With the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus coming up, what would you say is the most important message of the RESURRECTION? There are several good answers, among which is verification of Him being the Son of God, the acceptance of the sacrifice made on the cross, the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the empowerment to live a victorious Christian testimony in an evil world system. 

 

I’d like us to consider what I believe is a generally neglected aspect of this essential Christian doctrine. It is the resurrection FROM AMONG THE DEAD which is also known as the FIRST RESURRECTION or the RESURRECTION of the JUST. To make this clearer is to contrast it with what most people think is the resurrection; that everyone is raised at one time, at the end of the world, to stand in judgment. You may be surprised to learn the Bible does NOT teach this generally accepted false assumption. 

 

Jesus is the beginning and template of the FIRST RESURRECTION. 1 Corinthians 15:20 tells us He is called the FIRSTFRUITS (an allusion to the third Jewish annual feast called Feast of First Fruits). Jesus is the FIRST to rise from among the dead [Acts 26:23]. The atheist says here’s a contradiction because weren’t several people raised from the dead in the Old and New Testaments before Jesus was? The answer is YES; however with this significant difference; they all died again. Death is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. Death for the believer is to wait in paradise for the resurrection of their body. For the unbeliever it is to wait in Hades for the resurrection of their body.

 

Jesus’ RESURRECTION FROM AMONG THE DEAD is far more significant than it being just a MIRACLE, because the miracle of all those raised before the Lord declares that there is something beyond the natural laws and death is not the end. The Lord Jesus Christ lives FOREVER! “…he EVER LIVETH” [Hebrews 7:25]; “… the POWER of an ENDLESS LIFE.” [Hebrews 7:16], and “… I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE.” [Revelation 1:18]

 

The First Resurrection is complete at the 2nd Coming of Christ. No true believer living on earth dies during the 1,000 year reign of Christ, which ends the ages of time of this Old Earth.

 

During this holiday season please ask yourself the question “Am I ready to meet God?” [Romans 10:9]

 

Michael Hennigan

Ashtabula

 

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