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The Sleep Of Death
The Holy Scriptures routinely refer to death as sleep, not just because death and sleep both involve unconsciousness, but because both are a state of being from which people awaken (see What Happens When You Die? and Where Is Your Soul?). According to God's plan, some will be resurrected as spirit at The Return Of Jesus Christ (e.g. 1 Corinthians 15:50-54), while others will be resurrected physical (i.e. Revelation 20:5, Ezekiel 37:6). For the reason why some will be to spirit and others back to physical life, see the Fact Finder question below.
The photograph below, that of a 3,000 year-old mummified Egyptian child, was taken at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto by the author in October 2009. Ironically, it is "sleeping" in a fetal position (i.e. like an unborn child), awaiting its certain birth (see Born Again, How and When?) at some time in the future:
"26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." (Isaiah 26:19 KJV)
"Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust"
The "dry bones" prophecy is one of the most plain descriptions of a future physical resurrection, not only of the ancient Israelites, but of all who did not have their calling to understanding before Christ's return (again, see the Fact Finder question below).
"37:1 The hand of the LORD [i.e. Christ; see 'The God Of The Old Testament'; also YHVH, Adonai, Jehovah, LORD] was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 37:2 And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 37:3 And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live?
Fact Finder: Why will some be resurrected to spirit, while others will be resurrected physical?