The word resurrection appears in the New Testament 41 times.  If we read all the passages and the context in which they appear, we realize that there are two types of resurrections.  One is a resurrection in which the life of the person is restored.


Resurrection of Lazarus

In this type of resurrection the risen people have a material body the same as they had before.  Their life is restored, but their body is still the same body -- a material body that ages, gets sick and finally dies.  One example is the resurrection of Lazarus.

 John 11:43-44 ...'Lazarus, come on out!'  The man that had been dead came out with his feet and hands bound with wrappings, and his countenance was bound about with a cloth.  Jesus said to them:' Loose him and let him go.'

A second example is the resurrections mentioned after the resurrection of Christ.
Matthew 27:53
and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

A third example is the resurrection of Tabitha.
 Acts 36-42 ..Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, "Tabitha, get up." She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.  He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive. 


The other type of resurrection is a resurrection to an incorruptible spiritual body that does not get sick or dies (a better resurrection). It will occur after the battle of Armageddon, at the second coming of Christ, and is called the First Resurrection. 

Reading the rest of the passages we arrive at the following conclusions:

1. Jesus preached the resurrection from the dead. 

John 11:24
Martha *said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."
John 11:25
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone that is living that believes in me will not die into the age [forever].  Do you believe this?

2. It is the hope of the faithful.

Luke 20:37
"But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the burning bush, where he calls the Lord THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC, AND THE GOD OF JACOB.
Luke 20:38
"Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him."
Acts 24:15
having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
Philippians 3:11
in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
1 Peter 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 3:21
Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

3. Jesus' apostles were witnesses of His resurrection.

Acts 1:22
beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us--one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.

4.  In the first resurrection, we will be like the angels in heaven which:

a. Do not marry.

Matthew 22:30
For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Luke 20:35
but those who are considered worthy of the world to come and the
resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage;

b. Never die.

Luke 20:36
for they cannot even die anymore, because they are like angels, and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

c. Do not perish. 

1 Corinthians 15:42
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body
Romans 6:5
For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection

d. The second death has no power over them.

Revelation 20:6
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

5   There will be two resurrections

a. A resurrection of life (the first resurrection, the resurrection of the righteous)

Revelation 20:4 
...and they came to life and ruled as kings with the Christ for a thousand years.
Hebrews 11:35 ...and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection

b. A resurrection of judgment (the second resurrection which occurs after the millennium)

John 5:29
and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

6  The resurrection was the most important teaching of Christ.

Acts 4:33
And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.
Hebrews 6:2
of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

7. Christians were persecuted because of their belief in the resurrection.

The teaching of the resurrection was so extraordinary that the apostles were ridiculed and persecuted.

Acts 4:2

being annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

Acts 17:18
And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, "What would this idle babbler wish to say?" Others, "He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,"--because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
Acts 17:32
Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, "We shall hear you again concerning this."
Acts 23:6
But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, "Brethren, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and resurrection of the dead!"
Acts 24:21
other than for this one statement which I shouted out while standing among them, 'For the resurrection of the dead I am on trial before you today.' 
Acts 26:23
that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He would be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles."

8. There were differences of creed regarding the resurrection.

Matthew 22:23
On that day some Sadducees (who say there is no resurrection) came to Jesus and questioned Him,
Luke 20:27
Now there came to Him some of the Sadducees (who say that there is no resurrection)
1 Corinthians 15:12
Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1 Corinthians 15:13
But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised.
Acts 23:8
For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, nor an angel, nor a spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.
1 Corinthians 15:21
For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.

9  Jesus followers obtain their reward at the time of the resurrection.

Luke 14:14
and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Matthew 16:27
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Fatherís glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

10 The resurrection of Christ was prophesied by King David.

Acts 2:31, Psalms 16:9-11
he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that HE WAS NEITHER ABANDONED TO HADES, NOR DID His flesh SUFFER DECAY.


King David

11 Jesus was empowered after His resurrection.

Romans 1:4
who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Therefore, the hope of the followers of Jesus is not going to heaven, it is being resurrected from the dead into a spirit body which cannot die.

The belief that we already have an eternal soul that never dies is a fallacy started in the Garden of Eden by Satan himself.  That is the way he deceived Eve into eating the forbidden fruit Genesis 3:4-5...'You will not surely die,' the serpent said to the woman. ' For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God'

Humans die, just as animals die.  Death means a state similar to sleep, not being aware of your surroundings.  The idea that we continue living with a different body in another place is not scriptural!  Jesus never promised anybody that!  In contrast, Jesus preached over and over about the hope of living again at the end of the age, by a resurrection to life.

When Lazarus was resurrected to life by Jesus, Lazarus was not brought down from heaven back into this earth to live in a mortal body.  There is no account of such a thing.  Why would Jesus bring Lazarus ....or anybody else...back to life, if that individual was already "in heaven with God"?   There is no teaching by Jesus that we should be happy when somebody dies because that person is already in heaven with God.  The "dearly departed" are not with God in heaven.  They are dead, and will stay dead until God resurrects them.

The truth of the matter is that death is death.  And people cry and mourn their dead relatives and friends -- because they know that person is gone.  Even Jesus wept when Lazarus died.  John 11:35 "Jesus gave way to tears."  Our hope is in the resurrection; just as Jesus was resurrected so will we.  Once we believe this, then there is no fear of what anybody could do to us.  We know we are conquerors, just as Jesus is.

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