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Looking for a Better Resurrection

07 May
Better Resurrection

from Bing Images

Arguably, one of the most difficult barriers to accepting an AD 70 Second Coming of the Lord would be there wasn’t a visible resurrection. If the resurrection did occur, what should it have looked like? Should we have looked for the physical graves to open and the bodies of the dead to rise to life—physically? If the dead ones were raised to a physical life, shouldn’t they be living on earth today or, if not, shouldn’t they have died a second time long ago? If the dead ones were raised to a spiritual, eternal life, what would that have looked like, physically speaking? Was the resurrection of Jesus actually witnessed by anyone? Certainly we have the scriptures telling us that an angel of the Lord descended and took away the stone, and for fear of **him** the keepers shook (Matthew 28:2-4), but did the keepers of the grave actually **see** Jesus rise out of the tomb? If they did, why does scripture tell us that Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9).

Remember, all three futurist groups believe that Jesus will one day return to earth from heaven in a physical body and reign in a physical Kingdom on earth. However, how would this fit into the hopes of a “better resurrection” held by the saints of the Old Testament (Hebrews 11:35)? Those, who did receive their loved ones back from the dead, received them physically, and those same loved ones later died again (cf. 1Kings 17:17-23; 2Kings 4:18-37), just as was true of Lazarus in the New Testament (John 11:38-44) and Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:35-43). The better resurrection, then, should point to a spiritual resurrection to eternal life, not simply a physical, temporary life. Should it not?

Not only did the elect under the Old Testament look for a better resurrection, they looked for a better country, i.e. a spiritual or a heavenly country (Hebrews 11:16), and, because they did, God prepared for them a spiritual or a heavenly city, whose builder and maker was God (Hebrews 11:10, 16; cf. Revelation 21:1-3). How do we fit such a country, such a city, into the physical Kingdom the futurists predict will arrive at a yet future Second Coming of Jesus? These Old Testament saints saw the promises afar off, were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were “strangers and pilgrims” upon the earth (Hebrews 11:13). Jesus said that what Abraham looked forward to was his, that is, Jesus’ day (John 8:56). Yet, nearly 2000 years after Jesus’ day the futurists tell us that Abraham and all the Old Testament saints will receive the Kingdom of God in the place where they confessed they were strangers and pilgrims! So, how do Abraham’s and the Old Testament saints’ eschatological hope fit into the hope the futurists tell us to look for?

To sum up so far, we are told the Old Testament saints embraced the promises and looked for their fulfillment afar off (Hebrews 11:13), which Jesus tells us would occur in his day or generation (John 8:56, cf. Matthew 16:28). They looked for a heavenly (spiritual) not an earthly (physical) country (Hebrews 11:16), a heavenly (spiritual) not an earthly (physical) city, whose Founder and Creator is God (Hebrews 11:10, 16; cf. Revelation 21:1-3). Finally, they looked for a better resurrection, not a physical one (cf. 1Kings 17:17-23; 2Kings 4:18-37), but an eternal (spiritual) resurrection (Titus 1:2; 3:7), but when would these things occur?

Isaiah 25 foretold of a day when the Lord would destroy a walled city (Isaiah 25:1-2). On that day, the Lord would prepare a banquet for all people (Isaiah 25:6), and this would be the time when “he would swallow up death for all time” (Isaiah 25:8). Jesus spoke of a banquet in which Abraham and the Old Testament saints would attend (Matthew 8:11), but it would also be a time when the sons of the Kingdom would be cast out (Matthew 8:12).

This appears to be speaking of the time when the Lord came in the clouds of judgment (Matthew 26:64) to judge Jerusalem and destroy the Temple in the person of Titus, the Roman general and his armies. The walled city was destroyed. The Lord made a banquet for all peoples, which occurred at the time of the resurrection of the dead, that is, when the Lord swallowed up death in victory (Isaiah 25, 2, 6, 8; 1Corinthians 15:54-56) on the day the Old Covenant was formerly abolished.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2018 in 70 AD Eschatology

 

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