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Ask Donnell - Did The Resurrection Already Take Place?

resurrection

We received the following question from Charlene;

Hi Donnell, greetings to you in Jesus name. My son came to me asking me if I knew anybody other than Jesus raised from the dead. I said no. Then he quoted ..Matthew 27:51-53(NIV)…."At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to Bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life." Is this the resurrection that was spoken about? Could you give me some clarity. Thank you and God bless you

Charlene, this question is loaded. There is so much to say on this topic that I must force myself to be concise. Read my book, "I Curse Death" available now at the bookstore if you want the long answer. Yesterday evening I had a long talk with one of my friends about the notion of raising people from the dead. When is it appropriate? Who has the authority to decide that someone's death was untimely and premature. As a result, when is it a good idea to petition God to return a dead person to life?

Matthew 27:50-53(NKJV) And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

After Jesus rose from the dead, several people followed him out of their graves. Was that The Resurrection? To answer the question directly, no! However, what did happen was a resurrection. In fact, resurrections were commonplace in The Bible both in The Old and New Testaments. The power of God to bring the dead to life has been on display since the days of old. The Resurrection of Jesus was just the highlight of them all and The Resurrection of every Christian at the sound of The Last Trumpet will be the grand finale.

So how should we approach Matthew 27:50-53? There are several ways that come to mind immediately. However, I'll start with the simplest. When Jesus rose from the dead so much resurrection power was released that it impacted many others in the vicinity. That's not so far-fetched because the precedent for such an eventuality was already set in the scriptures. Take a look at what happened when a dead man was thrown on top of the bones of the prophet Elisha. They shared a tomb for a very short time.

2 Kings 13:21(NKJV) - So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet.

Here's some quick context. Those were no ordinary bones because Elisha was no ordinary guy. He had a reputation for raising the dead while he was alive and kept that reputation even after his death. You can check out the biblical record of Elisha raising the son of the Shunammite woman who had been dead in 2 Kings 4:32-37! It's a very dramatic account of God's power to raise the dead in action through an anointed man of God.

2 Kings 4:32-37(NKJV) - When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite woman.” So he called her. And when she came in to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” So she went in, fell at his feet, and bowed to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.

So what does any of this have to do with the people who came back to life just after Jesus in Matthew 27:50-53? Perhaps nothing or then again maybe not. If Elisha's bones could raise a young man back to life just by mere contact how much more could the body of a resurrected Jesus affect an entire cemetery? The power on Elisha's bones pale in comparison to the power on the body of Jesus. Not only did Jesus raise the dead during His lifetime like Elisha did, Jesus Himself is the source of all life. Nonetheless, let's see how Jesus explains the nature of The Resurrection once and for all.

John 11:20-27(NKJV) - Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

While mourning the death of her brother, Martha found hope in knowing that one day she would see him alive again at The Resurrection at the last day. It's the event spoken of in Daniel 12:1-2 that was common knowledge at that time.

Daniel 12:1-2(NKJV) - “At that time Michael shall stand up, The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, Such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, Every one who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

This is what Martha was looking forward to and her faith was in the right place because it was based in God's Word. However, Jesus revealed something she or nobody else had ever heard before. The Resurrection was more than an event that would take place at the end of time. The Resurrection is really a person and His name is Jesus. As a result, those who believe in Jesus can experience The Resurrection at any moment. Jesus described it as such; if they die, they will live and if they are alive they won't die.

That's what happens when The Resurrection shows up. He puts an end to the power of death in the lives of anyone who would dare to believe in Him as The Resurrection. When Martha believed, Jesus brought the future event into the present by raising Lazarus from the dead right there on the spot. He didn't have to wait for The Last Trumpet because The Resurrection put on human form and called his name. I can go on and on about this topic because it's the subject of my first book, I Curse Death and it remains as my first love when it comes to revelation from the scriptures.

There's nothing I love to teach more than victory over death through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He died so we could live and that doesn't just mean at The Resurrection on the last day which is what Martha thought but right now because The Resurrection aka Jesus lives inside of us. Now, with that in mind let's take a final look at the event called The Resurrection through the lens of the person called The Resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:50-58(NKJV) - Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, 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 be changed. For this corruptible must 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?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

According to what we just saw in this scripture, The Resurrection will take place at The Last Trumpet. Read Revelation 8 and you'll see that there will be Seven Trumpets signalling seven specific events which will signal the countdown to The Resurrection. At that point, our bodies will change into glorified bodies and the thought of death would become a distant memory. We'll become physically immortal. Now, here's what The Resurrection looks like when it's seen through the lens of Jesus, who is The Resurrection.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18(NKJV) - But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Think of The Church as The Body of Christ then think of The Resurrection as the complete redemption or restoration of The Body. In an instant, Jesus, the Head of The Church will descend from heaven and at the same time His Body, The Church will rise to meet Him in the air. Those who died in Christ will rise first then the rest of us who are still alive will catch them in the air. The Resurrection therefore, is really the event that marks the return of Jesus Christ who is The Resurrection. In other words, when The Last Trumpet sounds, The Resurrection will return and His return will trigger an instant change in the bodies of every Christian and our ascension to meet Him which we also call The Resurrection.

We will no longer be subject to death nor any other physical limitation including gravity, time or space. Hence, just like The Resurrection of Jesus caused many saints to come back to life, on an even higher level, the return of Jesus as The Resurrection will cause every saint to come back to life. Those who are dead will live again and those who are alive will never die. Can you believe that? Lord knows, I believe.

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