The Out-From-Amongst Resurrected Jesus

In Philippians 3:10-11, Paul said something profound and he connects it to the resurrection. He said, “I want to know Christ–yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead”.

It seems like Paul is only hoping to attain the resurrection from the dead. It sounds like he is not sure, but that’s not the case. What he is talking about is not just the resurrection from the dead. Paul is talk about a second resurrection (not the first resurrection.

In Jewish Pharisaical belief, they don’t think of the resurrection as most Christians do. They believe there is the first resurrection and a second resurrection. In the first resurrection, all the dead will rise again to be judged. Both those who died in Christ, and those who die outside of Christ… both the sheep and the goats… both the wheat and the tares… will all rise again. This is a general resurrection in which all people will be resurrected. But there is also the second resurrection is one where a person is called out from, to stand out from.

The most common Greek word for resurrection is anastasia (“standing up again”, or “to rise again”). This is the general resurrection of all. But In Philippians 3:11, Paul did not use this word. Paul used a special word that’s only noticeable in the original Greek and is ignored in all English translations. Paul used the word, “ex-anastasis”. The “ex” means “out among”. This expression means “out-up- standing of the out-of-dead-ones.” Paul wanted to stand up again from among the dead. In other words, Paul saw a resurrection in which only some will stand up; others will remain dead. He’s not talking about the general resurrection.

Paul had looked forward to “arrive at” or to attain to a very special goal. Attain (Gk: katantao) means “to arrive at.” In other words, Paul’s goal was to one day arrive at the resurrection (“ex-anastasis”) from the dead, the same resurrection that his Lord had attained. In desiring to die as his Lord died, Paul was seeking to rise from among the dead just as the Lord rose as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15:20).

If we read further in Phil. 3:14, Paul says, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” This goal to win the prize that God has called him to is the “ex-anastasis” type of resurrection.

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