Today's Foundations Devotional: Christ calls sinner to resurrection
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each
one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are
Christ’s at His coming.
(1 Corinthians 15:22-23)
Yesterday we read John 5:25: “Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.”
Jesus is here speaking about the response of those who are dead in sin to the voice of Christ, brought to them through the preaching of the gospel: “those who hear will live.” That is, those who receive the gospel message with faith will thereby receive forgiveness and eternal life.
This is confirmed by the fact that Jesus says, “The hour is coming, and now is.” That is to say, the preaching of the gospel to men dead in sins had already commenced at the time that Jesus spoke these words. We notice the contrast between this and the words of Jesus in John 5:28-29.
The hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
This passage differs from the previous one in three main respects. First, Jesus says, “The hour is coming,” but He does not add, “and now is.” That is to say, the events of which Jesus here speaks are still entirely in the future; they have not yet begun to be fulfilled.
Second, Jesus uses the phrase “all who are in the grave.” This clearly refers to those who have actually died and been buried. Furthermore, He says that all these, without exception, will hear; whereas in the previous passage, concerning the dead, He indicated that only some would hear, not all. Third, in this second passage Jesus actually uses the word resurrection.
He says that all those in the graves will “come forth ... to resurrection.” We conclude therefore that in the first passage Jesus is speaking about the response of those who are spiritually dead in sin; while in the second passage He is speaking about the literal resurrection of those who have actually died and been buried.
In this second passage Jesus speaks about two distinct aspects of resurrection:
1) the resurrection of life
2) the resurrection of condemnation
This agrees with the revelation of the Old Testament in Daniel 12:1-3. In each case the resurrection is spoken of in two distinct phases, that of the righteous and that of the wicked; and in each case the resurrection of the righteous precedes that of the wicked.
In addition, we learn from the words of Jesus one further point not revealed in Daniel: The voice that will call all the dead forth to resurrection will be that of Christ Himself, the Son of God.
O Lord Jesus, what a wonderful revelation that it will be Your voice that
brings us to life from the grave; we can hardly imagine that we will hear
and recognize Your voice. What a wonderful day that will be! Amen.