Cover 2019-03-10

Ron Writes

Resurrection

Jesus was resurrected! What does this mean? He was dead, which means His spirit separated from his body. The body was placed in a tomb. His spirit went to “paradise,” thus he told the thief, “today, you’ll be with me in paradise” (Lk. 23:43). James says that the body without the spirit is dead (2:26). On the third day, his body and spirit were reunited. This is what it means to be resurrected. The body was no longer dead, but reunited with the spirit and transformed.

When you die, it’s not the same as being resurrected. When you die, your body returns to dust. Your spirit goes to paradise. Jesus called this “Abraham’s bosom” (Lk. 16:22-23). This is an intermediate place. This is after death, but before the resurrection. The New American Standard transliterates this place as Hades (Acts 2:27, 31). Unfortunately the King James translated it “Hell” (a place of punishment). And the NIV more accurately translates it “the grave.”

Those who have died, the disembodied spirits, are awaiting the resurrection. Jesus will return (1 Thes. 4:13-18) and the dead in Christ will rise first. That is, our bodies will be reunited with our spirits. Referring to the second coming Paul said, “may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete” (1 Thes. 5:23). This raises the question as to what is the difference between soul and spirit? They are used interchangeably so often in scripture that it’s difficult to distinguish the difference. The Hebrew writer spoke of the Word of God that was powerful enough to divide between “soul and spirit” (Heb. 4:12). In other words, there is a difference, but it’s a fine distinction. At this time the body and spirit will be reunited and we’ll have a “new body.” It won’t be a physical body, but a spiritual body – but it will still be a body of substance. We don’t know what this new body will be, but it will be like Jesus (1 Jn. 3:2).

We speak of going up to heaven, but in Rev. 21-22, heaven comes down to us. In fact, it’s a new heaven and a new earth. The current earth will be destroyed by fire (2 Pet. 3:12). Yet, Peter continues to remind us that “according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth.” This is where we will “dwell” (2 Pet. 3:13) with Jesus. Thus, we will always be with Him.