Kingdom Principle: Resurrection is- life over death and then- life after death.
Ezekiel 37:1-14 Psalm 130 Romans 8:6-11 John 11:1-45
Being sentenced to life in prison is a death sentence. But we say “they got life” in much the same way being born in this world is a death sentence. We call it “life”, but truly the moment you begin to breathe, the clock begins to tick moving you closer to death. However, God is in the business of resurrection! Humanity is in need of being brought to life. Since the Garden of Eden the power of death entered and ruled the lives of humanity. Through the Cross of Christ the power of death has been overcome. Those who turn to Christ and the call upon the Power which raised Him from the dead, the Spirit of Christ is given to them. Those who are filled with the Holy Spirit, life and awakening has been called unto their spirit. Once life is given to your spirit, your eyes are open to see the Kingdom of light, you seek to live pleasing God alone, and you are no longer a slave to sin but rather a slave to righteousness. Further once life is given to your spirit, your flesh no longer rules over you, meaning you are no longer governed by the power of death. Living in the realm of the spirit is made possible only by the power of the Holy Spirit living in you. This is the first resurrection, and it is life over death.
Therefore there are two resurrections which are celebrated in each believer’s life. The first resurrection is the resurrection of the spirit. (Rev. 20:1-6 speak of a first resurrection in connection to a 1000 year reign… I see this as taking place now in the present age vs. the age to come.) Because of Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12) – our spirit died, it was not removed, rather torn and left in a depraved lifeless state, resulting in our separation from God. (Isaiah 59:2, Romans 5:8, 6:23, 1 Cor. 15:21) God is spirit and he comes to awaken us from our slumber and in this we must born again from above. (John 1:18, 3:3-5, 4:24) This is the first resurrection.
Being ruled by the flesh is the natural state of humanity. (Eph. 2:3, 2 Peter 1:3-4) There are two extremes often identified in those who live ruled by the flesh. The extremes are living for the gratification of the flesh, or the mutilation of the flesh. Gratification of the flesh is associated with sinful and lustful living. (Gal. 5:16-21) Mutilation of the flesh is when humanity seeks to control the urges of the flesh through legalism and discipline. (Gal 6:12-12, Phil 3:2) These to extremes are best portrayed in the Story of the Prodigal God and the Lost Sons of Luke 15. There is nothing in the Scriptures that tells us of the faith of Lazarus, only his sisters – if he was ruled by his flesh and not by the spirit, when his body died; there was not life in his spirit. I surmised that Lazarus lived by the law and was captive by the lure to “control” and therefore mutilated the flesh. Therefore his resurrection was a spiritual resurrection, with physical implications… meaning that when he physically died, he was never spiritually alive. Therefore when Jesus called him from the dead – he was calling him spiritually alive not physically. This is why he was still wearing his grave clothes, and why Jesus left his behind.
The second resurrection is actually a physical resurrection. In this resurrection grave clothes no longer fit. The second must follow the first. This resurrection in us is the resurrection of the body at the second coming of Christ. (see further details below of this) Lazarus did not have a resurrected body, for he remained bound in the body, and would eventually die in the body. Again contrast this with Jesus, his first resurrection was in that he was born of the Spirit in coming to earth. Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin… his life was ruled by the spirit, he overcame death in coming to earth, not after the cross – and this is the transformation which we all must seek. His second resurrection took place after the cross, and it was a resurrection of the body. (Luke 24:4-7, 36-39) Our first resurrection is being born again in this we overcome death, our second resurrection is the physical resurrection that comes after we pass through death and await the culmination of all things in Christ. We see both resurrections in Jesus, in our lives we only see the first and expectantly hope for the second.
The sickness of this world is in believing that living in the flesh is life at all. It is not! (Go watch The Matrix) Life begins not at birth, but at re- birth. It is actually death that begins in birth, for you are always dying, until the power of death is overcome in you. Then and only then does death have no sting. One more time – just so you got it – The dry bones of the valley in Ezekiel and of tomb of Lazarus, represent the need for spiritual resurrection (1st ). What was dead is being called to life. Whereas in the physical resurrection (2nd) , that which is alive spiritually is being matched with a physical vessel which will no longer be corruptible. (1 Cor. 15:42) The power of the Spirit filling and overcoming death is the first resurrection, the power of the Spirit creating a new heaven and a new earth – in which we are physically resurrected, is the second. (Phil 3:1-21)
A key component to resurrection is Hope, which is based on the promises of God. Here is few things you can do to increase your hope and take in a more full understanding of your resurrection:
1. Read, Memorize and Meditate on the Scriptures. Hope is based on past promises, not future desires. Simply reading all the scriptures in this post is a good place to start, even better is to read 1 & 2 Peter – the address clearly the season of lent and the movement for death to life.
2. “Watch” rather than “Wait” for the Lord to move. When we watch for the movement of the Lord, we see where God is moving and we can join Him. When we wait for the movement of the Lord, we miss it or the movement of God simply passes us by. The difference here is one of Faith – do you believe God is moving and working, or are you waiting for God to prove himself.
3. Believe in the redemption of your life. This was reviewed last week as the power of light over the darkness. This is the act of redemption and forgiveness, expressed in confession and thanksgiving.
More on the Resurrection of the Body: taken from a previous post:
I believe in a physical resurrection, meaning our bodies will be raised. I cannot and will not attempt to explain this mystery here – but resurrection is certainly not merely a spiritual experience. (1 Cor. 15:20, 51-54, 2 Cor. 5:1-5, Phil. 3:20-21) What is more is that after the return of Christ, and the resurrection (Acts 24:15, 1 Thess. 4:15-17) there will be a final judgment. (Matt. 24: 3-31; John 5:21-30, 6:39-54, 12:47-48)This judgment will be the final act of all that was in “this age” including the power and thwarting efforts of Satan and those who followed his ways will be cast into the lake of fire. (Rev. 20:10-15) And one final note – that Eternal life beings in this present age, not in the age to come. (Luke 17:21, John 17:3)