ESV - 23 And in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
Abraham was neither resurrected in an eternal, glorified body (as only Jesus was), nor taken from earth without dying (as Enoch and Elijah were).The parable of Lazarus and the rich man depicts the soul of Abraham as being in a glorified state in Paradise (denoted by the phrase "Abraham's bosom", as well as being the same place where Jesus told the repentant thief that they would be that day (Luke 23:39-43)), which was a temporary abode of the souls of those whom God accounted as righteous because of their faith in Him during their earthly lives (Genesis 15:6), pending the resurrection of Christ (which indicated that Christ had fully paid by His atoning death the penalty owed to God by all of humanity because of its collective sin, and which made it possible for the redeemed to be in God's direct presence).
In the New Testament, John tells his followers: “He who comes after me has surpassed me because He was before me” (John 1:15). This informs us that Jesus was before John, or, before John was, I AM. In like manner: “…Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). We are further informed that Jesus was the lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Revelation 13:8). Therefore, the first begotten status of Jesus was established from eternity. Jesus declared of His life: “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father” (John 10:18). It should be highlighted here that while the people of God were given the 10 commandments, and then the new commandment of love in John 13:34, only Jesus is given a commandment that directly gives Him authority over death. Abraham did not receive such a commandment. This commandment over death was not limited to the body of Jesus, as we learn that Jesus resurrects Lazarus from the dead in John 11. This Lazarus preview alerts us to the fact that all those who believed and previously knew death would also be resurrected. Whereby Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). Moreover, I AM He that liveth [today], and was dead [yesterday]; and, behold, I AM alive for evermore [forever], and have the keys of hell and death, as in Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever (Revelation 1:18, Hebrews 13:8). Thus, I AM is not bound by the linear constraints of life and death as Abraham knew. Ephesians 4:8 tells us: "When He ascended on high, He led a host of captives…” We are then asked in verse 9 what “He ascended” could mean except that He also descended to the lower, earthly regions. While Lazarus was the preview, Jesus’ descent, with the keys of hell and death, was the motion picture. The lower, earthly regions contained the abode of Abraham, and all the righteous saints who knew death, but by His resurrection glory, Jesus set the captives free into life eternal. Therefore, we can be assured that whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36).
The Bible teaches that Jesus is the “firstborn from the dead” (Col 1:18) because He is. Bible mentions several persons being resurrected, however, none of them seem to have received their glorified bodies, only Jesus did. Regarding Abraham and Luke 16:19-31, in my opinion, the text is not talking about the afterlife. There is no indication anywhere in the Bible that Abraham was resurrected or that his spirit ascended to heaven after death. The Bible simply says that he died and was buried (Gen 25:7-9). Also, there is no Bible text saying that upon death the souls of the righteous are taken to Abraham's bosom and the wicked to hell. If we believe that humans have immortal souls and upon death are taken to heaven or hell, we run into problems that cannot be explained using the Bible. Although Jesus in Luke 24:39 said that “a spirit does not have flesh and bones” both the Rich Man and Lazarus are taken to their respective places of reward and punishment with physical bodies: with eyes, fingers, and tongue. The rich man while tormented begs for water to cool his tongue, lifts his eyes, and engages in conversation with people in heaven. Are we to believe that the righteous will spend eternity within an earshot of the wicked tormented in hell? I hope not!
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.