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Special Lectures
Lecture 15 : [Resurrection 1] The Biblical Concept of Life and Death and the Meaning of Resurrection
Date created : 2014-12-11/ Views : 1070
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Resurrection 1 
Lecture 15 – The Biblical Concept of Life and Death and the Meaning of Resurrection 


Welcome to our session on the meaning of resurrection. I’m your host, Dr. Tyler Hendricks. 
In the last session, we learned that John the Baptist’s ignorance and disbelief in Jesus brought about so much suffering for Jesus and all humanity. We can’t blame John or the people of his times; it is not easy to recognize the Messiah. How I can recognize his return? To answer this, let’s start with what happened right after the cross, that is resurrection. 

When we think of resurrection, we usually think about returning from the dead, physical resurrection. Interestingly, ‘physical resurrection’ was not a traditional Jewish teaching. At the time of the Old Testament writing, the Jews were under the control of Persia, which followed Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism had a great impact in formation of Judaism. The concept of evil spirits, satan, angels, physical resurrection, the final judgment, heaven and hell came from Zoroastrianism. Some Jews accepted these; others did not. 
 “Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and questioned Him" (Mark 12:18).  “For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. (Acts 23:6-9)” 
For us as well, the idea of resurrection tests our commitment to science. If we are to interpret the Bible literally, when Jesus resurrects, the bodies of the saints buried under the soil will rise up to its original form. (1 Thess 4:16; Matthew 27-52). This makes no sense to a modern person, so how can a reasonable person believe in this religion? The Unification Principle sorts this out by careful reading of the Bible based on the Principle. Resurrection means to come back to life again, so let us begin by analyzing what we mean by “life” and by “death” as presented in the Bible. (please move position)

To come back to life implies that one had died, so we point out that the Bible has two different concepts of death. In Luke 9:60, when a follower asks Jesus for permission to go and bury his dead father, Jesus says "Let the dead bury their own dead”. The “dead” who is being buried is physically dead, and that’s one meaning of death. In regards to this nature of death, life simply means biological functioning of the body. The “dead” who are doing the burying are obviously not physically dead. Then why did Jesus call them “dead”? (please move position)

In the Book of Revelation 3:1, Jesus said to the unfaithful church in Sardis, “I know your works, and you have the name of being alive and you are dead.” From this, we can infer that “dead” refers to those who have rejected Jesus, those who have departed from God’s love and are living under the influence of Satan. It means they are spiritually dead. The ‘living’ from this point of view are those who are in the love of God through Jesus. As it says in Gospel of John 11:25, “The ones who believes in me will live, even when they die’.

Then we can ask, what is the meaning of the death brought about by the fall of Adam and Eve? God created humans physically as part of the natural world, hence to grow old and die. So the death of Adam at age 930 was not a result of the fall. The physical body is like clothes for the spiritual body, as we take off our clothes when they get dirty, the body sheds itself when it is old while the spirit takes off and continues to live eternally in the spirit world. (please move position)

So if the death brought about by the fall was not physical death, we cannot but conclude that it is spiritual death, separation from God and cleaving to satan. In Genesis 2:17, God told Adam they would die on the day they ate the fruit of the tree of Knowledge. The death brought about by the fall does was not the physical death of the body, which came almost a thousand years later and is natural, but spiritual death, the loss of God’s love and captivity under satan.

The first Epistle of St. John 3:4 mentions that the ones who do not love are living in death. When talking about God’s love, if you do not know how to love your neighbor, no matter however good your life on earth is, you are dead. It is illustrated in Romans 6:23, ’For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life’, and in Letter to Romans 8:6, ’For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.’

On the other hand, even while one’s physical life has ended, if his spiritual body is alive in the realm of God’s love in heaven, he is alive. When Jesus said the one with faith will live even though he die (Jn 11:25), it meant that the ones who live in faith under the sovereignty of God, when they die and their body perishes in the dust, their spirit will always live within the realm of God. (please move position)

Therefore, to resurrect does not mean the physical body will return. Even Jesus, whose return to earth was a special case, completely within the principle, as we will discuss later, still only stayed on earth forty days. Resurrection is a bigger concept, in which people who are spiritually dead due to the Fall transition to God’s realm and restore themselves. You will restore much as you repent your sins, and be a better person than yesterday. John 5:24 states, “He who hears my word and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life, he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” This explains the meaning of resurrection.

Many have believed that physical death is not natural, but came from the original sin. And since the Bible defines resurrection as coming back to life from death, believers thought that resurrection means the saints who were dead would come back to physical life. However, we see the Bible actually teaches that physical death is natural, and that resurrection means to separate from Satan’s realm, be reborn as God’s child and develop your spirit through good spiritual practices; this is the process of resurrection. 
But what about those who departed to spirit world already? Is there a process of rebirth and resurrection for them? And what does that have to do with life on earth for us? Our next session unpacks these important questions. 
Thank you for listening, and God bless you. 
 

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