Our Resurrection Foretold

Daniel 12:1-4
1“At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.
2And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.
4But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

As we discussed yesterday, the reading from Daniel 11:36 begins a look at the very end. We are warned that the Antichrist will come to keep or steal as many as possible away from the faith. Now the vision moves into that which is known as “The Last Days”. That encompasses the time we are in right now, for it began with Christ’s walk upon the earth and will end when He returns in triumph to take us home with Him.

Within the first 4 verses of chapter 12, we find the promise that all who have died – all of them – will rise from the dead when Christ returns for His bride, (the church – that’s us!). That which has returned to dust shall be reformed and judged according to their deeds. For those who believe in the sacrificial death of Jesus and the shedding of His blood for them, the judgment has already been made – they shall be with the Lord for eternity. For those who have chosen to reject God, they shall be separated from Him for all eternity. The Apostle John wrote of the exact same outcome in Revelation 20.

11Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.
13And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done.
14Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Daniel and John received slightly different instructions when it came to sharing the information they had been given through their visions. Daniel was told to seal up the information for the time being. John was told to share it. That is the different of 700 years. After the work of Jesus was complete on the earth, it was time to share the Good News with the world. We are able to understand Daniel’s word much more clearly when seen through the lens of the rest of the Scriptures. Both Daniel and John point us to the Messiah as our only hope in the day judgment. We cling to that truth with all that we are, living this life in the knowledge that God is Lord of it all – even our death.