What Does John 5:28 Mean?

"Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,

John 5:28(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

The Lord Jesus gained victory over death and hell through His own sacrifice on the Cross and His glorious Resurrection, but throughout His life He gave solemn warnings that an hour was coming when the tombs of all who were dead would hear His voice; some to the resurrection of life but others to the resurrection of condemnation. And in a few short verses the Lord Jesus speaks of some, very different resurrections.

One that He mentions, is of the man or woman dead in their trespasses and sins who comes to Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and by grace through faith in Him are raised into newness of life and receive the free gift of life everlasting. Though their sins may have been scarlet and their fleshly works as filthy rags, they are accepted in the Beloved through faith in Him, clothed in His righteousness, and freed from all condemnation.

Christ also referred to that momentous time when the power of death would be broken in His own life and in the lives of all who trust Him for salvation. Indeed, the bars of hell itself were rendered powerless against His own sacrificial death and glorious Resurrection for through His own death, Christ rendered powerless the one who had the power of death - that is, the devil. It is because of His perfect work on the Cross that Jesus received authority from His Father in heaven, to raise the dead and to give His resurrected life to all who would believe on His holy name.

And so we discover that an hour is coming when all who are cold in their tombs will hear His voice. They will rise out of their temporary graves in the earth and be judged for their good deeds. Those who by faith have trusted Christ for salvation will come forth to the resurrection of life. And we know that this is eternal life: "That they know God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent." But those who rejected God's free gift of salvation will come forth from their earthly grave into the resurrection of condemnation.

Those who stubbornly reject God's free offer of salvation will be judged on their good works. But they will all be found wanting for unbelievers are incapable of producing good works. Unbelievers will therefore remain under the curse of the law and will be condemned accordingly.

Christ alone has fully satisfied the righteous requirements of the Law on behalf of all who have trusted Him for salvation, and praise God that the curse of the Law has been removed from all who believe on His name, for Christ was made a curse on our account.

Those that are 'in-Christ' will hear His voice and come forth to the resurrection of life. Those who rejected His free gift of salvation, and who are not 'in-Christ' will also hear His voice, but they will come forth to the resurrection of condemnation for one reason only: "Because they have not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that I have been saved by grace through faith in Christ's sacrificial death and glorious Resurrection and have received His resurrected life within my mortal frame. Thank You that in Christ there is now no condemnation, but that in Him, I have already passed from death to life. Thank You that I have the assurance that at the Rapture, as either one who is alive and remain or one who is part of the dead-in-Christ who come forth from their earthly graves, I will be raised incorruptible, knowing that my life is now hidden with Christ. Praise His holy name forever and ever, AMEN.

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