Author: Ron Graham
You could hardly think of a more important question than this. Is death the end of a person, or is there hope that death is temporary and the dead shall be resurrected (raised from death) to everlasting life? Job believed in the resurrection; so did David and Daniel. Jesus assures us of it.
“14If a man dies, shall he live again?
All the days of my hard service I will wait,
Till my change comes.
15You shall call, and I will answer You;
You shall desire the work of Your hands.” (Job 14:14-15).
When Job poses the question, “If a man dies, shall he live again?”, he immediately answers it: “I will wait till my change comes” (Job 14:14).
Job saw his life as days of hard service to God, and of patience in suffering. At the end of his life on earth, he did not expect oblivion, but a “change” for the better.
Job believed that, after death, God would call him and Job would be able to answer. He tells us more in chapter 19.
¶“25I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last he will stand upon the earth.
26And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
Yet in my flesh I shall see God,
27Whom I shall see for myself,
Whom my eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger.
How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27).
The prophets of the Old Testament make some references to the resurrection and life after death. For example David says, “As for me, I will see your face; I shall be satisfied when I awake in your likeness” (Psalm, 17:15).
But the clearest Old Testament prediction of the resurrection was spoken by an angel to Daniel.
¶“2Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awaken; some to everlasting life, some to everlasting shame and contempt. 3Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever” (Daniel 12:2-3).
In the above scriptures, there are four important points:
This Old Testament teaching about resurrection is confirmed by Jesus in the gospel or New Testament. Jesus taught it by his own mouth, and also through the apostles.
Jesus confirms the first two points listed above: God will call the dead and they shall arise. The redeemed will enter eternal life in glory. Here's what Jesus says...
¶“28b An hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.” (John 5:28b-29).
Paul confirms the third point in the list above, namely that bodies of the resurrected will undergo a change into an immortal form. Here's what Paul says...
¶“49 Just as we have borne the image of [Adam] the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of [Jesus] the man of Heaven. 50Brethren, I tell you this: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” (1Corinthians 15:49-50).
“51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.” (1Corinthians 15:51-52a, ESV).
“For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.” (1Corinthians 15:52b-53 ESV).
John confirms the fourth point, that the resurrected will see God face to face.
¶“2Dear friends, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1John 3:2).
¶“3No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in [the heavenly city], and his servants will worship him. 4They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads” (Revelation 22:3-4).
The question asked by Job is as important to you right now as it was to Job in very ancient times. Will those who die ever live again? Job was sure of it; so was Daniel, Jesus, Paul, and John. You can be sure of it too.
You can be sure that you will rise again to everlasting life and joy and glory. But for that assurance you must give the most serious attention to Jesus.
¶“47If any of you should hear my words but fail to keep them, I do not judge you; for I came not to judge the world but to save the world. 48The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge you on the last day.” (John 12:47-48).
¶“49For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment —what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” (John 12:49-50).