1. A BLESSED HOPE
a. What assurance did Job have of a future life? Job 19:25–27; 14:14.
“The patriarch Job in the night of his affliction exclaimed with unshaken trust: ‘I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: . . . in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.’”—Maranatha, p. 13.
b. What promises do we have of a resurrection? Hosea 13:14; 2 Timothy 4:7, 8.
“The question, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ has been answered. By bearing the penalty of sin, by going down into the grave, Christ has brightened the tomb for all who die in faith. God in human form has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. In dying, Christ secured eternal life for all who believe in Him. In dying, He condemned the originator of sin and disloyalty to suffer the penalty of sin—eternal death.”—Testimonies, vol. 6, pp. 230, 231.
2. AN AMAZING CHANGE
a. What happens to the body after death? John 11:39.
“Lazarus had been laid in a cave in a rock, and a massive stone had been placed before the entrance. ‘Take ye away the stone,’ Christ said. Thinking that He only wished to look upon the dead, Martha objected, saying that the body had been buried four days, and corruption had already begun its work.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 534.
“There lay the body of Lazarus in its rock grave, cold and silent in death.”—The Youth’s Instructor, May 4, 1899.
b. What change takes place at the resurrection? 1 Corinthians 15:51–54.
“The living righteous are changed ‘in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.’ At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels ‘gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’”—The Great Controversy, p. 645.
“Our loved ones are torn from us by death. We close their eyes and habit them for the tomb, and lay them away from our sight. But hope bears our spirits up. We are not parted forever, but shall meet the loved ones who sleep in Jesus. They shall come again from the land of the enemy. The Life-giver is coming. Myriads of holy angels escort Him on His way. He bursts the bands of death, breaks the fetters of the tomb, the precious captives come forth in health and immortal beauty.”—The Faith I Live By, p. 185.
“Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection, though not the same particles of matter or material substance as went into the grave. The wondrous works of God are a mystery to man. The spirit, the character of man, is returned to God, there to be preserved. In the resurrection every man will have his own character. God in His own time will call forth the dead, giving again the breath of life, and bidding the dry bones live. The same form will come forth, but it will be free from disease and every defect. It lives again bearing the same individuality of features, so that friend will recognize friend.”—The SDA Bible Commentary [E. G. White Comments], vol. 6, p. 1093.
3. LOOKING FOR THE BLESSED HOPE
a. What event is tied to the resurrection? John 14:1–3.
“Long have we waited for our Saviour’s return. But nonetheless sure is the promise. Soon we shall be in our promised home.”—Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 254.
“The object of Christ’s departure was the opposite of what the disciples feared. It did not mean a final separation. He was going to prepare a place for them, that He might come again, and receive them unto Himself. While He was building mansions for them, they were to build characters after the divine similitude.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 663.
b. What encouragement do we have concerning those who have died? What is the assurance we have that the resurrection will take place? 1 Thessalonians 4:13–17.
“The life-giver will call up His purchased possession in the first resurrection, and until that triumphant hour, when the last trump shall sound and the vast army shall come forth to eternal victory, every sleeping saint will be kept in safety and will be guarded as a precious jewel, who is known to God by name. By the power of the Saviour that dwelt in them while living and because they were partakers of the divine nature, they are brought forth from the dead. . . .
“Jesus Christ has triumphed over death and rent the fetters of the tomb, and all who sleep in the tomb will share the victory; they will come forth from their graves as did the Conqueror.”—Selected Messages, bk. 2, pp. 271, 272.
c. With what attitude should this inspire us? Titus 2:13.
“Wherever we go, we should carry an atmosphere of Christian hopefulness and cheer; then those who are out of Christ will see attractiveness in the religion we profess; unbelievers will see the consistency of our faith. We need to have more distinct glimpses of heaven, the land where all is brightness and joy.”—Lift Him Up, p. 244.
“Christ is soon to come the second time. Of this we should often talk. It should be the uppermost thought in our minds.”—The Upward Look, p. 311.
4. THE RESURRECTION: A PROOF OF DIVINITY
a. How does the resurrection of Christ become a focal point of our faith and hope? 1 Corinthians 15:16–22.
“Christ made it possible that every child of Adam might, through a life of obedience, overcome sin and rise also from the grave to his heritage of immortality purchased by the blood of Christ.”—In Heavenly Places, p. 44.
b. What words of Christ showed that He had the power of life within Himself? John 10:17, 18; 2:19–21.
“When the voice of the mighty angel was heard at Christ’s tomb, saying, Thy Father calls Thee, the Saviour came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself. . . .
“Over the rent sepulcher of Joseph, Christ had proclaimed in triumph, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life.’ These words could be spoken only by the Deity. All created beings live by the will and power of God. They are dependent recipients of the life of God. From the highest seraph to the humblest animate being, all are replenished from the Source of life. Only He who is one with God could say, I have power to lay down My life, and I have power to take it again. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 785.
“The spirit of Jesus slept in the tomb with His body, and did not wing its way to heaven. . . . All that comprised the life and intelligence of Jesus remained with His body in the sepulcher; and when He came forth it was as a whole being; He did not have to summon His spirit from heaven. He had power to lay down His life and to take it up again.”—The Spirit of Prophecy, vol. 3, pp. 203, 204.
c. What prophecy was also fulfilled at Jesus’ resurrection? Psalm 68:18.
“Those who came forth from the grave at Christ’s resurrection were raised to everlasting life. They were the multitude of captives that ascended with Him as trophies of His victory over death and the grave.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, pp. 304, 305.
5. RAISING OTHERS TO LIFE
a. Who did Elisha raise to life through the miracle-working power of Christ? 2 Kings 4:32–37.
“So was the faith of this woman rewarded. Christ, the great Life-giver, restored her son to her. In like manner will His faithful ones be rewarded, when, at His coming, death loses its sting and the grave is robbed of the victory it has claimed. Then will He restore to His servants the children that have been taken from them by death.”—Prophets and Kings, p. 239.
b. Who did Jesus raise to life near the end of His earthly ministry? John 11:38, 39, 43. What was His purpose in performing this miracle?
“Christ had now fully made manifest His control of death and the grave. That mighty miracle was the crowning evidence offered by God to men that He had sent His Son into the world for their salvation. It was a demonstration of divine power sufficient to convince every mind that was under the control of reason and enlightened conscience. Many who witnessed the resurrection of Lazarus were led to believe on Jesus. But the hatred of the priests against Him was intensified. They had rejected all lesser evidence of His divinity, and they were only enraged at this new miracle. . . . . They were more than ever determined to put a stop to Christ’s work.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 537.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How does Christ give us hope of a resurrection?
2. What changes occur in the resurrection, and what remains the same? Why?
3. How carefully is each sleeping saint looked after?
4. What is significant about Jesus having the power to lay down His life and to take it up again?
5. What did the miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection demonstrate?