Chapter 7

The Dead Are Raised

…There are two ways that people come back from the dead. In the case of Jesus Christ, it was a resurrection. He came back in a new body...a spiritual body able to materialize in the middle of a closed room, then disappear from sight; to eat a meal and have real flesh and blood wounds examined by skeptical disciples, yet be transported into heaven in an instant; a new body that was immortal, one that would never grow old or die again.

For Christian believers, this resurrection will not occur until Jesus Christ returns to earth, at which time those who are dead will be clothed with a spiritual body like that of Jesus, and those who are alive will be instantly changed.

The words of the Apostle Paul are worth repeating: “This gospel I preached to you…that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures…”

“But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith… And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (I Cor. 15:2-19, selected versus NIV.)

So resurrection by the power of God is the future for every Christian believer. This transformation is the greatest miracle of all. If asked, almost every Christian will emphatically state that he or she will be part of the resurrection. I marvel at those who believe without any doubt that at the last days every one of the trillion cells in their bodies will be miraculously transformed into an ever youthful spiritual body capable of transcending space and time, yet they cannot believe that God will in today’s world heal a simple cancer, a simple brain tumor, or arthritis of the hands.

The Apostle Paul amplified in some detail what he thinks will happen. “Someone may ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?’ What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body… There are heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another kind…”

“So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body…”

“I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (I Cor. 15:1-52, selected verses NIV.)

Resurrection! The perishable changed into imperishable. Bodies like those of angels. We will then be like Jesus for we will see him as he is! This is our hope. The greatest miracle for each of us, but that miracle is for the end of days.
But Jesus gave his disciples the authority to “raise the dead” now!...

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