Resuscitation vs. resurrection


When Christ resurrected Lazarus, it wasn’t so Lazarus would never die again. I’m sure that Lazarus did die again, and should his sisters had survived him again, they did have to go through a burial process again for their brother. Lazarus’ resurrection was to temporarily ease the pains and griefs of all who were mourning, and also trigger the determination of the religious leaders to arrest Jesus and crucify him without ever knowing that Jesus was the Christ.

I once asked a Pastor at a seminary class, “How come I never hear anyone preaching about the folks who were resurrected when Christ died on the cross? What happened to them?”

At the time, I was referring to the following passage, “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.” (Matthew 27:50-53)

His response to me at the time was, “They die again.” And he was right, they did die again. 

The resurrection that we hope in is not the one similar to Lazarus’ or any of the believers’ as recorded in Matthew 27:50-53. We don’t hope to be resurrected to suffer again. There’s a valid reason while many sign a note to not be resuscitated should they go into cardiac arrest. If one was to have a terminal illness and was also to experience cardiac arrest, it’s highly likely that the illness would still be in the body should that person be resuscitated by any medical means.

The resurrection we hope in is the same as Christ’ resurrection. Yet, it will not happen exactly like Christ’ but the end result will surely be the same. Christ’ body was not subjected to decay, which is something that David had said would not happen to his body. The words divinely uttered by David were meant for Christ Jesus as David’s descendant by lineage.

Though our body may very well suffer decay, our resurrection will be one by the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead. According the words of Christ, it will be a body free of pains and illnesses and death for all eternity.

So does that mean that all Christians should opt not to be resuscitated by medical means? That’s not the point. Whatever we do is to be done out of conviction. If we’re convicted to let go, fine. If we’re convicted to keep on fighting, so be it.

“Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.” (Romans 14:22)

“Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” (Romans 14;5)

“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (Romans 8:11)

Whatever is to be done, we hope and pray in the name of Jesus that it is done in accordance with the joy, the peace, the freedom, the love we have in Christ Jesus to the glory of God. Amen.

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