What is resurrection?

John 20:8-9 – Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 

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The stories of near-death experiences, or of people who were pronounced dead coming back to life are revivifications, not resurrections, because those people eventually die again. Jesus’ resurrection, which is the pattern for our resurrection, means to die, return from death, and defeat death to never die again, living an eternal life with your body and soul reunited forever. 

In the most scholarly book ever written on resurrection, The Resurrection of the Son of God, N.T. Wright proves that in the first century, resurrection did not mean “life after death” in the sense of “the life that follows immediately after bodily death.” Instead, “‘Resurrection’ denoted a new embodied life which would follow whatever ‘life after death’ there might be. 

‘Resurrection’ was, by definition, not the existence into which someone might (or might not) go immediately upon death; it was not a disembodied ‘heavenly’ life; it was a further stage, out beyond all that. It was not a redescription or redefinition of death. It was death’s reversal.” (1)

  • N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003), 30–31.

If you didn’t get a chance to watch Pastor Mark’s Easter sermon yet, click here to watch it and learn more about Jesus’ resurrection. 

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