Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (1 Peter 1:3—NKJV)

You have heard the expression, “this is an issue of life and death!” It is sad that such conversations stop at death and do not go on to include the assured hope of the believer, that great hope of the resurrection!

Resurrection is certainly a word which is hard to grasp because we have never observed it. We do hear of people having near death experiences or some circumstance where their life flashed before their eyes. Resurrection is a completely different concept.

To be resurrected is not a form of reclaiming, rejuvenating, resuscitating, reviving, restoring, renovating, restructuring, reinforcing, or anything of the sort. As glittering as all those words are, they cannot compare with the wonder of the idea of being resurrected.

The Greek word means simply to stand on the feet again, to rise (as opposed to falling). When a soldier dies he is said to have “fallen.” The simple beauty of the biblical term for resurrection is ample foundation upon which to build an understanding of resurrection theology.

Our text reminds us of the One who has experienced resurrection firsthand. We know that Jesus gave Himself as the sacrifice for the sins of men and substituted Himself in death for us by shedding His redemptive blood at the cross upon Calvary. The Bible teaches that He died. Life ceased. Nothing short of His death could redeem your soul! The substitutionary sacrifice was paid in full so that you may live through faith in Him.

There was no possibility of “reviving” Him, or any of the myriad words we alluded to just a few sentences back—His body ceased to be inhabitable. He yielded up His spirit. God the Father’s work, performed so that Jesus could once again inhabit the same body He had received at His incarnation, is called “resurrection.” Resurrection was a miracle of the highest order. Jesus’ flesh which had been drained of life-giving blood, His heart which had been pierced so that prophecy could be fulfilled, and His body being deprived of His Person when He breathed out His life, needed to “be raised.” Resurrection is a miracle which requires the awesome power of God!

While the Bible reveals that all men ultimately will be raised from the dead by God, it also declares that there are two separate purposes of resurrection, dependant upon whether the person was born again before he died. If you die in your sins, then your resurrection is a refitting of your body so that you may inhabit it for eternity in punishment in hell, away from God, His blessings, and His blessed presence. But if you die having your faith fully resting in Christ alone for the keeping of your soul, then your body is reconstituted in resurrection for you to inhabit for eternity, serving Him on the new earth.

Paul proclaims in 1 Corinthians 15:42–45,49 that the resurrection body which God will prepare for believers is strikingly different than anything we have ever known. It is a body that is raised immortally free from corruption, gloriously reflective of the majesty worthy of the Creator, for it is free from the dishonor brought by sin, fully equipped with ability and strength to serve Him faithfully for eternity, and it is freed from limits of nature. We receive a body like unto Jesus’ resurrected body (Philippians 3:21).

It is interesting to note some of the things revealed of the resurrected Savior prior to His ascension to His Father. The fact that He was recognizable, received food, retained His relationships, and had several earthbound limitations removed, all give profound insight into the resurrected state to be shared by believers!

Are you able to point to verses of Scripture that assure you that you have been born again and that your interests now proceed beyond issues of life and death to include resurrection? Are you looking expectantly for the Lord’s soon return? Trust and obey!