“… that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if by any means, I may attain to the resurrection of the dead.” – Phil 3:10-11
It’s Easter once again – that time of the year when we celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. But do you really know everything you need to know about the resurrection? Why is it significant? What does it mean for you and I? Let’s dive in.
Why the Resurrection Is Important
- It is the foundation of our faith. The Apostle Paul wrote that if there is no resurrection, then we are all just wasting our time with our Christian faith (1 Cor. 15:12-19).
- It is central to God’s plan to redeem us from sin and death and give us new life (Romans 6:4).
- It is our ultimate hope for the future (Rom 8:21-23, 1 Thess 4:13-14).
What Is The Resurrection?
To answer this question, we must first understand who we are. Yes, we are spirits, and we have bodies. The natural human body is God’s creation (Gen 2:7), but was corrupted by the sin of Adam and therefore is doomed to die (Rom 5:12). Jesus came as a regular human being but without sin, so that he could overcome the power of sin and death through resurrection, and pave the way for us to do the same (Heb 2:14-15). He is the firstborn of many siblings (Rom 8:29), so His example is our example of what we who have believed in Him should look forward to.
Will we have physical bodies in the resurrection?
Yes. Some people believe that we’ll just be ephemeral spirits floating around in the clouds of heaven for eternity. But that’s not what the word of God says. When Jesus rose, He had a new physical body (Luke 24:36-39). Thomas even had to touch the scars physically to believe it, but they were there (John 20:22-29). Many years before father Abraham was born, Job testified of the resurrection of his physical body (Job 19:25-27). Paul says the body is raised in incorruption (1 Cor 15:42).
So is this like reincarnation?
No! After Jesus rose from the dead, He didn’t become a different person. His disciples recognized his facial and bodily features. Job testified that he would still be the same person in the resurrection (Job 19:27). This earthly body will die, yes, but our spirit and soul does not. The bible says it’s like putting on a new suit (1 Cor 15:53-54). We just get a big upgrade – body 2.0, if you will (2 Cor 5:1-5).
What will our new bodies be like, then?
They will be immortal, and immune to sickness and disease (1 Cor 15:54). They will be glorious and full of power (1 Cor 15:43). They will not be natural, but celestial (v40, 44). We will look like Jesus (Psa. 17:15, 1 John 3:2).
So we’ll have physical bodies in heaven!
Err, yes, but there’s more than that. When our physical body dies, our spirit is with the Lord in heaven, but we won’t have bodies yet. On the day when the trumpet sounds, then those of us who are “asleep” (dead in Christ) wake up and get their new bodies, then the rest of us who are still alive get ours and follow them to heaven. But that’s not the end of the story! The bible makes it clear that God is also going to create a new earth for us — everything gets to be redeemed (2 Pet 3:13, Rev 21:1, Rom 8:19-23).
That sounds great. But what about now, while I’m still here on earth?
If you’re born again, you already have a new spirit that is made in the image of God. You can walk in the power of the resurrection by faith in Christ – power over sin, sickness, and even death (Rom 8:11). You get to enjoy kingdom benefits now, because you already have your citizenship from heaven (Phil 3:20; Eph 1:3, 7; Col 1:12-14). If you’re not born again, here’s your opportunity to get on board! Simply acknowledge your sins, repent and ask Jesus to come into your heart today. It’s that easy.