RESURRECTION Summary and Overview
RESURRECTION in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
RESURRECTION . The resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust, is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith, and is most fully set forth by St. Paul. 1 Cor 15. It is inseparable from the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, and gives it its necessary completion. If the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised; and if Christ is not raised, then is our faith vain: we are yet in our sins. No truth is more clearly and forcibly presented in the Scriptures, and no fact is better and more decisively proved in history, than is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1. It was prophesied. Ps 16:10-11; Acts 2:25-32. 2. Christ himself repeatedly and distinctly foretold it. Matt 16:21; Matt 20:19. 3. The precautions of his enemies to prevent it, the failure of all these precautions, and the measures taken to disprove the event, prove it. 4. The abundant, decided, and consistent testimony of witnesses who could not be deceived, and who had no inducement to deceive others, and all this in the face of every danger. 5. The change which took place in the minds and conduct of the apostles between the crucifixion and the first Pentecost, and which would be wholly inexplicable if the resurrection had not taken place. 6. The supernatural evidences arising from the fulfilment of the promise that the Holy Spirit should be poured out on them all attest the same truth. 7. The Christian Church could never have been founded without the fact of Christ's resurrection, and is a constant living proof of it. Thus the resurrection of Christ from the dead is clearly proved; and, being proved, it ratifies and confirms in the fullest manner the truth and divinity of his character and mission, shows the efficacy of his atonement, is an evidence, earnest, and example of the resurrection of his people, John 14:19, and imports that all judgment is committed into his hand. Acts 17:30-31. Among the Jews, at the time of our Lord, the Sadducees altogether rejected the doctrine of the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the dead, but the Pharisees and the great mass of the people had accepted it; and traces of this doctrine, more or less vague, we find not only among the people of the covenant, but also among the heathen, and from the very earliest times. Indeed, so deep-rooted is the natural conviction of the human mind on this point that no nation, people, or tribe have ever yet been found who do not, in some form, recognize the doctrine of a state of existence after the death of the body; and this conviction is satisfactorily met only by the simple and sublime doctrine of our holy religion, which brings life and immortality to light.
RESURRECTION in Fausset's Bible Dictionary
(See JESUS; LAW.) His resurrection is the earnest or "firstfruits" of ours. His life is ours by vital union with Him, and because He lives we shall live also (1 Corinthians 15:23; John 14:19). Christ from Exodus 3:6; Exodus 3:16 proves the resurrection and charges the Sadducees with ignorance of Scripture and of God's "power" (Mark 12:24) as the root of their "error." God said, "I AM the God of Abraham" when Abraham was dead; but God is the God of the living, Abraham must therefore live again and already lives in God's sure purpose, not a disembodied spirit, which would be no restoration of man in his integrity, but as heir of an abiding city suited to man with perfect body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 11:8-16). (See SADDUCEES.) God promised "to thee will I give this land," not merely to thy posterity. This can only be fulfilled by Abraham rising and, in integrity of parts, inheriting the antitypical Canaan. Disembodied spirits require a body if they are to exercise the functions of life. Abraham's soul now receives blessings from God, but will only "live unto God" when he receives again the body. Rabbi Simai argues on Exodus 6:3-4, "it is not, said, to give you, but to give them, whereby the resurrection of the dead appeareth out of the law." So Manasseh ben Israel, "God said to Abraham, I will give to thee and to thy seed after thee the land wherein thou art a stranger; but Abraham did not possess that land; wherefore it is of necessity that they should be raised up to enjoy the good promises, else God's promise would be vain." The Pharisees in holding this preserved the faith gleaned from the Old Testament by the pious fathers of the nation; such was Martha's and Paul's faith (John 11:25; Acts 26:6-8). Jacob's dying ejaculation "I have waited for Thy salvation" (Genesis 49:18) and Balaam's, "let me die the death of the righteous," etc. (Numbers 23:10), assume a future state. (See JOB expressly asserts his anticipation of the resurrection through his Redeemer (Job 19:23-27) (See REDEEMER for the translated.) So David (Psalm 16:9-11; Psalm 17:14-15) anticipates his "soul not being left in hades," so that "his flesh shall rest in hope," and his "awaking with Jehovah's likeness"; fulfilled in Christ the Head first (Acts 2:25-31), and hereafter to be so in His members. So Isaiah (Isaiah 26:19), "thy dead shall live ... my dead body shall they arise"; Christ's dead body raised is the pledge of the resurrection of all Jehovah's people. Daniel (Daniel 12:2): Hebrew "many from among the sleepers, these (the partakers of the first resurrection, Revelation 20) shall be unto everlasting life; but those (the rest who do not rise until after the thousand years) shall be unto shame" (1 Corinthians 15:23). The wicked too shall rise (John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:13). Essentially the same body wherewith the unbeliever sinned shall be the object of punishment (Jeremiah 2:10; Isaiah 3:9-11; Revelation 22:11-12; 2 Corinthians 5:10), "that every one may receive the things done by the instrumentality of ('dia') the body." Self consciousness witnesses the identity between the body of the infant and full grown man, though that identity does not consist in the sameness of the particles which compose the body at different stages. Possibly there is some indestructible material germ at the basis of identity between the natural (psychic, i.e. soulish or animal) body and the resurrection body which 1 Corinthians 15:44-45 call a "spirit-animated body," in contrast to the "natural." "Christ will transfigure our body of humiliation (2 Corinthians 4:10; 2 Timothy 2:11-12; 'not vile, nothing that He made is vile:' Whately on his death bed), that it may be conformed unto the body of His glory" (Philemon 3:21). The mere animal functions of flesh and blood shall no longer be needed they do not marry, but are equal to the angels (Luke 20:35-36; 1 Corinthians 6:13; 1 Corinthians 15:35-57; 1 Peter 1:3-4) The time is fixed for the Lord's coming (Colossians 3:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 20). (See REGENERATION.)