The resurrection of the dead is a miracle, a wonder-work of God that is understood and received only by faith. Unbelievers mock when they hear of it (Acts 17:32), heretics deny it (I Cor. 15:12; II Tim. 2:18), but to those who believe the promise of the resurrection of the dead is further proof that God is indeed the true God, the Almighty, the One Who does "great things and unsearchable; marvelous things without number" (Job 5:9).
Not the least wonderful thing about the resurrection is that every person's own body shall be raised. The bodies of some have long ago turned to dust, so that not a trace of them can be found. Others have been eaten by wild beasts and by the fish of the sea. Some, like John Hus, have had their bodies burned to ash and their ashes thrown by their enemies into the rivers and the seas. Yet God, who knows all things, keeps tract of each body and gives it back to its proper owner in the resurrection. The resurrection is a testimony, therefore, to the faithfulness of God, Who does not forget even our dust.
That this is true is clear from Job 19:25, where Job, confessing his faith in the resurrection, does not say, "I shall see God in the flesh," but "in my flesh." II Corinthians 5:10 also reminds us of this. There we read that everyone shall receive in his body what he has done. It is true, as the italics in the AV show, that the word "his" is not present in the Greek, but the translators nevertheless understood the passage correctly when they added the word. Certainly the passage means that we shall receive our punishment or reward in the body in which we have done the good that is rewarded or the evil that is punished.
That the resurrection is a general resurrection is part of this wonder. The thought that everyone shall be raised almost leaves one breathless, for there are billions who have lived and died. To stand in a graveyard and believe that all who are buried there will come forth from their graves (Jn. 5:28-29) by the power of God to stand before Him can only leave a person amazed at the greatness of God and of all His works.
For believers, however, the most wonderful thing of all is that it will already be seen at the resurrection that they belong to Christ and will go with Him into eternal glory. They will still have to pass through the judgment, but with a body that is already raised incorruptible and glorious (I Cor. 15:42-44) - that is already changed into the likeness of Christ's most glorious body (Phil. 3:21). What great hope that will give in the judgment!
Those who believe the resurrection, believe it not only because it is promised in Scripture and because Christ, in our flesh, has already been raised (I Cor. 15:19), but also because the power of the resurrection has already been revealed in them. They are already in soul and spirit raised from spiritual death by the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and are now waiting for God to finish that work of raising them, body and soul. The resurrection has already begun to happen to them! There is an hour coming in which the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and live (Jn. 5:28-29), but there is an hour already come in which the dead hear His voice through the gospel and live in Him by faith. Having lived by His voice in that hour, we wait for the hour to come.
- Volume: 8
- Issue: 6
Rev. Ronald Hanko (Wife: Nancy)
Ordained: November 1979
Pastorates: Wyckoff, NJ - 1979; Trinity, Houston, TX - 1986; Missionary to N.Ireland - 1993; Lynden, WA - 2002; Emeritus October 15, 2017Website: www.lyndenprc.org/sermons/
Address13823 Clear Lake Rd.
State or ProvinceWA