We are examining the claim that John 5:24-29 speaks of two different resurrections of disparate nature, at two widely separated times. The claim is made the when Jesus (v. 24-25) referred to “the hour that now is” he was referring to a spiritual resurrection out of “sin-death” i.e. alienation from God. However, according to the theory, when Jesus referred to “the hour is coming” he had to speaking of biologically dead human corpses coming out of the ground. He was supposedly predicting two resurrections.
Those making the claim seem to be unaware of Jesus’ use of this precise language i.e, the hour is and the hour is coming, elsewhere in the gospel of John. They seem to be unaware, either through lack of study, or refusal to acknowledge, that this kind of language did not indicate totally different times or events.
The Hour Is Coming – The Hour Is – Two Resurrections
Take a look at John 4:21-23:
“Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.” (My emphasis).
Now, I must say that I have never read, nor heard of any commentator, ever claiming that Jesus was speaking of two totally different times, separated by millennia, and two radically different events.
So, we have Jesus using the precise language of “the hour is coming and now is” and “the hour is coming” and no one– literally no one– has ever even suggested that he was predicting two different “hours” and events. And yet, in John 5, we are supposed to believe that this language demands he was speaking of two totally different times, and two totally different events, two resurrections. To say the least, this is not contextual. It is not logical, and, it most assuredly is not demanded by the language.
Given this use of the language in John 4, the burden of proof therefore lies squarely on those who insist that John 5 is using the language in a radically different way, to prove that difference. This cannot be done by simply affirming that “it is obvious” that the “hours” are different in time and nature. Assertions are not enough. Evidence, strong evidence, is needed for us to see two resurrections in John 5:24-29.
And there is more to demonstrate that Jesus had in mind one resurrection, a resurrection that was he was initiating, the resurrection that would be consummated at his parousia in AD 70. Jesus did not predict two resurrections in John 5.
Be sure to get a copy of my book, Seventy Weeks Are Determined…For the Resurrection, for a powerful study of the time and framework for the resurrection.