“25Jesus said to her, “I am the RESURRECTION and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.” (John 11:25).
“22saying, ‘The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be RAISED the third day.’” (Luke 9:22).
Our Lord Jesus suffered many things during His first coming. He was rejected by the elders, chief priests, scribes, and the Jewish people, and handed over to the Romans to be crucified. On the third day He was raised back out of Hades/Sheol and appeared to His disciples.
“51Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were RAISED; 53and coming out of the graves after His RESURRECTION, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.” (Matt 27:51-53).
The Lord Jesus soul was RESURRECTED out of Hades/Sheol back into His self-same flesh and bones body, which came forth from the tomb in victory over death. He appeared to many witnesses to prove that He was alive. He appeared to Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18); He appeared to other women (Matt. 28:8-10); He appeared to Peter (Luke 24:34); He appeared to the ten disciples, without Thomas being present (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25); He appeared to the eleven, including Thomas (Mark 16:14; John 20:26-29); and He appeared at His ascension (Mark 16:19-20; Luke 24:50-53; Acts 1:4-12).
He appeared to the disciples on the Emmaus road (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:13-35); He appeared in Galilee (Matt. 28:16-20; John 21:1-24); He appeared to five hundred people (1 Cor. 15:6); He appeared to James and the apostles (1 Cor. 15:7); and He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-6; 22:1-10; 26:12-18; 1 Cor. 15:8).
When the apostles chose a replacement for the traitor and son of perdition, Judas Iscariot, they set some standards for the qualifications of the new twelfth apostle. One of these was that he must have been a witness with them from the time of John the Baptist. Also, he must have been a witness to Christ’s RESURRECTION.
“22beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken upfront us, one of these must become a witness with us of His RESURRECTION.” “26And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (Acts 1:22, 26)
The RESURRECTION of Christ is a central key to Christianity. Paul told the Corinthians that there was a RESURRECTION of the dead ones (plural). He said that if Christ is not RISEN, then their preaching and faith is empty and meaningless.
“13But if there is no RESURRECTION of the dead, then Christ is not RISEN. 14And if Christ is not RISEN, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.”(1 Cor. 15:13-14).
Because of Christ’s RESURRECTION, the apostles went from being fearful followers at His Crucifixion to being witnesses of His RESURRECTION with great power and grace.
“33And with great power the apostles gave witness to the RESURRECTION of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.”(Acts 4:33).
The second coming Parousia of Christ in AD 66-70 was future to those first century apostles and disciples. They were faithful, and even though they suffered much persecution, their desire was to be found righteous by faith and attain to the RESURRECTION from the dead.
“9and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is front the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10that I (Paul) may know Him and the power of His RESURRECTION, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11if, by any means, I may attain to the RESURRECTION from the dead.” (Phil. 3:9-11).
“3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ’ who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us (first century saints) again to a living hope through the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Pet. 1:3).
“20He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times (first century) for you 21who through Him believe in God, who RAISED Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” (1 Pet. 1:21).
Those first century saints looked ahead with living faith and hope and some were still alive to experience the blessed appearing of Christ to rescue/save them out of the Great Neronic Tribulation as they were changed in the twinkling of an eye to the unseen realm to meet Him in the spiritual realm (aer) at His Parousia in AD 66.
For Christians today, we have been born-again and live in the earthly visible realm (Church) of the eternal spiritual Kingdom. Upon our death, we simply put on our new incorruptible, immortal, glorified, visible, heavenly, bodies and immediately enter into the presence of Christ in the heavenly New Jerusalem (1 Cor. 15:53-54).