Brief Notes

“And They
Sat Upon
the Thrones” (2)

11 March 2023

The outstanding
resurrection was a great
motivation for Paul to
pursue Christ
as he did

In the previous Note we considered Revelation 20:4. This verse speaks of some believers, the overcomers, who are resurrected before the Great Tribulation, prior to the resurrection of the other believers:

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was committed to them.
— Revelation 20:4; cf. 3:21

This may be called the “outstanding resurrection,” which will take place within the first resurrection, the resurrection of life (See “And They Sat Upon the Thrones” – 1)

It was this resurrection the Apostle Paul was referring to when he told the believers in Philippi that he was motivated to pursue Christ as he did,

…If, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
— Philippians 3:11

Paul is not speaking here of the ordinary resurrection of the believers, the general resurrection of life; this would make no sense, for he would not have to struggle as he did to attain to that. Rather, he was striving to attain to something extra, something in addition to that, something outstanding. In brief, he was striving to attain to the “outstanding resurrection” portrayed in Revelation 20:4.

This becomes more clear when we consider the word Paul uses for “resurrection” in this verse, which is quite significant; in fact, this is the only place in the entire New Testament where this exact word is used. It is related to the usual Greek word for “resurrection,” anistēmi, but it includes the prefix ek, “out of”; the full Greek word is exanastasis (Strong’s #1815).

So, the word itself implies something extra, something in addition to and apart from, something “out of” the basic resurrection of the believers, though still related to that. And again, this something “extra” is the outstanding resurrection of Revelation 20:4.

It was indeed the hope of attaining to the outstanding resurrection that caused Paul to struggle and pay the price to gain Christ, and that same hope of the outstanding resurrection should today motivate us to pursue Christ as well.

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— 10 March 2023 —