The Resurrections: Who, What and When?
Jesus' prophecy of the Resurrection of Believers
An imminent prophecy of unbroken Life!
When Martha expressed her faith that her departed brother Lazarus would rise in the resurrection in the "last day" (John 11:24), she was remembering this passage,
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life...
you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age...
(Dan 12:2,13; a passage Jesus also alluded to in John 5:28-29)
But Jesus' response to Martha replaced her subdued hope of a faraway resurrection in the remotely distant future, with the hope of imminency and life, as He fleshed out the resurrection details in the John 11:25-26 prophecy.
Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies,
and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Martha had faith, but her hope was subdued because,
1. the Old Testament (her Bible) seemingly spoke only of a remotely distant far-off event, a "last day" resurrection, for her brother Lazarus, and
2. the Old Testament seemingly spoke only of a lifeless person, remaining in the "dust of the ground", until that "last day" resurrection.
Though Daniel 12:2,13's prophecy of the resurrection was true in every detail, it only provided limited detail.
But Jesus —Himself "the resurrection and the life" — fleshed out the detail of the believer's resurrection. In doing so, He replaced "subdued" hope with an "imminent" vibrant hope. What Jesus said in John 11:25-26, adding new detail to the prophecy of Daniel 12:2, 13, essentially says,
Those believers whose body "sleeps in the dust of the ground"
... will live, even if their body dies...
for they themselves will never die...
and they will be re-clothed with their resurrected body in the imminent "last day".
1. Only the body goes to the grave.
2. The person never dies, but lives on, departing from their body to be present with Jesus (2 Co 5:8; Ph 1:23)
See more on the Resurrection and Jesus, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus in the "NOTES" BELOW...
More on the Resurrection... Jesus, Martha, Mary, Lazarus...
The Prophecy of the
RESURRECTION OF BELIEVERS
Every true believer in Jesus Christ (true Christians), except for those living at the time of the Rapture, will experience the prophecy (and promise) of the Resurrection of the Righteous.
"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." (All emphasis here and below are mine; John 5:28-29; "good deeds" cannot be done apart from salvation in Jesus, John 15:5; Rom 8:7-9)
The resurrection is part of God's great gift of eternal life to His Children.
Jesus gave this promise to Martha, the sister of Lazarus, who had died and been buried four days earlier,
"I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die." (John 11:25-26)
The two statements in this promise can be perplexing. But a statement Jesus made in Matthew 8:22 aids our understanding when we read this,
And another of the disciples said to Him, "Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Follow Me; and allow the dead to bury their own dead." (Matthew 8:21-22; cf. Rom 8:10)
Obviously one corpse doesn't bury another corpse. But a spiritually-dead person does bury a physically dead person. This, then, is the key to a correct understanding of John 11:25-26. Jesus uses the term "dead" (or "die") for not only the physically dead, but in other cases also the spiritually dead.
This understanding brings John 11:25-26 into clear focus when we read it this way:
"I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live [spiritually] even if he dies [physically], and everyone who lives [physically] and believes in Me [while they are still living] shall never die [spiritually]."
Martha, in deep mourning, had just affirmed her faith that in a far distant time to come, in a remote-future day called the "last day", her brother Lazarus would be resurrected (v 24).
But look at the difference it made for her when Jesus declared that " 'I' am the resurrection and the life" (v 25). He not only raised Lazarus that very day to prove the point. Jesus also promised that all Believers "shall NEVER die" spiritually.
Both sisters, Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazarus, have been glorified in heaven now for 2000 years--in full personhood and fully conscious. No believer in Jesus Christ will have their life blacked-out while awaiting the resurrection of their body.
When a Christian dies physically, they experience something similar to what Paul experienced in 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. He was caught up by God for a view into heaven. Yet he was fully aware of the entire experience. Notice this FACT,
Though Paul could not discern whether he was in or out of his body, still he was completely cognizant and perceptive. Paul was still Paul with or without his body.
In the same way, when we die physically we consciously retain our whole personhood, which is centered in our spirit. Indeed, we "shall never die" between the death of our body and the resurrection of our body. We continue living, wide awake, in the presence of Jesus in Heaven, awaiting the resurrection to re-clothed us in our raised, renewed, and glorified body.