There is no greater event in the history of mankind than the
atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Having referred
to Jesus' death and resurrection as a single event is not an
oversight. The sacrificial death of the Lord on the cross is
incomplete without His resurrection.
One can preach of Christ's death on the cross with an endless
passion, but without including the fact of His resurrection the
Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15:14 & 17, "...then
our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain...if Christ
is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!"
Paul told us straightforwardly that Jesus' death on the cross
for the sins of the world would be useless to a believer if Jesus
had not risen from the grave. All men can die, but only a sinless
man can be resurrected unto eternal life. That is the promise
of Christ's resurrection for every believer.
Paul then stated in verse 19-26, "If in this life only we
have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable."
In our modern vernacular Paul was saying that Jesus didn't pay
for our sins with his blood just so we could keep what we have,
the status-quo as some might say. He didn't die so that our world
of suffering could go on the way it has. If so then pity us all,
for we have only a false hope and we are still hopelessly damned
in our sins while all the persecutions suffered by Paul and every
Christian for their faith is but a cruel joke without the promised
reward. The vision of eternal life Jesus gave to believers can
only end up one way.
He led the way for the day, "...when He delivers the kingdom
to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority
and power. For He [Jesus] must reign till He has put all enemies
under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death."
Death was pronounced upon the world with the fall of Adam and
Even in Genesis 2:17 & 3:6. Nothing ever died before the
fall of Adam and Eve. There were no preying insects, no carnivorous
animals, no deadly plants, and no killer germs or viruses. There
was no pre-Adamic world that died in the distant past, as some
The earth and the cosmos surrounding it are all under the curse
of death and it began in the heart of mankind. Corruption and
decay ruled until the moment life returned to the lifeless body
of Jesus as He lay in the tomb of Joseph (Matt. 27:59-60 &
Just as death was brought into the world through a man, so too
was its defeat to be accomplished by a Man that could cast off
its claim upon Him through sin.
We are told in I Corinthians 15:21-22, "For since by man
came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For
as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive."
By the failure of mankind's original father, sin became the permanent
nature of all of his children and so too death. Through the new
birth in the sinless, resurrected Lord Jesus Christ, a sinless
nature beyond death's grasp is in like manner forever imparted
to God's immortal offspring (Acts 17:28).
Paul made known by his writings that the dark nature of the world
he once knew had forever, by Jesus' victory, been set on a course
of change that would outshine anything that had ever been.
A part of God died to purchase and perfect mankind. With Christ's
resurrection, man and all of creation has been set on an irreversible
path of redemption and exaltation. The day is coming when death
will no longer be found, and all of creation will forever abide
in wondrous joy in the presence of the glory of God.
Speaking of His time in the tomb which would pass between His
death and resurrection, Jesus told us in Matthew 12:40, "For
as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the
great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights
in the heart of the earth."
It is significant that Jesus did not cut short, nor extend His
time in the tomb. In II Peter 3:8-9 the Apostle wrote, "But
beloved, do not forget this one things, that with the Lord one
day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance."
By the Word of God penned by the Apostle Peter, three thousand
years is as three days to the Lord. Considering these Scriptures
in light of their prophetic significance we can understand why
death is still taking place and will be the last enemy to be
destroyed by God. The Lord has foreseen the souls that will come
to Him for salvation and knows all the time that will need to
pass for them to be born into the world.
For three days Jesus allowed death to have its hold on Him and
it has been almost two thousand years (or 2 days from God's perspective)
since that incomparable event took place in 33 AD.
People of every nation have been coming to the knowledge of salvation
in Jesus Christ during this time in perfect harmony with the
prophetic picture given in John 4:40-43.
We are told in this passage that for two days Jesus stayed with
the Samaritans before returning His attention back to the Jews.
During those two days we are told in verse 41, "and many
more believed because of His [Jesus'] own word."
Since the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ,
mankind in this day has been treading about on the edge of the
close of the 2nd day when the Lord will once more direct His
full attention to the Jews during the Tribulation Period.
This equally divided 7 year period is to close out the present
age. Halfway through those 7 years, according to Revelation 11:15,
Jesus Christ will begin His reign and the close of the second
day will arrive.
The Prophet Hosea spoke of this time period between Christ beginning
to reign from the heavens until He returns to the earth at the
close of the great tribulation as the time of Israel's revival
in Chapter 6:2 of the Old Testament book that bears his name.
The prophet then goes on prophesying in the third person for
Israel by writing, "...on the third day He will raise us
up, that we may live in His sight."
After Israel's faith in the Lord has been revived through the
trials of the great tribulation, those that have died during
the Tribulation Period and all Old Testament dispensation believers
will be raised from the dead as part of the first resurrection
which began with Jesus and those that had been raised since.
These will go on to live and multiply upon the earth in the sight
of the Lord during God's third day of a thousand years.
It will be a time of incredible peace and joy, but Death will
still have its place among creation as is confirmed in such millennial
prophecies as Isaiah 65:20. Just as death was not conquered by
the Lord Jesus until after 3 days had been completed, so likewise
Death will not be laid hold of and face the eternal fire of Gehenna
until after God's third day of a thousand years is completed.
Mankind cannot yet begin to conceive of Death as being a tangible
entity that can be laid hold of and tossed into a fire like a
piece of coal, but it was not that long ago that men could not
even dream that light and time could be slowed down and even
brought to a stop. Yet these discoveries of physics, that at
one time would have been considered impossible, have gone from
fiction to theory, to demonstrations of reality.
Thus, if received by faith, we are enlightened of the reality
in Revelation 20:7-15 that after God's third thousandth year
day since Jesus Christ came into the world to redeem mankind
from sins and to put an end to Death, Death and Hades (that is,
Hell) are to be cast into the Lake of Fire along with all the
unrighteous dead who will be judged at that time.
Quoting verses 14-15 we read, "Then Death and Hades were
cast into the lake of fire. This is the second Death. And anyone
not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake
of fire." And in Revelation 21:4 we read, "And God
will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no
more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more
pain, for the former things have passed away."
Since the time of Jesus' resurrection until the day of Death's
demise creation has been witnessing the stages of the first resurrection
as is written of if I Corinthians 15:22-23.
First was Jesus, then there were the saints immediately after
His resurrection (Matt. 27:52-53), then next will be every member
of the Church before the Tribulation Period begins at the glorious
catching up to heaven of believers at the Rapture (I Thess. 4:15-18).
Both the living and dead in Christ will be changed into immortal,
glorified beings when Jesus calls them up to meet Him in the
air on their way up to heaven. They are the general assembly
and church of the firstborn in heaven written of in Hebrews 12:23.
They are the offspring of God, perfected and delivered from sin
and death in the likeness of Jesus as declared in Colossians
For this reason we are told of them in I Corinthians 15:51-55,
"Behold I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep [Christian
death], but we shall all be changed - in a moment, in the twinkling
of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and
the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall all be changed.
For this corruptible mut put on incorruption, and this mortal
must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on
incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall
be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is
swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your sting? O Hades,
where is your victory?"
All of this and blessings beyond measure are every believers
because God, our Great Maker, Who loves us with an everlasting
love, died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the
grave (see Isa. 9:6, Jn. 1:10, Gen. 1:1 & Col. 1:13-20).
This moment you can receive forgiveness for all your sins by
simply believing in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ and being like
the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:9-10, "...be found
in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law,
but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness
which is from God by faith; that I might know Him and the power
of His resurrection..."