Hebrews 7:24-25 NIV
“but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”
The Bible speaks decisively…resurrection is not simply the continuation of existence; it is resurrection to an endless life in a transformed state of being. For Jesus, bodily resurrection meant resuscitation with transformation. That is, what was a physical and mortal body became a spiritual and immortal body… transformed by the power of God. The significance of Jesus’ resurrection is beyond imagination—it is central to our faith. The resurrection is proof of all of Christ’s claims and it is a solid foundation for our faith!
We can best understand the core teaching of the New Testament revelation on the resurrection of believers by answering three questions: 1) What do we know of the resurrection as transformation? 2) What do we know about the resurrection state?3) What is resurrection power?
First…What does the Bible reveal about resurrection as transformation?
John, wrote that God has made believers his own children and then added, “What we will be has not yet been made known;” but we do know that when Jesus “appears, we shall be like him.” (1 John 3:1-2)
Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4 provides the broad outline: When Jesus returns, “those who have fallen asleep” will come with him, and those still alive will meet him in the air. The “dead in Christ” will be raised before the living believers are caught up, and together the whole “family of God” will meet Jesus in the air. Paul concludes, “So we will be with the Lord forever.”
Paul simply notes that the resurrection body will correspond to our present body, but in contrast it will be…imperishable, glorious, infused with power—spiritual rather than natural.
Second…What does Scripture say about the resurrection state?
The answer is very little but many have found it fascinating to observe the capabilities of the resurrected Jesus and speculate what being “like him” might mean.
John noted in his first epistle…we do not yet know what we will be, but we will be like Jesus. Paul noted that the limitations of our physical nature will be gone, and, whereas we are now perishable, we will then be imperishable. Power will replace weakness; immortality will end mortality—we can never die.
1 Corinthians 15: 50-54 says, “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
Finally…What is the resurrection power?
This is one of the most exciting of The New Testament. Paul writes that “if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11)
The point Paul makes is that the Holy Spirit, the agent of Jesus’ resurrection, lives with in the believer. This means that resurrection power is available to us even in our earthly mortal bodies. Through the Holy Spirit we are raised beyond our human limitations and enabled to live a righteous life. The “power of his resurrection” at work in our lives today should be an animating reality for everyone who “believes.”
Death does not have the final victory! “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Yes, victory, even over death and the grave, has been won through our Lord Jesus, who died, and rose…and is coming again. Jesus Christ who told us…“In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:2,6)
Listen to the apostle Paul’s words on applying the truth of the resurrection of believers to our everyday lives: “Now my brothers and sisters, in light of these sublime truths, be steadfast in doing the Lord’s work, knowing that he will reward you at his coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:58) “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3:1-3)
Hallelujah, the tomb was empty so that heaven can be full!
Scripture of the day: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:20 NIV
Pastor Peter Okereke Jr.
The Living Word Ministries Inc.
Copyright Reserved, 2012.
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