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What Will Happen at the Resurrection?
Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. - John 5:28-29, ESV
Today's passage is a sweeping picture of the authority of Jesus and His relationship to God the Father. From the healing of a man who had been an invalid for 38 years to Jesus' stirring words about judgment day, He is demonstrating and explaining His great authority as the Son of Man and the Son of God.
One of Jesus' favorite books of the Bible for understanding and explaining Himself and His calling was the Book of Daniel. It is from Daniel 7 that Jesus got His favorite messianic title, the Son of Man:
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. - Daniel 7:13-14, ESV
Far from being a title which identified Him as a mere man like every other man, Jesus' use of the the title Son of Man indicated that He was the One who would be given "an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away."
Daniel was obviously in Jesus' mind when He was teaching in today's passage. In verse 27, He is clearly referencing the son of man passage in Daniel 7. In verses 28-29, He is echoing language from Daniel 12:
But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. - Daniel 12:1-2, ESV
Jesus is picking up this language and making a few things clear:
1. The coming judgment will be universal: "All who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out."
2. The final separation will be absolute and eternal. Daniel uses the terms "everlasting life" and "everlasting contempt," which Jesus refers to as the "the resurrection of life" and "the resurrection of judgment."
3. Jesus Himself will be the judge. This is perhaps the biggest revelation Jesus makes about Daniel's prophecy: He Himself as the Messiah, the Son of Man, will be the One whose voice summons the dead to life.
So, who will be delivered in the hour of judgment? Jesus speaks of "those who have done good." He also knows that His audience would be familiar with Daniel, who speaks of "everyone whose name shall be found written in the book." This book is referenced again in Malachi 3:16-18 as "the book of remembrance" and has the names "of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name." In Revelation, it is the Lamb's Book of Life, containing the names of those who never worshiped the beast but only worshiped Jesus.
So, now that we know what will happen on the final day, the Day of the Lord, the day of resurrection, the only question is this: Is your name in that book? Does your life show evidence of it? If so, you will be delivered and you will receive the resurrection of everlasting life, to be with your Lord forever!
Prayer Based on Psalm 15:
O Lord, who shall sojourn in Your tent?
Who shall dwell on Your holy hill?
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
Lord, I know that only King Jesus perfectly fulfills the description of these verses.
But I thank You that He fulfills them for me,
that I am counted as righteous in Him.
Lord, may the righteousness of Jesus change my life,
until I reflect His likeness in my life, too.
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