manifested Himself in the flesh. Jesus Christ is the One who controls life and death.
Our Lord Jesus Christ taught there are two kinds of resurrections. Here is the First Resurrection.“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” (Jn. 5:24-25).
Our Lord Jesus Christ reminds us that all mankind have died spiritually because of Adam’s sin. He has come to restore the spiritual life to man. Just as God had “breathed into his (Adam’s) nostrils the breath of life” so did our Lord Jesus Christ, after His death, burial and resurrection, who breathed on His disciples, “and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.” (Jn. 20:22). A believer in the Lord Jesus Christ “has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” This is the spiritual resurrection.
The apostle Paul wrote:
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” (Rom. 6:4-5)
“Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you being dead in you trespasses and uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Col. 2:12-13).If we have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and also baptized into Him we have experienced the First Resurrection. Now read what the apostle John wrote about the First Resurrection.
“Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:6)
Now we come to the Second Resurrection.
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.” (Jn. 5:28-29)
Here our Lord Jesus Christ said that both the saved and the unsaved ones are resurrected at the same hour. Jesus said that “all who are in the graves” will come forth. Not just the good folks - all of them. This passage presents great problems for the teaching that the First Resurrection is only for the saved ones and the Second Resurrection is for the unsaved ones.
In studying John 5:28, 29 with Matthew 25 and we get even a clearer picture. John 5 tells us that the good and bad are raised at the same time and go either to the “resurrection of life” or the “resurrection of condemnation.” Matthew 25:31-46 says that Jesus is coming and will gather all nations before him. Jesus will separate the people into two groups, those who have done good (sheep) and those who have done evil (goats). According to verse 46, the good receive “eternal life” and the wicked receive “everlasting punishment.” Once again, this presents serious problems for the teaching of the First Resurrection is only for the good folks.In this study we shall be concerned with only what happens to those who are saved in the resurrection.
At death, the spirits of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ go immediately to Paradise. Jesus promised the thief on the cross, "Assuredly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Lk. 23:43) The dying Stephen said, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." (Acts 7:59) Jesus also received Stephen's spirit in Paradise when he died. This doctrine of the spirit of saved Christians going to Paradise is indicated throughout the Bible.
The English word “paradise” is translated from the original Greek “paradeisos” which is derived from a Persian word “pairidaeza” that has the meaning of a garden. In the book of Revelation John wrote: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” (Rev. 2:7) In the book of Genesis it states that the “tree of life” is in the Garden of Eden. From these two passages we understand that the Garden of Eden symbolize Paradise. The apostle Paul described Paradise as the “Third Heaven” (2 Cor. 12:1-4). From these descriptions we come to know that Paradise is in one level of heaven that must be a very beautiful garden
Paradise is the place where all the saints go to await the Return of our Lord Jesus Christ. “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.” (Jude 14) These saints are the dead in Christ and are now in Paradise. Their spirits will come back to the earth to rejoin their bodies for the Second Resurrection. The saints who are still alive will have their bodies transformed into the glorious bodies similar to the Lord’s resurrected body. (2 Cor. 3:18; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 3:4) “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thes. 4:13-18)
May God bless you
This Article is based on the Sermon preached by Paul Wong
to a Congregation in Houston, Texas on March 8, 2003
|Last Updated on Monday, 24 August 2009 03:52|