Sunday, August 23, 2015
The Resurrection of Our Bodies
The miracle of the Resurrection was the sign which Christ Himself promised as the proof of His divine mission. Had He failed to return to life on the third day, He would have been convicted of being an imposter. His enemies, the priests and Pharisees, understood full well the importance of this sign. Therefore, they took precautions to seal the tomb and post the guards. Since these arrangements excluded the possibility of fraud, they thereby increased for posterity the certainty of the miracle.
“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”
New Testament prophecy clearly reveals a judgment day at the end of time when all men, good or evil, will be reunited with their bodies in preparation for the final judgment. But where is the temporary location of the spirits of the departed?
Sheol is a Hebrew word, used in the English translation of the Old Testament, which means the abode or dwelling of the dead. Hades is a Greek word, used in the English translation of the New Testament, which means the resting place of the dead. It’s fair to say the two words are synonymous.
Hell can be defined as the location of the spirits of the dead. It can also be defined as the “lake of fire” where unbelievers will be eternally tormented after the Day of Judgment.
Therefore, it is opined that the place, variously referred to as Sheol, Hades, and Hell (in the first sense), was divided into two abodes, one a holding cell for the wicked and the other a place of comfort for the righteous.
Scriptural evidence supporting the resurrection of our bodies is as follows:
“And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth shook; and the rocks were split, and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many.
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.
“But as for you, go your way to the end of your life; then you will enter into rest and rise again for your allotted portion at the end of the age.”