Matthew 27:52-53 – “The tombs also were opened and many bodies of the saints who had gone to their rest were raised. And they came out of the tombs after His resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.” There are two kinds of resurrections that take place in Scripture: revivals to life of the same body that died and resurrections of glorified bodies. Jesus is the only person who has had a resurrection of a glorified body.
Everyone else who has been raised from the dead has only been restored to a state of mortality. This includes:
- The son of the widow of Zarephath (1 Kin. 17)
- The Shunammite’s son (2 Kin. 4)
- The resurrection caused by the bones of Elisha (2 Kin. 13)
- The daughter of Jairus (Matt. 9)
- The son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7)
- Lazarus (John 11)
- Tabitha (Acts 9)
- Eutychus (Acts 20)
All of these people experienced a revival to life of their same natural body. And all of them died again.
But the resurrection of Jesus is different. He was given a glorified body--a body that could pass through matter or disappear in an instant.
The natural body of Jesus was the foundation to His glorified body. His glorified body is a body that supersedes physical restrictions. It is incorruptible, healthy, and perfect.
One day we, as believers in Christ, will receive the same kind of body Jesus has.
The revivals to life in the passage above were a sign of the certainty of our resurrection. They foretold a greater experiential reality. The revivals to life were not the resurrection from the dead, but a resurrection from the dead. They were just a shadow of things to come.
Phil. – “He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body.”
1 Cor. 15:42-44 - “Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption; sown in dishonor, raised in glory; sown in weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body.”
At every funeral, I read these words from 1 Cor. 15 at the cemetery: “We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. Because this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality. Now when this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: Death has been swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”