The Mysterious Resurrection
I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:27-28) Yeshua seems to say some strange things in the bible. At face value, he appears to be stating that some of his disciples were going to be alive to see him return in the clouds of heaven. Unfortunately for his disciples, all of them except Judas are reported to have died without witnessing his return. So what did Yeshua mean in this verse? Did Yeshua make a genuine mistake when he said this? Has something been lost or added to the Christian writings over the years of translation? For years I had thought Yeshua was referring to the event that occurred nearly a week later when he was “glorified” at the mount of transfiguration (see Matthew 17:1-9) Remember the time when Yeshua met with Moses and Elijah on the way to his crucifixion? The transfiguration does reconcile the scripture just as long as you don’t read the previous verse, “The Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels”. (Matthew 16:27)
Obviously the context of his statement pertains to the last days when he returns “with his angels” and with this thought in mind, Yeshua adds “some who are standing here will not taste death”. This verse corresponds to another reference found in Luke. It states plainly that Yeshua literally means that some standing before him that day would not die until they see him coming in the clouds of heaven with his angels. “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:26-27) Are we to believe that some specially selected 2000 year old people are in existence on earth today? Will they be alive to see Yeshua return? We will have to do so if we stick to the words of Yeshua unless we consider some other Bible verses that add more enlightenment into his statement. Take a look at what Yeshua said to the high priest on the morning of his crucifixion. He was asked point blank if he was the “Son of God”. Yeshua affirmed that he was and said, "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64)
Now we are getting closer to solving the mystery. History confirms that the High Priest who condemned Yeshua died several years after the crucifixion. Yet Yeshua said that the High Priest would be alive when Son of God returns in the clouds of heavenly angels. Yeshua is not saying that the High Priest will be raised to eternal life at that time. On the contrary, the High priest will be awoken from death in order to see Yeshua return. The following text brings this event to light, “He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him”. (Revelation 1:7) This verse added to the statement of Yeshua confirms that the wicked Priest (who has already died) will rise up from his grave in the last days. He will be allowed to look upon the man he unlawfully condemned, he will become terrified and perish with the brightness of his coming.
Daniel confirms this in revelation given to him 600 years earlier. "There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:1-2) This means that there will be a special resurrection for some high caliber evil doers. They will be given a front row seat, as it were, to the second coming of Christ and will witness, in a special way, the joy upon the faces of those who Yeshua raises up to eternal life. Unfortunately they will have to go through the final resurrection of the dead and their ultimate destruction after the millennium.
The last mystery of his statement now centers on the disciples. Yeshua stated, “some of you” will not taste death until…” His words strongly indicate that some of the disciples would be among the group raised in the special resurrection along with the wicked priests and rulers. If you know the gospel story it doesn't take long to figure out that Judas was with Yeshua at the time he spoke these words. Although he was remorseful for his actions when he betrayed Yeshua into the hands of the Chief Priest, he did not repent. Instead he hung himself which was not lawful according to the scriptures and thus forfeited his salvation. The statement “some of you standing here” indicates that there was more than one supremely evil person in the crowd destined for this “special resurrection”. Yet because of the lack of historical evidence that any of the other disciples had apostatized in their later years, it is impossible for us to know who he was referring to.