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Angels from the realms of glory, wing your flight o’er all the earth…

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Did Paul imagine that the dead in Christ would literally emerge from their tombs, in the manner of the “saints who had fallen asleep”, who came out of their tombs after the resurrection of Jesus and entered Jerusalem (Matt. 27:52-53)? I don’t know.

I’m not sure he did… as I understand it, resurrection for Paul was more about Israel’s spiritual, or more properly, covenantal transformation, i.e., renewal, as promised of old (Ezek 37:1-14). Paul along with other believers in that transitional period were undergoing in that age of resurrection transformation as they were putting off the old while simultaneously putting on the new. As part of this resurrection (Phil 3:11-16) Paul writes…

Phil 3:16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

That which was already in the process of attainment was this covenant renewal, i.e., resurrection. We already know from Romans 6 that their death, burial and resurrection did not require a 1:1 correlation with Christ’s experience for such to be their true reality as occurring. This then fits into the self-same 2 horizons end-time view of John who wrote of the already occurring resurrection in chapter 5…

Jn 5:25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

The firstfruits righteous of Israel having ears to hear responding in faith in that now is time were being raised in Christ — the rest of unrighteous Israel who didn’t (vs. 29) came to suffer the condemning consequence of shame in AD70, i.e., death or deportation, as per…

Dan 12:2 OG And many of those asleep in the flat of the earth will arise, some to everlasting life but others to shame and others to dispersion [and contempt] everlasting. NETS translation

Thus as I understand id… both Paul and Jesus were on the self-same page as to the soon coming resurrection of both the just and unjust, as per…

Acts 24:15 “I have hope in God, which they themselves also accept, that there is about to be (μέλλειν) a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust.