But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
Did you know that Christians experience more than one resurrection? Most Christians are familiar with the promised future resurrection of their body followed by its glorification…
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 – “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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.”
This resurrection and glorification of the Christian’s body is the second resurrection that the Christian will experience.
There is another prior resurrection that every Christian will experience. This resurrection is talked about in John 5:24-26…
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
This is the first resurrection of the Christian. It takes place at his salvation experience. It is the person who is “dead in trespasses and sins” being given spiritual life. This is the resurrection experience being talked about in Revelation 20:5. This is brought out clearly in the verse that follows…
Revelation 20:6 – “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
May we all praise the Lord for our resurrection that is yet to come, but especially for our first resurrection. After all, the first resurrection is the receipt of our spiritual life which enables us to be participants in the second resurrection.
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: