John 5:25-29 “The Resurrection of the Dead”
Three kinds of death are mentioned in the Scriptures: Natural, Spiritual, and Eternal.
The first consists in the separation of the body and soul. (James 2:26) For as the body without the spirit is (physically) dead, so faith without works is dead also.
(John 11:14) Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is (physically) dead.
(Romans 8:10) And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] (physically) dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.
The second is the separation of God and the soul. (Romans 5:12) Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and (spiritual) death by sin; and so (spiritual) death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Mat But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the (spiritually) dead bury their dead.
(Ephesians 2:1) And you [hath he quickened], who were (spiritually) dead in trespasses and sins;
(Ephesians 2:5) Even when we were (spiritually) dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(1 Timothy 5:6) But she that liveth in pleasure is (spiritually) dead while she liveth.
(2 Corinthians 5:14) For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all (spiritually) dead:
(Colossians 2:13) And you, being (spiritually) dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
The third is the separation of body and soul from God in the hereafter. (Revelation 20:12) And I saw the (spiritually) dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the (spiritually) dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
(Revelation 20:13) And the sea gave up the (spiritually and physically) dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the (spiritually and physically) dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
(Revelation 20:14) And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second (eternal) death.
(Revelation 20:15) And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
(John 8:51) Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see (the second or eternal) death.
As it is with death so it is with life. There are three kinds of life: Natural life, which consists in the union of the soul and body; Spiritual life, which consists in the union of God and the soul, by grace through faith; Eternal life, which consists in the communion of the body and soul with God throughout the eternal ages.
With these three kinds of death in mind we now focus on the resurrection of the dead which only God can accomplish. Men do not have the power to raise the dead. They do not have the power to make or create life. Only God has this power.
(John 5:25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
Jesus begins with the affirmation that what He is about to say is absolutely true. Everything Jesus says is absolutely true. When Jesus uses the phrase “verily, verily” He intends for us to pay exceptionally close attention to His words.
The phrase “hour is coming and now is” indicates that Jesus was about to show His power over death by raising the dead. This has two applications. Jesus would raise the physically dead and would bring to life those that were spiritually dead. Both require the power of God. Man can no more make himself or others spiritually alive than he can make one who is in the grave live.
Greater works they would indeed see for Jesus will raise the physically dead. Making the spiritually dead live is something that can not be seen with the human eye. Nicodemus had difficulty understanding this and Jesus used the wind as an example. You can not see the transformation from spiritual death to spiritual life nor can it be felt but you can see evidence that the change has occurred in the actions of the one made alive.
(John 5:26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
Jesus returns the use of the third person here. He is still talking about Himself. The Father has given two things to the Son. He has given him the power to give life. He has life in Himself. God the Father has this power and gives the Son the same power. Jesus can give physical life for we have seen Him do so and He can give spiritual life for we, the saved have experienced this for ourselves.
(John 5:27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
The second thing the Father has given to the Son is the authority to judge. He gives this to Him because He is the Son of man. Jesus is perfectly and uniquely qualified to judge mankind. He lived in the flesh and was tempted in all ways like we are and yet without Sin. The only way He could have accomplished this was to have God as His father and not a man. Jesus was born without a sin nature. He kept the law and will of His Father completely. He is the perfect sacrifice, intercessor, and judge.
(John 5:28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
These Jews, like Nicodemus, were puzzled by the words of Jesus. Jesus can see it in their faces and He can read their thoughts. They know from the Old Testament scriptures that God can raise the dead. Elijah and Elisha had both demonstrated this power. The Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection but the Pharisees did. Jesus would tell the Sadducees that they erred not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. The Pharisees could not accept that it was Jesus who had the power to raise the dead and also would one day be their judge.
He points out to them that not only would He demonstrate this power over death with a few that is three plus His own resurrection but there will come a time when all the dead will hear His voice. This means that the dead can and will hear Jesus calling one day.
(John 5:29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
When the dead hear they will come forth. There are two resurrections. There is the first which is the resurrection of the saved and there is a second which is the resurrection of the lost. Jesus says that the first will be the resurrection of life. These will rise from the grave and will live forever in a new body. The second is called the resurrection of damnation. Those who are a part of this resurrection will be given a new body also and their body and soul will be cast into the lake of fire to be separated from God in torments for all eternity.
Do you know which will be your resurrection? When you hear the voice of God will it be when He calls the saved, those that have done good? When you hear His voice call you forth from the grave will it be when He calls those who have done evil, those who are lost?
John wrote (Revelation 20:6) Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
To be saved you must repent of your sin. This means you must know and admit to yourself and to God that you are guilty of sin and that God is just and right to condemn you to the lake of fire because of your sin. You want God to forgive you and to save you from the condemnation of Hell. You must ask God to forgive you of your sin and to have mercy on you and save your soul. Those who will do this God will save. You do not have to understand what transpires in the new birth, the regeneration of the soul, the quickening of the spirit. Assurance comes when you trust Jesus Christ to do what He has promised He will do to all those who believe in Him as their savior. I know and am sure that I am saved. I can be confident because I trust the Lord and believe in His promise.
I will die one day but that is not the end for me nor is it for you. Christ will come again and raise me from the dead. I will live here on the earth with Him for 1000 years and then on a new earth for all eternity. I can take no credit for this for it was the Father who drew me to Jesus and the Holy Spirit which convicted me of my sin and Jesus Christ the Son of God who cleansed me from my sin in His precious blood. Like Fanny J. Crosby well said: “I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story saved by grace.”