The resurrection

SERMON TOPIC: The resurrection

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 3 March 2007


Sermon synopsis: What is the hope that all true Christians have and what are our grounds for believing in the resurrection? Will we be resurrected spiritually, bodily - or both? Will our resurrection bodies look the same as they do now? Will the wicked also have a bodily resurrection? What is the importance of Jesus' resurrection?
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Resurrection of the Body - a transition from mortal earthly life, through physical death, to a new, completely different, spiritual form of life: the English word is derived from the past participle of the Latin verb resurgere, “to rise again”. 1

1 “The Resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament” by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D. http:// Bible/ Resurrection.htm.


The doctrine of the resurrection is one of our foundational truths:

Heb 6:1-2 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.


Temporary condition

The OT & NT refer to death as “sleep”. Sleep is a temporary condition after which we expect the person to waken. Here are just a few examples:

Ps 90:5 You sweep men away in the sleep of death…

Daniel 12:2 Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life…

Acts 7:59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.

Acts 13:36 For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers…

1 Cor 15:6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

The good news is that to Jesus, raising a dead person to life was as simple as waking up someone who is sleeping. He saw no difference in the complexity of either task.

Mt 9:23-25 When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.

Jn 11:11-13 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

Temporary condition

Jesus’ resurrection

Acts 2: 22 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. 25 David said about him: ”‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ 29 “Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.

Importance of Jesus’ resurrection


Jn 2:18-22 Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.


Acts 1:21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.

Acts 4:33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.


Rom 4:25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Importance of Jesus’ resurrection


Rom 10: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

In 1 Corinthians 15 (a chapter dedicated to the resurrection) Paul shows that it is one of the 3 key components of the gospel.

1 Cor 15:1-3 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: 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…

Importance of Jesus’ resurrection


1 Cor 15:12-19 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. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 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.

1 Cor 15:30-32 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? I die every day—I mean that, brothers—just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord. If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”

Importance of Jesus’ resurrection

The membership of the Sadducees was drawn almost entirely from the upper socio-economic strata of the Jews and the majority of the Sadducees were from priestly families. As the upper class, priests they controlled the temple and had dominated the Sanhedrin in the 1st century B.C. The Sadducees had struck agreements with Rome that allowed them to retain religious and local political power in return for their support of the larger Roman political structures and control. 1

1 SOURCE: “Matthew 22:23-23:39” by Roger Hahn - CRI/ Voice, Institute ( / biblestudy/ bbmatt17.html)



Acts 23:6-8 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead.” When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.)

Acts 4:1-2 The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.




Lk 20:27-36 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection.”


The question of the Sadducees assumed that resurrection life was simply an extension or continuation of earthly life. Jesus’ response to the question charges them with ignorance of both Scripture and God. He does not start with the assumption that resurrection life is modeled after life here on earth. 1 Instead he shows that theological discussion needs to proceed from the nature of God rather than from the projection of human culture.

Jesus pointed out the error in the assumption of the Sadducees that resurrection life is simply an extension of normal human life on earth. Rather, resurrection will bring persons into a new kind of existence that is more like that of the angels than like that of humans on earth. In particular, the defeat of death means that marriage will no longer be necessary for the sake of propagating the human species and family names. As a result family relationships are transcended in heaven. For this reason Jesus taught that family relationships cannot be the most important source of meaning and identity in the Kingdom of God (Matthew 10:37; 12:46-50; and 19:29). 1 1 Ibid

Matt 22:29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

Why did Jesus not quote the following OT scriptures to the Sadducees?

Job 19:25-27 I know that my Redeemer lives. In the end he will stand on the earth. After my skin has been destroyed, in my body I'll still see God. I myself will see him with my own eyes. I'll see him, and he won’t be a stranger to me. How my heart longs for that day! (NASB)

Daniel 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. (NASB)

Daniel 12:13 “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”

Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. (KJV)


Psalm 16:10-11 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol*; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever. (NASB)

Psalm 49:15 But God will redeem my soul from the power of Sheol*, For He will receive me. (NASB)

With his training as a Pharisee (and hence belief in the resurrection) Paul quotes these verses in 1 Corinthians 15, a chapter dedicated to the resurrection:

Hosea 13:14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol*? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? (NASB)

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces.

* The NIV erroneously translates “Sheol” as “grave” i.e. the place where dead bodies are laid. The Hebrew word “Queber” is “the grave”, not “Sheol”. In the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Heb OT) “Sheol” is translated “Hades”, the term used by Jesus in Luke 16 as the abode of departed spirits.


Josephus (1st century Jewish historian) identifies several fascinating beliefs of the Sadducees. The Sadducees accepted as Scripture only the 5 books of the Torah (i.e. the Pentateuch) and accepted no doctrines that they could not establish from the Pentateuch. One of these doctrines was belief in the resurrection. 1

Jesus thus met the Sadducees on their own ground, arguing his case from only the Pentateuch Scriptures.

1 Ibid


Lk 20:37-40 But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Jesus points out that God said “I am the God of Abraham…”, not “I was the God of Abraham…” The use of the present tense indicates that Abraham still existed, despite being deceased.


The early Church fathers

The Church fathers consistently echo the Biblical teaching of the OT & NT regarding the resurrection.

The Nicene Creed (4th century) ends, “And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

In the 2nd or 3rd century A.D. Minucius Felix wrote “See, too, how for our consolation all nature suggests the future resurrection. The sun sinks down, but is reborn. The stars go out, but return again. Flowers die, but come to life again. After their decay shrubs put forth leaves again; not unless seeds decay does their strength return. A body in the grave is like the trees in winter: They hide their sap under a deceptive dryness. Why are you in haste for it to revive and return, while yet the winter is raw? We must await even the spring of the body. I am not ignorant of the fact that many, in the consciousness of what they deserve, would rather hope than actually believe that there is nothing for them after death. They would prefer to be annihilated rather than be restored for punishment.” (Octavius 34:11–12)

Resurrection & reanimation

Resuscitation - the restoration or revival of a person from a coma, unconsciousness, or apparent death back to the same earthly life. 1

Reanimation - the rejoining of an earthly body with the same soul after a temporary separation. 1

Resurrection of the Body - a transition from a mortal body, after physical death, to a new, immortal body.

After Resuscitation and Reanimation a person is still mortal i.e. they will die again. After resurrection a person is immortal i.e. they cannot die. Examples of reanimation are Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter. Examples of resurrection are Jesus and the 2 witnesses.

1 SOURCE: “The Resurrection of Jesus in the New Testament” by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

Resurrection & reanimation


Rom 6:5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

1 Cor 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Lk 20:35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels…

Earthquake Resurrection

An interesting observation by David Lowe 1 shows that in the only 3 cases of resurrection to immortality (i.e. not reanimation) in the Bible there is a corresponding earthquake.

1) Jesus

Matt 28:2-6 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.


2) The “many saints”

Matt 27:51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Earthquake Resurrection

3) The 2 witnesses

Rev 11:3-13 “And I will give power to my two witnesses… Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them… But after the three and a half days a breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and terror struck those who saw them… At that very hour there was a severe earthquake and a tenth of the city collapsed. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake…

Earthquake Resurrection

The evidence seems to indicate that when a body passes from mortality to immortality an incredible amount of energy is released, which is manifested in a physical shaking of the surrounding earth.

Eph 1:19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead…

Phil 3:20 … the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (NIV)

1 Cor 6:14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.

Matt 22:29 Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.”

Earthquake Resurrection

4) Some identify the Rapture (and associated resurrection) with the opening of the 6th seal. This is interesting because we should expect that a resurrection of this scale should coincide with a vast amount of energy being released and a resultant earthquake of enormous magnitude. This is exactly what John witnessed:

Rev 6:12-14 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place… Rev 7:9-10 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Earthquake Resurrection

Earthquake Resurrection

For those who believe in a “rapture”, or catching up of believers, it has long been believed that newscasts will suddenly flash a story that millions of people are missing all around the world. Planes will fall from the sky, accidents will occur all over the globe, and the world will be in a state of bewilderment as to where everyone disappeared to. How will it be explained? Did the ‘rapture’ just take place? Were all the people abducted by aliens? 1

The book “Earthquake Resurrection” explores the possibility that the disappearance of believers worldwide will be masked by global catastrophe. The missing people could thus be explained as casualties of the earthquake. 1

1 Ibid

Resurrection of the just & unjust

The Bible speaks of 2 general resurrections, one of the just (or righteous) and the other of the unjust (or unrighteous).

Acts 24:14-15 … I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.

Though they are mentioned together, does that necessarily mean that they occur together in time? No! There are references that put the birth of Jesus and Second Advent together, but timewise they are actually 2000 years apart. See Psalm 2:8-10; Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 61:1-2; & Isaiah 1:1-4. 1

Many verses speak of the resurrection of the righteous dead alone, with no mention at all of the unrighteous dead. When speaking to the Jews, Jesus explained the resurrection of the righteous in Matthew 22:31-33; Mark 12:25-27; and Luke 20:34-38. 1

1 resurrections.htm.

The Harvest Imagery

In 1 Cor 15 the First Resurrection is compared to the planting and harvesting of a crop. Harvesting has 3 parts: the firstfruits, the main harvest, and the gleanings. 1 There are 3 parts to the First Resurrection.

Using this imagery, the Bible presents the resurrection of Jesus as the firstfruits of the resurrection of the righteous. 2

The gathering of the Church Age saints, living and dead, at the appearing of the Lord (the Rapture) is thus the general harvest stage of the resurrection of the righteous (Jn 14:1-3 & 1 Thess 4:13-18). 2

But there is a third and final stage to this resurrection of the righteous. It is the gleanings, and it occurs at the end of the Tribulation when the Lord’s Second Coming takes place. At that time the Tribulation martyrs (Rev 20:4) will be resurrected. 2

1 In Biblical times the harvest was conducted in 3 stages. It began with the gathering of the firstfruits which were offered as a sacrifice of thanksgiving to God. It proceeded with the general harvest. But not all was taken in this harvest. Some of the crop was left in the field to be gathered by the poor and the needy. This was called the gleanings (Leviticus 19:9-10). 2 featured/ reagan/ dr8.html

3 phases to the 1st resurrection

3 phases to the 1st resurrection

1 Cor 15:21-24 … the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man… in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.


1 Cor 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Rev 1:5… Jesus Christ, who is … the firstborn from the dead…

Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

3 phases to the 1st resurrection


1 Thess 4:13-18 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

3 phases to the 1st resurrection


Rev 20:4-6 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

3 phases to the 1st resurrection

Resurrection of the unrighteous

There are many passages which teach that unbelievers will also be raised.

Acts 24:15 says, “there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.” Paul tells us how he applies this truth in the next verse: “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.”

John 5:28-29 says, … a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out… those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

Unbelievers will thus suffer eternal punishment in their bodies, in the final hell (i.e. the lake of fire):

“And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell”. (Matthew 10:28).

Resurrection of the unrighteous

There are 1000 years between the First Resurrection of the righteous and the Second Resurrection of the unrighteous.

Rev 20:4-5 They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

Resurrection of the unrighteous

Rev 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Importance of the body

Some deny the spirit and emphasize only the body and desires. They are only willing to observe what one feels and can see (today’s modernism and materialism). 1

Others deny the body or the value of the body and only believe in the supreme and pure soul or spirit (Platonism, Christian Science, Proper Hinduism and Buddhism, Gnosticism, New Age). 1

1 “The Hope of the Resurrection”

Christianity equally affirms the value of both the body and

the spirit.

Spirit Body

The world denies the truth of God’s revelation



no body

no spirit

Importance of the body

In contrast to Jewish and Christian ideas of resurrection, Greek philosophers from the time of Plato thought only in terms of immortality of the soul. 1

Paul refuted the Greek philosophers when he wrote to the Greek cities of Corinth and Philippi, teaching not only that our soul is immortal but that our bodies will be changed (transformed):

1 “The Resurrection: Influence on the Church in the First Decades” by Jirair S. Tashjian – CRI/ Voice, Institute ( biblestudy/ bbmatt17.html)

Importance of the body

1 Cor 15:51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, 1 at the last trumpet.

Phil 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies… (NIV)

1 125 milliseconds (the average time a human's eye is closed for a blink)

Importance of the body

John and Paul show that our transformed bodies will be like Jesus’ resurrected body.

Phil 3:20-21 …the Lord Jesus Christ … will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. (NIV)

1 Jn 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (NIV)

1 Cor 15:48-49 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven. (NIV)

Importance of the body

We will have the same bodies (but transformed).

There are many Scriptural reasons for believing that we will be raised with the same body that died. First, Christ was raised in the same body He had before He died. We know this because the tomb was empty (Luke 24:1-6) and because His resurrected body retained scars from the crucifixion (John 20:25, 27). Since Christ's resurrection is the pattern that our resurrection will follow, then we will also be raised with the same body. 1

1 “The Great Christian Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Body” athens/ Delphi/ 8449/ body2.html

Jesus’ resurrected body

What was Jesus’ resurrected body like? (Remember Jesus’ resurrection is the prototype for the resurrection of mankind i.e. “we shall be like him”)

He could be recognized

1 Cor 15:4-7 … he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time… Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles…

But had the ability to conceal identity

Lk 24:13-31 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus… Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him… When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him…

Ability to conceal identity

Jn 20:14-16 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Jesus’ resurrected body

Jesus’ body was tangible.

He could eat and drink:

Peter says: “He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” (Acts 10:41)

Jn 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.”

He could be touched:

Matt 28:8-9 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Lk 24:38-39 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

Jesus’ resurrected body

He could be touched:

Jn 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Yet he could pass through solid objects:

Lk 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

Jn 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Jn 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Jesus’ resurrected body

In what sense will our bodies be transformed?

Immortal & imperishable

Rom 6:9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.

1 Cor 15:42-53 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable… nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable…. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

Our bodies will not get sick, die, age, or become injured.


1 Cor 15:44-50 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body… I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God…

Our bodies will be fully oriented to and filled with the Holy Spirit.

The Resurrection Body

The Resurrection Body


1 Cor 15:43 … it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power

Our bodies will not be subject to stress or fatigue or weakness.


1 Cor 15:43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory…

Wayne Grudem comments on this: “Because the word ‘glory’ is so frequently used in Scripture of the bright shining radiance that surrounds the presence of God himself, this term suggests that there will also be a kind of brightness or radiance surrounding our bodies that will be an appropriate outward evidence of the position of exaltation and rule over all creation that God has given us. This is also suggested in Matthew 13:43, where Jesus says, ‘Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.’ Similarly, we read in Daniel's vision, ‘And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever’ (Daniel 12:3).” 1

1 Ibid

Not subject to sin

Rom 6:5-10 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. … The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

1 Cor 15:54-57 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Resurrection Body

The Resurrection Body

1 Cor 15:35-47 But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! 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. All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also 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. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor… So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.

The Resurrection Body

Paul teaches a continuity between our bodies now and in the resurrected state by using the analogy from agriculture. He compares the resurrection of the body to the growth of a plant from a seed. 1

The plant that results is definitely much better than the seed, just as our resurrection bodies will be better than those we have now. 1

But there is also a real continuity between the seed and the plant, for they are the same organism. The same seed that was sown becomes the plant that grows. Likewise, the same body we have now becomes our resurrected body. 1

But just as the plant is a result of the seed being transformed into something with better capacities and qualities, so also our resurrected bodies will be the transformation of our current bodies into a body with better qualities and capacities. 1

1 Ibid

The Resurrection Body

Romans 8:21-23 also teaches a physical resurrection.

Paul teaches that we are waiting for “the redemption of our bodies” (v. 23). Our bodies are not going to be thrown away. They are going to be renewed, restored, revitalized. 1

Also notice the context. Paul is teaching that the whole creation is currently subject to decay and corruption. Then he says that “the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption.” 1

As John Piper has said, “The creation is not destined for annihilation. It is destined for liberation.” Thus, the physical creation will last forever--in its renewed state. Since our bodies are part of creation, we must conclude that they also will be transformed and yet remain physical. 1

1 Ibid

The Resurrection Body

If you study Jesus’ interactions with Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18), Thomas (20:24-29), and Peter (21:15-22), you will see how similar they are to his interactions with these same people before he died. The fact that Jesus picked up his relationships where they’d left off is a foretaste of our own lives after we are resurrected. We will experience continuity between our current lives and our resurrected lives, with the same memories and relational histories. 1

Joni Eareckson Tada says it well: “Somewhere in my broken, paralyzed body is the seed of what I shall become. The paralysis makes what I am to become all the more grand when you contrast atrophied, useless legs against splendorous resurrected legs. I’m convinced that if there are mirrors in heaven (and why not?), the image I’ll see will be unmistakably ‘Joni,’ although a much better, brighter Joni.”

Randy Alcorn writes: “Inside your body, even if it is failing, is the blueprint for your resurrection body. You may not be satisfied with your current body or mind—but you’ll be thrilled with your resurrection upgrades. With them you'll be better able to serve and glorify God and enjoy an eternity of wonders he has prepared for you.”

1 apr08devo.html

Why bother with the body?

Why does God bother with our bodies? Wouldn’t it be far simpler to take our spirits to heaven and live forever with the Lord without any bother with a resurrection? 1

God created physical matter, and it is therefore good. God did not make it just to destroy it later. He will keep the physical world in a renewed form, in a new heavens and new earth. 1

The physical body is not some evil thing that we need to escape from (as the Gnostics taught). Jesus had a physical body, and there was nothing wrong with that. 1

In fact, Jesus was made flesh for the very purpose of redeeming all things (Col. 1:19-20). God is not abandoning the physical world--he is rescuing it. Romans 8:21 tells us that the physical creation will be liberated from its bondage when we are transformed into glory. This salvation involves the “redemption of our bodies”. 1

Our bodies will be redeemed, not discarded. Our bodies will be raised immortal and imperishable, freed from the decay that affects the physical world today. Christ has made it possible, as shown in his own resurrection with a body that transcends the limits of space and time. 1

1 SOURCE: lit/ prophecy/ resbody.htm

Why bother with the body?

The fact that the physical world will be redeemed, the fact that our bodies will be raised, means that we must value the physical world that God has placed us in and made us part of. 1

Some wonder how God could raise the same body that died when most people have been dead for thousands of years and their bodies have decayed to such an extent that the original body seems entirely gone.

Remember what Jesus told the Sadducees who questioned the resurrection: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” Matt 22:29

God says to Abraham: “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Gen 18:14)

Paul says to King Agrippa, “Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead? (Acts 26:8)

1 Ibid

Who raises the dead?


1 Cor 15:21-22 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Who raises the dead?


Jn 5:20-29 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it… I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

Jesus has promised us eternal life

Jn 6:38-40 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Jn 6:44-51 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day… I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever…”

Who raises the dead?

Why do we have this confidence?


Rom 1:2-4 the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

Eternal life


Jesus gave us the answer

John 3:14-17 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

I am the resurrection

Listen to what the one, who regarded the dead as though they were merely asleep, said.

Jn 11:21-26 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.


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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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