The resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees the believer not only eternal life, but also a glorified resurrection body. The glorified body of the believer will be like that of Christ’s. For those Church Age believers who die before the Rapture occurs, their soul and spirit go into the presence of the Lord. At the Rapture, the soul and spirit are returned to the glorified body. (I Corinthians 15:51-57; II Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I John 3:2)
We can get a glimpse of what our glorified body will be like by looking at Christ’s glorified body. First, we will be recognizable like Christ was after His resurrection. (Luke 24; John 20:26-29) Christ’s body could be touched (as Thomas did) because His body had flesh and bones. (Luke 24:39-40) Christ’s body retained the scars of crucifixion. (John 20:25-27) He breathed and carried on conversations with a recognizable voice (for the most part) in His resurrection body. (Luke 24; John 20:26) Jesus ate food while in His resurrection body. (Luke 24:30,43) However, His body was unique in that He could walk through closed doors, He was able to disappear and appear and He could move vertically and horizontally. (Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 28:9-10; Luke 24:17-40; John 20:16-29; Acts 1:9-10)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ coincided with the Jewish Feast of the First Fruits, where a portion of the harvest was gathered first and given to the priest for the blessing of the entire harvest. This feast pointed to the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and was celebrated three days after the Passover. Paul writes about “the first fruits” in I Corinthians 15:20-25. Jesus explained a parable when He described Himself as “the grain of wheat that fell to the ground, and died that it might spring to life and bring forth much fruit.” (John 12:23-24) Jesus Christ is the representative of the harvest and is a living testimony to God’s sovereignty, which says, “Because I live, you shall live also.”
Christ’s humanity was resurrected, because it was His humanity that died. (Luke 24:39) It was evidenced by an empty tomb, which was witnessed by His friends, family and followers. (Matthew 28) Religious leaders attempted to suppress information regarding the resurrection, which gives evidence that they believed He had risen. (Matthew 27:62-66) Jesus Christ is the only Person in history to be resurrected (some were resuscitated - arose and later died). Because of Christ’s resurrection, believers will also be resurrected. (II Corinthians 4:14; Philippians 3:21; I John 3:1-2)
At death, Christ’s body went into the grave (John 19:40-42), His soul went into Hades (Luke 23:43; Acts 2:27) and His Spirit went into the presence of the Father (Luke 23:46). It was Christ’s body that resurrected. His soul came out of Hades returning to the body, His Spirit came from the presence of the Father returning to the body and He rose bodily from the grave. He is now at the right hand of the Father. (Hebrews 1:3; I Peter 3:18-22; Romans 1:4, I Thessalonians 1:10)
There are doctrinal significances that we should note regarding the Resurrection. Christ’s resurrection indicates the completion of justification. (Romans 4:25) Jesus Christ becomes our Mediator (equal with God and equal with man). (Hebrews 7:25, 9:15; I Timothy 2:5) It is the “risen Christ” Who becomes our High Priest and establishes the priesthood of the believer. (Hebrews 10:5,10-14, 7:28; I Peter 2:5-9) The resurrection of Christ fulfills part of the Davidic Covenant. (Psalms 89:36-37; II Samuel 7:8-16) Without the resurrection, Christ could not have been glorified and the Holy Spirit could not have been given. (John 7:39) The Resurrection is the guarantee of Ultimate Sanctification. (I Corinthians 15:20-23; I John 3:1-2; Philippians 3:21)
We still reside in this body while here on earth, but our true home is Heaven. We are just passing though this life, but our real citizenship is in Heaven. When Christ returns for us at the Rapture, we will realize Ultimate Sanctification.
For the believer, there is going to be a change. Each of us is going to receive a glorified body fashioned after Christ’s body. This will be an instantaneous change as we are being “caught up” to meet Christ in the air.
Ultimate Sanctification will be a reality for all believers, regardless of the stage of spiritual growth. Mature and immature believers will receive a glorified body and will spend all of eternity in perfect happiness. There will, however, be a loss of magnificent rewards and blessings for those who fail to execute the Christian Way of Life.
The Biblical definition of the word “redeemed” is “to be purchased from the slave-market of sin.” There are three Greek words for redemption: “agorazo” meaning “to buy,” “exagorazo” meaning “to buy out of or remove from sale” and “lutroo” meaning “to release on receipt of ransom or payment.” All of these meanings apply to our redemption. Christ has redeemed us from the slave-market of sin and from the Mosaic Law. (Romans 7:14)
There are several definitions for sin in the Word of God: “falling short of God’s righteousness” (Romans 3:23), “transgression,” which is overstepping God’s law (Psalm 51:1-4), “trespasses,” which is deviation from God’s righteousness (Ephesians 2:1), “disobedience,” which is rebellion against God’s law (I Timothy 1:9-10) and unbelief in Christ as Savior (the only unpardonable sin) (John 8:24). Christ redeemed us from all sin.
The believer is also redeemed from the Mosaic Law, which had been distorted into a system of “pseudo-salvation” by religious Jewish leaders. The Law was never designed to provide salvation, but rather it shows the need for a Savior and points to Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament practice of the “kinsman redeemer” is a perfect example of how Christ redeems us from the Law and from sin. Certain requirements had to be met in order for a person to free someone from slavery. The redeemer had to be a relative, he had to be able to redeem by meeting the purchase price and he had to be willing to redeem the person in slavery.
By His taking on humanity, Jesus Christ became a “kinsman” to all mankind. (John 1:1-3,14) In order to meet the purchase price, Christ had to be perfect (no sin of His own to pay for). He was born of a virgin, therefore, He had no sin nature and He lived a sinless life, which qualified Him to meet the purchase price for our sin. (Matthew 1:23, I Timothy 3:16; Romans 5:8; II Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 2:9-11, 4:15: I Peter 1:18) Christ was also willing to redeem us. He was obedient to the Father’s plan for salvation and gave His life freely. Christ even restricted the use of the power of His deity (doctrine of Kenosis) and used the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all of this for us. (Philippians 2:5-8; Romans 5:19, Luke 22:42, 23:46)
Spiritual death in the Scriptures refers to separation from God. Mankind is condemned from birth because of Adam’s original sin, which is imputed to all of us. Condemnation means we are separated from God without the ability to do anything about it, and there is a debt to pay. (Romans 6:23)
This is the reason that Jesus Christ had to come to earth as a man and make the payment for us. He became our substitute as God placed the sins (past, present and future) of the entire human race upon Christ and judged them. For three hours the earth was in total darkness as God “turned His back” upon Christ while the debt for sin was being paid. This was the only time our Savior cried out. He said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Why did God forsake Him? So that Jesus Christ could become sin for you and me in order that we might be redeemed. God, a perfect being, can have nothing to do with sin. Fellowship with God had to be broken, while Christ bore our sin. After the penalty for the sin of the world had been paid for, He said, “It is finished.” After Christ paid for sin by His spiritual death, He once again called God “Father” because fellowship had been restored. (Luke 23:46; John 19:30) After Christ had made this payment for sin, He died physically, but rose victorious over physical death three days later.
Physical death means the separation of soul and spirit from body. The physical death of Christ was necessary for a number of reasons. In order for the resurrection to occur, Christ had to die physically. Christ’s resurrection guarantees a resurrection for the believer. (I Corinthians 15:19-20) Christ’s physical death was also a fulfillment of prophecy. (John 2:19) We must never forget that Jesus gave His life voluntarily and that no one person or group took it from Him. (Luke 23:46; John 10:18)
Never do we want to “downplay” the physical suffering and death of our Savior. However, we must be accurate in our teaching. Salvation is a “package” involving the spiritual death, the physical death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Without the spiritual death, physical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we have no salvation.