There are two resurrection events described and prophesied in the Bible. The first covers a span of time, from the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus until the conclusion of the Tribulation. The second event occurs at the end of the Millennial period when the unsaved dead are raised to appear before the throne of God for judgment.
To explain the difference between the two events, perhaps the best place to start is the Lord’s instructions for the Feast of Firstfruits. This feast occurs during “Passover Week.” It is the occasion when the Children of Israel brought the first fruits of the Spring harvest and offered them to the Lord. On the day after the Sabbath, which would be Sunday by our accounting of days, the priests were to offer a sheaf of the firstfruits of the Spring harvest. (Leviticus 23:10-11) This marks the Feast of Firstfruits, which always falls on Sunday following Passover.
Today, we don’t mention the Feast of Firstfruits. It is called by another name – Resurrection Sunday! The Apostle Paul confirmed the fact that Jesus is the Firstfruits of the grave in 1 Corinthians 15:20, 23.
“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”
“But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.”Jesus was the Firstfruits, the first to be resurrected almost 2,000 years ago. Paul continues his discussion of the Resurrection in verses 42 through 58 of the same chapter. In 1 Corinthians 15:52 Paul describes the wonderful event we know as the Rapture, another segment of the First Resurrection:
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”There is another part of this resurrection event described in the Revelation 20:4-6. Those who were “beheaded for the witness of Jesus” during the Tribulation will come to life and reign with Him. (This eliminates the question of whether people can be saved during the Tribulation.) John the Revelator said, “This is the First Resurrection.” He continued by saying that the Second Death has no power over those who participate in the First Resurrection. (Revelation 20:6)
You can see that the First Resurrection covers a span of time, and is not just one event. The Second Resurrection is a one-time occurrence when the remaining dead are brought before the righteous, majestic Lord and are judged by their works. Those whose names are not found written in the Book of Life are cast into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:15) This is the Second Death.
How thankful I am for the Lord Jesus and the salvation I have because of Him and His wonderful grace. Praise the Lord for the Lord Jesus! Praise Him forever!