Easter Sunday reminds us that Jesus died on the Cross of Calvary on Good Friday not only to pay for our personal sin but also for the whole world's sin (Jn. 19:30). He was put to death in the flesh but was made alive by the Holy Spirit (pneumati). Then Jesus went to “preach to the spirits in prison” (1 Pet. 3:18). He preached “the gospel “even to the dead” that they too “might be made alive by the Spirit” (1 Pet. 4:6). Three days later, He arose from the dead and was seen, in the flesh by several women (Mk. 16:10), his disciples (Jn. 20:19-30), more than 500 brethren (1 Cor. 15:6), James (1 Cor. 15:7) and finally by Paul (1 Cor. 15:8). Throughout history Jesus appeared in the flesh to many (including myself) calling them to follow Him. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die” (Jn. 11:25-26).
Jesus made it perfectly clear that the only hope of life after death would be “the resurrection of the dead”. He is the only one who can raise the dead. Jesus before He raises all the dead, wants the number of saved to be “a great multitude which no man can number” (Rev. 7:9). The “resurrection of the dead” was demonstrated in the “Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones” where God showed Ezekiel how He was going to raise His people from the dead (Ez. 37:1-14).
Until then, our saved dead live in a “temporary heaven” called Paradise (Lk. 24:43; Lk. 16:22) until Jesus returns. The saved dead go to“ the heavenly New Jerusalem. The unsaved will be kept in a “temporary hell, a place of torment“ (Lk. 16:28) called Tartarus (2 Pet. 2:4; Lk. 16:22-23) then move to the permanent hell, called “the Lake of Fire” (Rev. 20: 14-15).
Jesus tells the story of “the rich man and Lazarus” in Luke Chapter 16 verses 19 to 31. The former rich man begged Abraham to send somebody back to warn his 5 brothers. Abraham said to them, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead” (Lk. 16: 31). Just as Lazarus predicted, a Man named Jesus died and rose again from the dead, and people still did not believe.
The proof of “the resurrection from the dead” can be seen in our daily lives. Paul tells us, “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13-14). According to Paul, all other gods are demons (1 Cor. 10:20). There is no other religious faith that worships the one and only God (1 Tim. 2:5), whose Name in Hebrew is “Yahweh” and in Greek “Jesus” meaning Yahweh is salvation.
We are not saved by our good works. We are saved to do the good works of Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:12). If you have not received salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with “the signs following” (Mk. 16:17-20). Or if you need encouragement, please come to one of our meetings or contact me by telephone, email or mail. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we have eternal life!