So the question for today is, Do you believe in resurrection? Well first, lets look at the meaning of it which is to revive something or to be brought back to life. But in our case, as of speaking in the terms of Christianity or Christadelphianism, the word resurrection is described by three main events. Two that has already happened and one that is prophesied of happening in the future.
But there are also other resurrections in the Bible that we can look at pertaining to the plain definition of resurrection which is being risen from the dead. From these examples, we can see that it is possible to be brought back to life. The first resurrection was when Elijah was sent to meet a widow in 1 Kings 17:17-24(elaborate after reading).
Then there was Elisha. In this chapter we are about to examine, there were three miracles and one of them was resurrection. In 2 Kings 4:8-36 is when the resurrection happened. There was a very nice woman who Elisha met. He always visited her when passed by to have bread. After she noticed how often he came to visit she spoke with her husband and they decided to make an extra room in their house for Elisha to stay in when he passes by. Because of how kind she was, Elisha wanted to know if he can do her a favor for what she did for him. The only thing she was lacking was a son. So by the grace and power of God, Elisha made it happen that she gave birth to a son. A few years later, the son became sick with a headache and died in his mother’s arms. Elisha was not there at the house at that moment. So she journeyed to where he was and he came and brought the son back to life. What is very interesting in this story is that as soon as the son died she had faith that God would be able to bring the boy back to life. She was so faithful that when Elisha asked how everyone is she answered and said it is well. We see a little vexation there when she says that she told them not to deceive her but she still did show much faith.
Those are two examples of the what resurrection was in the Old Testament. In the New Testament there were a few more resurrections done in the same manner. These resurrections were done for the glory of God. It was done to show who He is and show what He is capable of it. But resurrection has a larger meaning.
The first event of resurrection that relates to the higher meaning of it was after the death of Lazuras. Lazuras was a man that was loved compassionately by Jesus Christ. As we see, starting from the shortest verse in the Bible, in verse 35 Jesus wept and from that the Jews saw how much He loved Lazuras. Jesus then had them remove the stone of the sepulchre and He brought Lazarus back to life using the shared power of God. Because as we see in the latter verses, He spoke to God thanking Him for hearing Him and allowing Him to do this miracle.
The second event of resurrection that is important is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. During the week it was part of the daily readings to read the ending of the book of Luke which includes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So I’ll be using this gospel. Beginning in chapter 23 is where we see when he was brought in front of Pilot and Herod and they were not able to find any fault in him. But the chief priests and the people around them cried saying, “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” They then convinced Pilot to let go of another man that was imprisoned and to sentence Jesus Christ to death. In chapter 24 is where we see the resurrection occur. As we see in the beginning of this chapter, people were going to the sepulchre where the body of Jesus was placed and they saw that the stone was missing and that it was empty. In verse 15 is where we see Jesus appeared in front of them. They did not recognized Him at first. It was until they broke bread that their eyes were opened and they realized that the prophecy came true. Jesus proved to them that it did. The second time that he appeared, He had them touch His hands to show that He truly was risen from the dead. Resurrected.
This was the fulfillment of something that was prophesied from the very beginning. As is says at the beginning of the book of John. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. In Hebrews 11:17 we can see that Abraham was even told of the plan God had for Jesus Christ(elaborate after reading). So was Isaiah in Isaiah 53:8-10(elaborate after reading) and also Job in Job 19:25-27(elaborate after readin). But it doesn’t end there. There are also earlier prophecies or events that related to Jesus Christ and we see that because He told the disciples about all of them as we see in Luke 24:25-27.
From these two events of resurrection we can see resurrection being explained to us and also see the setting up for more resurrection to be done. If we look back at John 11:4, Jesus knew the reason for the death of Lazarus. As He tells the people, it was done for the Glory of God that the Son of God might be glorified thereby. It was for the people to see and believe the power of God and to understand more about what was planned to happen in the future. God wanted them to fully understand the reason and plan for Jesus Christ. Verse 25 says it more clearly. He tells them that if you die as Lazarus did and you believe in Him then you will live again. You will be resurrected. Also, if you believe in Him and are not dead when He returns, then you will stay alive and will never die. That last part emphasized on the important factor in this matter. Not only will you be risen from the dead but you will never die again. You will live eternal life. That right there is the difference between the miracles of bringing people to life and THE RESURRECTION. We can also see the reason for the wordplay in the Bible of when instead of saying death it uses the word sleep. That is because, thanks to the hope we have through Jesus Christ, when we die it is temporary.
That was the whole reason for Christ’s death. God sacrificed His only begotten Son for us to have a place in His Kingdom when He returns. Jesus played His role and lived His life perfectly without sin so that his blood would cover the sins of all men that has ever lived. Paul the apostle saw how important the resurrection was and why it needed to happen. Without it happening, how else would God’s plan come true and for what reason would Jesus Christ have been sacrificed. I Corinthians 15:12-18.
That is why as we live now, we are to live our lives according to God’s Will if it is that we want a place in God’s Kingdom. He has given us an opportunity that is all set up for us. We just have to now play our role before our time comes to die. We don’t know how much longer we have left. We don’t know when is our time to die or when is the time for Christ’s return. So we have to start from now to make a change and begin to believe and follow His statutes. The Bible tells us to believe and be baptized. When we are baptized we are symbolically resurrected with Jesus Christ. Out with the old, in with the new as it says in Romans 6:1-4.
Now this whole concept of living according to the Will of God and being baptized brings out another important factor that is attached to resurrection. It’s pretty much part of it’s meaning when you look at the big picture. That factor is judgement. Judgment is the decision making part of the process of who will be given eternal life and who will be given eternal damnation. It is impossible for us to fully know who will be entering the Kingdom and who will not. Those decisions are all in the hands of God.
All we know is that the responsible are those who will be risen and judged for eternal life or damnation. The responsible are those who know of God. So if you know God then the question is what did you decide? Did you follow Him or did you follow the ways of man? So just because you know of Him does not mean that you will be placed in the Kingdom. What it means is that once you know of Him you will be judged and the after that is when you will see the results.
Those that are not responsible will not be risen. As Isaiah said, in Isaiah 26:13-14(other references Jer 51:57; Psa 49:19,20), that the other lords shall not rise again. So from that we can say that is obvious for some. If you don’t follow God, then its an absolute no. But who are we to judge who are the responsible or who is no the responsible. Only God truly knows. He sees us through our hearts and we are only able to see each other from outside appearance.
So, from all this information we first saw that it is possible for God to be able to bring someone from the dead as we looked at the examples in the Old Testament and a few on them in the New Testament. What He gives, He can take away and what He takes away, He can give.
We also saw that God had a plan and Jesus Christ was the key to that plan. We saw how early that plan was made and how it was fulfilled. But there is more to the plan that we are now here waiting for. That plan is THE RESURRECTION and the coming of God’s Kingdom. So there’s no reason not to believe it. It’s possible and God’s plans are proven to be true and fulfilling. So why no we just do our role, and as I said before, believe and be baptized.