Truth, Understanding, Insight

Resurrection from the dead.

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4) The Apostles Beliefs Regarding Resurrection

The Apostles, including Peter, had this belief common to the ancient Hebrews, that in death all people are unknowing and without presence, except for the disintegrating flesh and bones. They say that King David is very dead and buried. They point to the evidence of King David's tomb where, in the dry climate, the then 1000 year old bones would still have existed. Peter says,

“Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
He seeing this before spoke of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
This Jesus has God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he has shed forth this, which you now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he said himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, (Act 2:29-34).

Peter said that David, the king, the beloved of God who was given great promises and who was called a 'prophet', did not go to heaven in any way shape or form and that he had perished. However Peter said David had prophesied of Jesus, saying that Jesus would be resurrected and would go to Heaven. Jesus was resurrected as a physical body people could touch ( John 20:27) and visibly ascended in a physical form (Acts 1).

Paul, who is a Jew, says it is the traditional belief of his people, and even of the Pharisees who were wanting to harm him, that there will one day in the future be a resurrection of the dead (this must include King David).

And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. (Act 24:15)

Paul also says that the followers of Jesus should be raised in exactly the same way as Jesus was,

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: (Romans 6:5)
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. ... But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. .. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming. (1Corinthians 15:16-23)

Paul adds some detail for us, giving us the phrase 'the last trump'

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1Corinthians 15:52)

And again Paul writes:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (1Thessalonians 4:16)

To be part of this resurrection at Jesus' coming confers a great honour.

Blessed and holy is he that has a part in the first resurrection: on such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)