What are the first and second resurrections (Revelation 20:5-6)? What is the heavenly Jerusalem (i.e., new Jerusalem)?
B. Hodge, Biblical Authority Ministries, June 1, 2020
Revelation 20:5-6 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Resurrection is passing from death to life. Christ resurrected as He died and rose again (e.g., Acts 10:41). He had the power to lay down His life and to take up His life again (John 10:17-18). We are all sinners and dead to sin and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1-5, Colossians 2:13, Romans 6:11, Romans 8:10, etc.) for death is the punishment for sin (Genesis 2:17, Genesis 3:19, Romans 5:12).
Christians, interestingly, have passed from death to life according to Scripture (John 5:24, Romans 6:4, 1 John 3:14) through Jesus Christ who is the resurrection (John 11:25). The second death (Hell) has no power over Christians as we have eternal life with Christ (John 3:16, Matthew 25:46, 1 John 5:13, etc.) and are saved from the sin, death, and Hell (which is the second death or eternal death). Christians have endured the first resurrection so death will have no sting (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
Christians look forward to the second resurrection, which is yet to come (2 Timothy 2:18). This history ending judgment on that last day (John 5:29, see also Day 18) is when we will all be bodily raised up to eternity.
And Christians are ruling with Christ as a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9 confirming Revelation 20:6) and joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17) and kings (1 Corinthians 4:8). For in Christ, we are sons of God (Galatians 3:26) and that put us in a position as sons of the King of Kings to whom all authority is given (Matthew 28:18). We are not to be confused with Christ, who is the only begotten Son of God.
So then, who is the “Heavenly Jerusalem” or “New Jerusalem”? Christians are: Galatians 4:25-26, Hebrews 12:22. Then read: Revelation 3:12, 21:2, and 21:10. This includes the saints looking forward to Christ in the Old Testament and intertestamental period (e.g., 2 Chronicles 6:41, Psalm 37:28, 132:16, Daniel 7:18, 7:27, Matthew 27:52) and the saints after Christ who look back to His work on the cross and resurrection (e.g., Ephesians 1:16-21, Jude 1:3).
Read: Nothing. (I’ll give you a break today! 😊)