How does the Resurrection Work?
The simple case on not understanding God’s Omnipresence.
In the case of small children and the bereaved often a simple short answer is all that is needed; many will never ask again. They are content to live out their lives believing in some very simple, and for some unsatisfactory, even ludicrous conceptions.
Most of the misconception comes from a limited and linear view of God and time. Just as one cannot define God, one is also hard pressed to define time. We were not created to be imprisoned by time or death, but we were created to live in a garden, forever, with the LORD. There was only one thing that time was needed for and that was to know when to plant and harvest. Later we needed to keep track of time in order to keep the festivals and feasts.
“And God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years,” Gen. 1:14
When one is at a funeral or memorial service one cannot help but be struck by the thought that this is all wrong. We were not supposed to lose this person. This person was not supposed to go away. Even when the person has been ill or long in the tooth, at the depths of our being, we all know that this is all wrong.
Every religion in the world has some kind of teaching about what happens to the dead. There is no religion, which we know of, that teaches the dead do not live on in some way. Only Christianity has ever had someone who has walked out of the grave as proof that what He taught was true.
“But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1Th. 4:13-18
God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, i.e. all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere at once. Since God is omnipresent, He therefore exists out of this linear time as we know it. Time does not affect Him. So from God’s point of view all things are present and the resurrection has happened, is happening, and will happen.
Those who have died are already with Him. They have stepped out of time as we experience it and into God’s time. That is how it is that the dead in Christ rise first; they are already with Him. Only those of us still living, in our linear time, have a problem perceiving this. To those left alive the person appears dead, but that is not the case; for the Messiah himself said, “But Jesus answered them, ‘You are wrong, because you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given to marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?’ He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” Matt. 22:29-32. [see also: Exodus 3:15]
Death is but an illusion.