Although final spiritual resurrection to eternity was not clearly stated in the Old Testament, the idea that the deceased who loved God continued to live on spiritually and would see a future time of glory traces back to the Psalms and the Prophets. A future resurrection hope for believing Israel is especially meaningful in the Prophets and Poetic books (Job 19; Pss 16, 49; Isa 16; Ezek 37). The New Testament quite clearly teaches spiritual resurrection in many places, with Jesus being the firstfruits and that of believers’ being similarly promised (1 Cor 15).
Here in John 11, Jesus’ power over death and life is on full display. At the beginning of the chapter, when Jesus receives the news of that Lazarus is sick, he delays. This seems like an unkind thing to do for a dear friend and out of character for Jesus—until we remember that Jesus’ primary mission wasn’t healing people but preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14). So, when Jesus says in John 11:4, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it,” he is not speaking to the causal link between the sickness and Lazarus’ death, but to the physical restoration miracle that brings Lazarus back to life and offers further confirmation that Jesus is God the Son, the express image of the Father made flesh who came to accomplish God’s plan of salvation for humankind (John 1:18).
The religious systems of the world teach many kinds of afterlives, referring to paradise, nirvana, etc. Other people claim not to believe in any afterlife at all. But the Bible teaches that everyone dies, and after that comes the day of judgment (Heb 9:27). However, believers need not fear the day of judgment, because Jesus covers us with his perfect love (1 John 4:17). So, when the day of judgment comes, everyone who believes in Jesus has their works of sin crossed out because we are covered by the righteous works of Jesus (Rev 20:11-14).
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