The resurrection of the body is a fundamental belief that one day all the spirits of people who have passed on from this earth will be raised from the dead and reunited with their bodies. The resurrection of the body is one of the most important and clearly attested truths in all of Scripture, extending back to the days of the patriarchs. The Bible teaches that there are two resurrections, one unto life and one unto death, with judgment to follow each. The doctrine of resurrection, therefore, rejects the possibility of annihilationism (eternal unconsciousness).

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Attestation

Old Testament

  • Job 19:25-26 - "For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God..."
  • Abraham (Hebrews 11:19) - "...considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead."
  • David (Psalm 16:9-10) - "Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption."
  • Isaiah 26:19 - "Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead."
  • Daniel 12:2 - "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."

New Testament

  • Martha (John 11:24) - "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
  • Jesus (John 5:29) - "Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment."
  • Paul (Act 24:14-15) - "But this I confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers, believing everything laid down by the Law and written in the Prophets, having a hope in God, which these men themselves accept, that there will be a resurrection of both the just and the unjust."

Significance

The fact of the resurrection is central to the Christian faith, placed on equal footing with the death of Christ on the cross for our sins. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Without a doctrine of physical resurrection, the Bible is not a reliable record, those who wrote it and follow it are deluded victims, and Jesus Christ is a complete fraud. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)

Nature

Connected to our mortal bodies

  • Compared to the relationship between seed and plant (1 Corinthians 15:35-38) - Packer notes that this continuity "allows for great differences between the starting point and the end product." ^[1]^
  • Different enough to be disguised, but similar enough to be recognized (John 20:14-29)

Transformed to be fundamentally different

(1 Corinthians 15:42-44)

  • perishable » imperishable
  • weak » in power
  • dishonorable » in glory
  • natural » spiritual

Order

The first resurrection

unto life, then Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10)

  • the first fruits - Christ (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
  • the general harvest - the dead in Christ and those alive at his coming (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
  • the gleanings - Old Testament saints and Tribulation martyrs (Daniel 12:1-2; 8-13)

The second resurrection

unto death, then White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15)

Notes

  1. ? Packer, J.I. (1993). Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, p. 255

See also

External links