O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
Could you please help me with some quick translation questions?
About the correct translation of the phrase "resurrection from the dead" ...
1) Is "the dead" plural or singular?
2) Is it better translated "the dead" or "the death"?
3) Is it better to say it is "resurrection from the death of Adam" or "resurrection from the dead ones (in Hades)"? Are these synonymous?
4) Then there is the one time when something like "resurrection out from the out dead ones" (or something close) is used...what about that in covenant context? Anything worth noting?
Acts 26:23 makes a very interesting point about Jesus being the first to rise from the dead. This also matches Col. 1 where Paul calls Jesus the "firstborn" from the dead. Revelation 1 uses the same term...
Those passages only make sense if the central subject in them is Jesus being raised out of the (covenant) death of Adam/Israel.
That doesn't answer your specific questions, but I found the details pretty interesting. A lot of Christians have never paid any attention to Acts 26:23. When I pointed it out the other day to someone, they said I was making stuff up...
If we were talking about physical death, then Acts 26:23 would be false, wouldn't it? After all, there were other people in the old testament who were physically resurrected from the dead, and that would not make Jesus the "first" one to be resurrected (physically), would it?
Therefore, Acts 26:23 is talking about some other kind of death.
Tim makes the point that this is covenant death. I take that to mean that it is the kind of death that is separation from God. As Jesus died physically, He was in much more agony over the separation from God than He was over the pain of the physical death. That is why He shouted "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?"
That statement alone shows that being cut off from God (covenant death) was what had happened to Christ, and it ties in clearly with Acts 26:23, because the resurrection He experienced was not just a physical bodily resurrection, but one in which his relationship with the Father had been restored. That restoration was what Acts is talking about, NOT the physical resurrection only.
Of course, He was physiclaly resurrected. For me, the physical resurrection of our bodies after physical death is not the point of salvation. The point of salvation is being put right in God's eyes (covenantal life) That "putting right" happens not when our physical bodies die, but happens immediately when our physical bodies are still alive.
Some might argue that we MUST physically die so that all corruption can be put away. But that would go against Jesus prayer when He asked the Father to NOT take His followers out of the world, but that through them, the world might be saved. Though we are alive in the flesh, we are dead to sin, and we are raised (resurrected) to newness of life. Why? So that we may be witnesses to our generation about how God saves.
God is not in the business of growing physical bodies so that He can turn them into spiritual bodies when they die. He is in the business of growing spiritual bodies WHILE our physical bodies exist. Then, when our work on earth is done, we go to our reward, and, BTW, also receive new bodies to carry on the next phase of our eternal lives which started on this earth, but will never end in an eternal place. Our bodies then will be suited to the new environment and the new assignment we will be given.
But for the moment, our task is to do the will of the Father. For that we are equipped with an eternal spirit, and have been resurrected to a new life already. We don't have to wait for another body to start tasting of the eternal. We already have it!
I read this yesterday and I knew there was something special about it but I was too tired. I just read it again and it is pregnant with truth. What I like is how it fully harmonises with and develops upon justification and our new life that is hid with Christ in God (Col 3:3). This is a status that many Christians are strangers to.
Tim that is interesting. Can I ask you what your understanding is of "by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles” ? How was that fulfilled?
I would take it as light (new covenant pronouncement) to both Israel and the nations. This is the fulfillment of all creation, since God originally blessed all that he made, both man and beasts.