Resurrection of the dead
Psalms 88:9,10 -
Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: LORD, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee. Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Selah.
We are nearing the day we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Lord wants us to understand the meaning of it. For if we ourselves do not know what resurrection means then what is that we are witnessing unto others?
The Bible talks about 2 deaths and also talks about 2 resurrections.
The first death is the death of the body in which we live and the second death is the death of our spirit. The first death is like leaving one room and moving unto another, while the second death is the real thing.
Almost all are going to see the first death and not all will see the second death. Even after our body dies our spirit lives, thus resurrection is not our body coming back to life or our spirit coming back to life. If our spirit does not die, how can it come back to life?
Also we need to remember that our spirit does not live forever and to live eternally we need to have excess to the Tree of Life. It does not mean eating once of the Tree of Life (having it 12 fruits) we will have eternal life for if that was possible then we would become like the begotten Son of God, Who has eternal life. Keep in mind Adam and Eve had access to the Tree of Life before they ate of the tree of good and bad. The Bible does not say they ate nor does it say they did not eat of the Tree of Life.
Tree of Life or any other tree in Heaven does not mean it is a real tree, it means it is symbolic to a tree which grows leaves (which are used for healing) and also gives fruit (which gives nourishment).
Like we do a mobile refill when ever our talk time nearly ends similarly in Heaven the Tree of Life will give us a rejuvenation of life. We need eternal access to the tree of Life to live eternally therefore only those who live in Heaven can live eternally.
Does that mean then, that all who believe in Jesus Christ enter Heaven immediately on death and live eternally?
If that was the case then what the Bible talks about as 1st Resurrection (the resurrection of the 144000) and 2nd Resurrection (the resurrection of all the people of God) does not make sense.
Jesus explained the in between very well with the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man. The parables of Jesus are not just example they are perfect example and perfect in every way.
When Lazarus dies Jesus says he went unto the bosom of Abraham. Heaven is the bosom of God so why did Jesus say bosom of Abraham. This bosom of Abraham is the 'sleep' place or the place where a believer in Jesus Christ is 'gathered with his people'. It is also referred as 'grave' and 'sea' in the Bible.
The parable also says the rich man was taken unto 'Hades' a place where there was burning and this burning was not outside but inside therefore he request water not to put over him but in his mouth, since the burning was inside him. Hades is also referred to as 'prison', it is not a place where Satan rules. Satan does not rule any place other than the hearts of people who have surrendered their world unto him. Even in Hades God rules. The Angels of God are the jail keepers. That's the reason David in his Psalms says even in Hades He would find God there.
Whoever believers in Jesus Christ even if he or she is a sinner (sinned after being baptized and have not reconciled one's sins) will be saved from this Hades. That's why the Bible says whoever calls on (believes in) the Name of Jesus Christ is saved. But to enter Heaven everyone needs to go through the Judgment throne of Christ when He come back to Judge all mankind. Only those who pass this Judgment enter Heaven and those who do not go to the Lake of fire (sulphur). Therefore the judging is not of believers and not believers but of the believers, between those who tried to keep the Word and those who did not try to keep the Word.
Thus in all this what is Resurrection?
Resurrection is not about getting life but being able to receive life. When sin entered man the spirit being of man got corrupted and this corrupted body cannot enter Heaven (which is incorruptible). The price paid by Jesus made available the things which man lost (like righteousness and truth). Only when our spirit being is complete can we enter Heaven. So Resurrection of Jesus Christ is an confirmation to all mankind that we now have available to us the fullness of our spirit and now we can enter Heave. These which we lost are given freely by Him only unto those who are His believers and doers of His Word.
Therefore righteous, truth and goodness of God is not what we can earn but is given freely, but only to those who desire and pursue it.
Let us rejoice on this day as we celebrate the price paid for us which now gives us hope that we too on the Judgment Day can enter Heaven.
(It was the lack of this understanding which caused the religious people to hate Jesus and to crucify Him. So in case you do not agree with what is given please here take time and check all scriptures before coming back to me.)
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord Jesus, when we sinned mankind had lost all hope to live, but by your mercy and grace You paid the price for our sins. By your Resurrection You confirmed this to us and gave is a new hope. By your Spirit we can change this hope into confirmation. The Power of Resurrection is now in us working in us and completing all things in us. Holy Spirit we surrender to You, let thy will be done in us...
We make this prayer in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried;
23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he called out, 'Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.'
18 No one has ever seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known.
1 Peter 3:18-20
18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit;
19 in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison,
20 who formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
42 And he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
43 And he said to him, "Truly, I say to you, today [that day] you will be with me in Paradise."
3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
1 Corinthians 15:52-57
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom judgment was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony to Jesus and for the word of God, and who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years.
7 And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be loosed from his prison
8 and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, that is, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea.
9 And they marched up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them,
10 and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.
13 And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.
1 Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
3 There shall no more be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and his servants shall worship him;
4 they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads.
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