The majority opinion of the nature of the second coming is that it will be a physical, visible, bodily return of the Lord Yeshua the Christ to earth that every eye will see. There is no question that that is the view held by the majority of Christians today, but is it what the Bible teaches? Where does the Bible teach that Yeshua will return to earth in a physical, bodily manner? Some would say that Acts 1:11 teaches a physical bodily second coming. Let's look at it.
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." Acts 1:9-11 ESV
"This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven"—His ascension was physical and visible, so won't His return be also? It says he will come in "the same way." The words, "same way" are the Greek phrase, "hon tropon." By examining the usage of "hon tropon" in the New Testament, it is clear that this phrase does not mean "exactly the same in every detail" but has the idea of "similar in some fashion." For example, look at how this phrase is used in Luke 13.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Luke 13:34 ESV
Did Yeshua want to gather Jerusalem in exactly the same manner as (hon tropon) a hen gathers her chicks? I don't think so. The emphasis of Acts 1:11 is that Christ's coming would be a cloud coming. Just as he left in a cloud, so he would come in the clouds. We will examine the idea of cloud comings later in more detail. There is no Scripture that explicitly teaches that Yeshua would return in a physical, bodily fashion. An understanding of the language of the Tanakh will help us see that His coming was not to be physical.
The study of Matthew 24 could change your eschatological paradigm if you let it. I believe that this is one of the most significant chapters in the Bible on the second coming of the Lord Yeshua. Understanding this chapter will change your view of the nature of the second coming.
In verses 23-26 of Matthew 24, Yeshua seems to stress that his coming will not be a physical, bodily coming. If someone says, "Here is Christ, or there," they were not to believe him. If someone said, "He is in the desert or he is in the secret chamber," they were not to believe him. Why? If His coming was to be physical and bodily, why would someone not be able to say "He is over there?" They were not to believe that because His coming would not be physical and bodily, and yet it would be plainly seen.
How would they see His coming? They would see it in the judgment that was to fall upon Jerusalem. His coming would be like lightning, (verse 27). I think that by comparing Scripture with Scripture, we can see that lightning refers to God's judgment. It seems to me that when Yeshua compares his coming to lightning that he is saying that His coming will be seen in judgment. His coming will be like a bird of prey going after a corpse (verse 28). This language is also seen in the judgment language of the Tanakh. His coming would be an earth-shattering event:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Matthew 24:29 ESV
If you are not familiar with the apocalyptic language of the Tanakh, you will not understand what Christ is saying here. This language is common among the Old Covenant prophets. In apocalyptic language, great commotions and judgments upon earth are often represented by commotions and changes in the heavens. This language is not to be taken literally.
As a side note, let me give you another thought on verse 21: Yeshua said that the great tribulation would be "such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be." The phrase ‘and never will be’ implies time would go on after the tribulation." The great tribulation is not going to happen at some future day when the world ends; it happened in A.D. 70 when the Old Covenant age ended.
As we continue our study of Matthew, we come to verses 30 and 31 which go together with verses 27-29. In verses 23-26 Yeshua reveals what the second coming would not be like. It would not be a physical bodily return. Then in verses 27-31, He describes to us what the second coming would be like. We have already seen that it would be manifested in judgment.
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 ESV
When is "then?" "Then" refers to "immediately after the tribulation of those days" of verse 29. After the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, which was the great tribulation, this sign would be seen. What was the sign? As you can imagine, there are all kinds of guesses as to what the sign was to be. Some of the Church fathers such as Chrysostom, Augustine, Jerome, and Erasmus believed that the sign would be a cross appearing in the heavens. Some believed it was the return of the star that marked His birth. Some Dispensationalists believe that the sign would involve the heavenly city, New Jerusalem, descending and remaining as a satellite city suspended over the earthly city of Jerusalem.
Hal Lindsey said "Perhaps the 'sign of the Son of Man' will be a gigantic celestial image of Yeshua flashed upon the heavens for all to see. This would explain how all men suddenly recognize who He is and see the scars from His piercing at the cross." As you can see by ignoring audience relevance, the sign can be whatever one’s imagination wants it to be. But who asked what the sign of his coming would be? His disciples (verse 3). Whom was Yeshua talking to? The disciples. Whatever the sign would be, it was to appear in A.D. 70 immediately after the "tribulation of those days," which was the destruction of Jerusalem. It was a sign to "that generation" and not to us some 2,000 years later.
To understand what this sign was to be, we first need to have a correct translation. The NIV really adds to the confusion in the following translation: "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky." A word-for-word rendering from the Greek reads: "And then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven." Notice carefully that the location is heaven, not the sky; and it is not the sign that is in heaven, but the Son of Man who is in heaven. The point is this: The destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish temple was the sign that the Son of Man was in heaven.
J. Marcellus Kik said "A sign was not to appear in the heavens, but the destruction of Jerusalem was to indicate the rule of the Son of man in heaven."
The wording of this passage refers us back to the expression, "The Son of Man," found in Daniel 7:13 which Yeshua used concerning Himself when referring to His coming.
For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:27 ESV
The judgment of Jerusalem was a sign that the Son of Man was in heaven in fulfillment of Daniel 7:13-14.
"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 ESV
Anyone who denies the deity of Yeshua or the Trinity is not very familiar with the Hebrew Scriptures. Five times in the Tanakh Yahweh is called the "cloud rider." But Daniel 7 is an exception. There the rider on the cloud is the Son of Man, a human. Dominion is given to the Son of Man, the second cloud rider. So, here we see Yeshua, the Son of Man, coming to the Ancient of days and receiving His everlasting kingdom. This prophecy was fulfilled at the Ascension.
Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Yeshua God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, "The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."’ Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Yeshua whom you crucified." Acts 2:30-36 ESV
The kingdom received from the Ancient of days is none other than the kingdom symbolized by the stone cut out of the mountain:
As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Daniel 2:34-35 ESV
The kingdom was given to Christ at His ascension, and this was made manifest to all Israel in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Jerusalem's destruction was a sign that Yeshua the Christ was the Messiah of God.
But Yeshua remained silent. And the high priest said to him, "I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God." Yeshua said to him, "You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:63-64 ESV
Caiaphas, the high priest, asked Yeshua if He was the Son of God, the Messiah. Notice the similarities between Yeshua's answer to Caiaphas and what he said in our text.
Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30 ESV
Yeshua told Caiaphas "You will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power." He told His disciples that they would see the sign that the Son of Man was in heaven." He told Caiaphas: "You will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven." He said to His disciples: "You will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." It is obviously the same event in both passages. Notice Caiaphas' response to Yeshua's statement.
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy." Matthew 26:65 ESV
What did Yeshua say that was blasphemous? Caiaphas understood that Yeshua was claiming to be the Messiah. In order to understand what Yeshua was saying, we need to understand the idea that is behind the phrase "coming in the clouds."
God's "coming on the clouds of heaven" is a symbolic way of speaking of His presence, judgment and salvation. Throughout the Tanakh, God was portrayed as coming "on clouds," in salvation of His people and judgment of His enemies.
Coming on the clouds indicates His Presence:
And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. Exodus 16:10 ESV
And the LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever." When Moses told the words of the people to the LORD, Exodus 19:9 ESV
The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. Exodus 34:5 ESV
and the LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat. Leviticus 16:2 ESV
Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it. Numbers 11:25 ESV
So, coming in the clouds indicates the presence of Yahweh. It also indicates His Salvation. In Psalm 18, David speaks of his deliverance from Saul using apocalyptic language.
He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet. He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water. Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds. Psalms 18:9-12 ESV
Yahweh coming on the clouds also speaks of judgment: The idea of God's coming in the clouds is also associated with His judgment of his enemies.
An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. Isaiah 19:1 ESV
In this chapter, God is talking about the judgment that is to fall upon Egypt. The word "oracle" is the Hebrew word massa: "an utterance, chiefly a doom." We know from chapter 20 that God used the Assyrians as instruments of His wrath on Egypt, yet it says, "Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud"…, Egypt will tremble at his presence." God came to Egypt in judgment. His presence was made known in judgment. But it was the Assyrians who were literally present. Similar language is used of Nineveh's fall:
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. Nahum 1:3 ESV
The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him. Nahum 1:5-6 ESV
We know that Nineveh was destroyed, not by a literal coming of God out of heaven on the clouds, but by the invading armies of the Chaldeans and Medes in 612 BC.
When Yeshua said he would come on the clouds, He was using the apocalyptic language of the prophets to identify himself as the Messiah, the Judge. Caiaphas reacted the way he did because he knew that only God came on clouds and, therefore, Yeshua was making a claim to deity. He knew that Yeshua was claiming to be the Messiah of Daniel 7. Notice what Yeshua says to Caiaphas in Mark 14.
And Yeshua said, "I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Mark 14:62 ESV
Here it says that they will see Him "coming with the clouds of heaven" while He is "seated at the right hand of the Power." If this is literal and bodily, how could He do both at the same time? This is clearly apocalyptic language. His coming with the clouds is proof of His sitting on the right hand of power.
John Lightfoot wrote this: "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man. Then shall the Son of man give a proof of himself, who they would not before acknowledge: a proof, indeed, not in any visible figure, but in vengeance and judgment so visible, that all the tribes of the earth shall be forced to acknowledge him the avenger. The Jews would not know him: now they shall know him, whether they will or no, Isa. xxvi. II. Many times they asked of him a sign: now a sign shall appear, that he is the true Messiah, whom they despised, derided, and crucified, namely, his signal vengeance and fury, such as never any nation felt from the first foundations of the world."
Our text says that at the time of His coming: "and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn." The word "tribes" is a reference to Israel. Gentiles are not referred to as "tribes" in the Bible. There were tribes in Israel at that time, but since its destruction in A.D. 70, there have been no "tribes" in Israel. This reminds us of:
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. Revelation 1:7 ESV
John said that Yeshua was coming "soon" and "quickly" and that the "Jews," those who pierced him, would wail at his coming.
We must see that this is not a physical, bodily coming of Christ but a coming in judgment. The idea of "seeing" here is not physically seeing but "to recognize, to be aware, to perceive." The destruction of Jerusalem would cause the tribes of Israel to recognize that Yeshua was indeed the Son of man and the Messiah.
Thomas Newton (1754) said:
Our Saviour proceedeth in the same figurative style, ver. 30 - "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.' The plain meaning of it is, that the destruction of Jerusalem will be such a remarkable instance of divine vengeance, such a signal manifestation of Christ's power and glory, that all the Jewish tribes shall mourn, and many will be led from thence to acknowledge Christ and the Christian religion. In the ancient prophets, God is frequently described as coming in the 'clouds' upon any remarkable interposition and manifestation of his power; and the same description is here applied to Christ. The destruction of Jerusalem will be as ample a manifestation of Christ's power and glory as if he was himself to come visibly in the clouds of heaven."
John Gill (1809) a premillennialist said, "He shall appear, not in person, but in the power of his wrath and vengeance, on the Jewish nation which will be a full sign and proof of his being come."
The prophetic language of the Tanakh clearly shows that the Lord’s coming on a cloud speaks of his coming in judgment. And that is exactly what it means in the New Testament when it portrays Christ’s coming on clouds. People saw him come in judgment, but it was not a visible appearance of Christ in person. Yeshua predicted both the destruction of Jerusalem and His parousia in the same context.
Since Jerusalem was destroyed, just as He said it would be, why would it be hard to believe that He came just as he said he would? The destruction of Jerusalem was as substantial a manifestation of Christ's power and glory as if he was himself to come visibly in the clouds of heaven. The same sort of metaphor is carried on in the next verse:
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:31 ESV
Does the Lord, all of a sudden, drop the apocalyptic language and begin to speak literally? I think not. This also is apocalyptic language. The most important thing that I want you to see here is that whatever this means, it happened 2,000 years ago. In verse 34, Yeshua said:
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Matthew 24:34 ESV
The generation that He was speaking to was to experience all that He had spoken of, including the gathering together of the elect. With that in mind, let's see if we can understand what is being spoken of here.
We need to try to get an understanding of the use of the trumpet in the Tanakh. The trumpet was used to call the people of Israel together.
Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp. Numbers 10:2 ESV
The trumpet was to be blown on the Day of Atonement in the jubilee year to signal the release of slaves and debt. Some say that A.D. 70 was a jubilee year but that’s hard to prove.
Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. Leviticus 25:9 ESV
We can get some background on the trumpet and gathering from Isaiah.
In that day from the river Euphrates to the Brook of Egypt the LORD will thresh out the grain, and you will be gleaned one by one, O people of Israel. And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem. Isaiah 27:12-13 ESV
Isaiah says that when the trumpet of God sounds, the outcasts of Israel would be gathered. This is a reiteration of an earlier Messianic promise of the regathering of the remnant.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. Isaiah 11:1-5 ESV
In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Isaiah 11:11-12 ESV
Here we see the idea of gathering from the four corners of the earth. So, a time was to come when God would gather His people together.
John Gill said "The Jews say, that 'in the after-redemption [by Messiah] all Israel shall be gathered together by the sound of a trumpet, from the four parts of the world. Zohar in Lev. 47:1."
Yeshua's disciples would be familiar with the Tanakh and would no doubt remember Isaiah's promise when they heard Yeshua speak of the sounding of the trumpet. We get a little more insight on trumpets and gathering from other passages where this same language is used:
Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 ESV
Notice what happens here—the trumpet sounds and the dead are raised. This is a reference to the dead in Christ. The dead are raised into the presence of God and those living are changed. The living put on immortality. Is this a different trumpet than the one Isaiah spoke of? No! The trumpet was sounded to gather God's people. This is a spiritual gathering into the presence of God; it is the resurrection. This is the same idea found in Matthew 24:31 where the trumpet is sounded and the elect are gathered, or resurrected. Daniel connects the resurrection and the destruction of Jerusalem.
"At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:1-2 ESV
Just in case we miss it, he further clarifies it as the time of Jerusalem's destruction in verse seven.
And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. Daniel 12:7 ESV
Daniel is told that the resurrection would be when the power of the holy people (the Jews) had been completely shattered.
We also see this same idea of trumpet and gathering in 1 Thessalonians.
For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 ESV
Notice that Paul does not say, "THOSE who are alive when Christ comes"; he said "WE who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord."
Again, we see the same idea, the trumpet sounds and the elect are gathered. "The Lord Himself will descend from heaven." The word "descend" was commonly used with the priest's descent out of the temple to announce that atonement had been completed. The idea of "being caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" could be referring to the idea we looked at earlier of clouds representing God's presence. This is a picture of God's elect being brought into His presence in the Holy of Holies. Is Paul talking about a literal rapture here? I don't think so. The parallel text in Luke helps us to see that this gathering is a time of redemption.
And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:27-28 ESV
The word "redemption" here is apolutrosis, (the act) ransom in full, i.e. (fig.) salvation. These New Testament believers were saved by the blood of Christ.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, Ephesians 1:7 ESV
The payment had been made at Calvary, but until their high priest returned, their redemption was not complete.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Ephesians 4:30 ESV
They were sealed awaiting the day of redemption, which happened at the second coming when the Lord gathered His elect into his presence.
When Israel gathered each year for the Passover, the culmination event was the Day of Atonement. The High Priest entered the temple's Holy of Holies to offer the atoning sacrifice on behalf of the people. And while the priest was in the Holy of Holies, the people anxiously awaited his return. No return, no atonement.
The new covenant parallel to this is Yeshua. He is our atoning sacrifice and our High Priest. The generation to whom Yeshua spoke was the congregation waiting for His return. No return, no atonement, no redemption.
For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. Hebrews 9:24-28 ESV
Yeshua ascended out of the heavenly Holy of Holies, signifying that our salvation was complete and bringing us into the presence of God. This could not be accomplished until the earthly Jewish temple had been destroyed.
By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing. Hebrews 9:8 ESV
The Jews were continually reminded, by the physical presence of the tabernacle, that they were not allowed to enter into the presence of God.
The words "as long as the first section is still standing" might better be translated, "while the first tabernacle still has any standing"—while the Old Covenant was still in force. As long as the Old Covenant was still in effect, men did not have access to the presence of God. Prior to Yeshua’s Second Coming, at which He destroyed the temple and the Old Covenant, no one went to Heaven.
The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was the sign of his coming in power and glory. Matthew 24 makes it clear that the great gathering of God's people took place when the earthly temple was destroyed in A.D. 70. No longer would the dead be confined to the waiting place called Hades. No longer would sin-death separate us from God. This is what the resurrection was all about: the dead in Christ were resurrected into the presence of God. Those alive at that time were given immortality. All of this happened in A.D. 70. Believers today don't need a resurrection because Yeshua said that "Whosoever lives and believes in me will never die." We have immortality, and when we physically die, we will be in the presence of God. Therefore comfort one another with these words.