Reflections on the Resurrection

Jesus claimed to be the resurrection and the life prior to his own resurrection (Matt. 16:21, 17:9, 27:63 [even his enemies knew it], Luke 18:33, 24:7, John 2:19). This wasn’t just a stand-alone event that was later reinterpreted. A striking thing about the resurrection of Jesus is that it was foreshadowed, verbally claimed, accomplished, and has resonating effects.

“You will not allow your Holy One to undergo decay” (Ps. 16”10). This idiom for death is quite possibly the clearest Old Testament prediction of the Messiah’s resurrection. Jonah was a sign of the resurrection (Matt 12:40). Even the burning bush event gave Moses hints at the resurrection. God spoke out of the bush, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Jesus explained that, therefore “He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

No man has ever caused himself to come to life prior to Jesus; and no man has done it since. After all, what capability does a dead man have? Absolutely none. Yet, Jesus, as a dead man, had ability. Where did this ability come from? While the earthly man was dead, the earthly man was not his only nature (thus, the necessity of the virgin birth). Jesus was also the fully God. As such, it was impossible that death would keep him. He could have risen right away, or even have been healed while on the cross. It did not take him three days to get better or to finish more of the atonement. The time was intentional to fulfill the sign of Jonah and the sign of the 7 days in Genesis 1. On the 6th day God created the man that would end up killing the Creator Son. Recall that God did no work on the 7th day; He rested. The eighth day is a new beginning, another day one. All things become new (Rev. 21:5). Light is once again separated from darkness.

During his earthly ministry, Jesus gave hints in support of the fact that he was not limited by death. Jesus raised many people from the dead—certainly more than the ones that have reported. Jesus, giving indicators of his messianic ministry said, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up” . His close follower, John, emphasized the fact that Jesus did much more that what had been recorded (John 20:30). We can only speculate how many dead people physically came to life during his earthly ministry.

Today, we can see the signs that Jesus still brings the dead to life. Since God is necessarily life, anyone that He claims will necessarily live. God claims by the Holy Spirit, and couldn’t claim anyone if He couldn’t claim the Son. Not only is the Trinity essential to the resurrection of Jesus, the He (they?) is essential to bringing the dead people that we are to life. The Father calls, the Son provides, and the Holy Spirit seals the deal. “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

When Jesus was severely beaten beyond recognition, he was showing us the horror of our own condition. Part of the beauty of the resurrection is the horrid state that preceded it. Yeah, our little sin really is THAT bad. Anyone that has been born again can testify that the life that they lived before was as a life of a walking dead man (Col. 2:13). Life is not “a little better with Christ.” It is not about “giving Jesus a try.” It is about transferring from death to life.

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