If Jesus Rose from the Dead, then (#25) We Will Also Rise

  1. Share
7 3

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. Job 19:25-27

The confidence that God will raise the dead is not just a New Testament belief. Job confessed, in this prophetic utterance, that even after his body had rotted in the grave, he would see God in his flesh, with real eyes, a real resurrected body.

The belief that the soul lives on after death was then, and is now, a fairly popular belief. Even those who are not “religious” have a sense, maybe an inward hope, that their spirit will survive the grave. This is something that is inherent within the human soul. The atheist must forcibly oppress it. We know, deep down inside, that there is something within us that is beyond the physical. Even in the Roman empire, in Paul’s day, it was a common belief passed down from Plato and Socrates. When the Athenians scoffed at Paul on Mars Hill because he was teaching the resurrection of the dead, it wasn’t for the notion of some spiritual continuation after death that they jeered, it was for his teaching that the body would physically rise from the dead.

Abraham believed it:

He considered that God was able even to raise him (Isaac) from the dead… Hebrews 11:19

Daniel prophesied it:

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2

Paul declared it:

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. Romans 8:11

Jesus foretold it:

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. John 5:28-29

And it was the faith of the martyrs:

… and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection… Hebrews 11:35

Physical bodies were raised in both the Old Testament and the New: 

  • Elijah raised the widow’s son (1 Kings 17:17-22)
  • Elisha raised the Shunamite woman’s son (2 Kings 4:32-35)
  • Jesus raised the Nain widow’s son (Luke 7:11-15)
  • Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus (Luke 8:49-55)
  • Jesus raised Lazarus (John 11:1-44)
  • Peter raised Dorcas (Acts 9:36-41)
  • Paul raised Eutychus (Acts 20:9-10)

When Moses and Elijah came back and had a chat with Jesus, they were in their physical bodies. When Jesus rose, saints came out of their tombs, and appeared to many in Jerusalem.

The physical resurrection of the dead is a consistent teaching throughout the whole of Scripture. 

And, of course, the overarching event is the resurrection of Jesus. He was physically raised from the dead as we have already examined. Magdalene heard Him, the women grasped His feet, Thomas touched His wounds, and the disciples ate with Him. When Jesus asked them for fish to eat, it became undeniable apparent that He was not a ghost or spirit, but in His resurrected body.

This, therefore, became the main theme of the teaching of the apostles. In fact, when they were selecting someone to take the place of Judas, the single criteria was that it had to be one who had been with Jesus the whole time and who could “witness to his resurrection”. Acts 1:22

And witness they did. When Peter and John were arrested, it was because the Jewish leaders were greatly disturbed for this reason:

… the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. Acts 4:2

Paul, before Agrippa, said that it was for the hope of the resurrection that the Jews were accusing him. And then he asked this question:

Why is it considered incredible among you people if God does raise the dead? Acts 26:8

There was a time when the great Charles Spurgeon was convicted, after a survey of the Apostle’s preaching, that the central theme of their teaching had been the resurrection of the dead. Yet his preaching had not emphasized that.

Why was the resurrection of the dead so central to their teaching? Because it is the heart of everything. If Jesus rose from the dead, then everything He said was true. If Jesus rose from the dead then our sins are forgiven. If Jesus rose from the dead, then death is defeated and we will rise as Jesus did. The resurrection is the counter blow to the curse of the fall. 

When Jesus sought to give comfort to Martha over the death of Lazarus, He told her:

 I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live… John 11:25

Jesus is the resurrection and the life. What amazing words of hope for those who are in Christ! In Him we have this enduring confidence that just as Jesus was raised from the dead, so shall we be raised. 

This is the hope and the longing for every believer.

We weep, yes, when God takes close and beloved family members or fellow believers from us. But, in our weeping, we rejoice! For the Door is merely that. When we walk through it, we are in the presence of the Lord. And one day, we will see the Lord ourselves, and we will see each other, for we will be raised just as He was raised.

Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting? 1 Corinthians 15:54-55

[previous] [next]

[photo, Dan Randall, "The Easter Lily Weeps"]

Community tags

This content has 0 tags that match your profile.


To view comments or leave a comment, login or sign up.

Related Content

If Jesus Rose from the Dead, then (#1) the Seal Was Broken
We don’t spend much time talking about the seal that was placed upon the tomb, but I think it is significant. Here is the historical record: The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Matthew 27:62-66 The historical account states that the chief priests and the Pharisees “made the tomb secure by sealing the stone…”.  This seal was most likely several ropes that were drawn across the stone and then affixed to the tomb walls with a soft clay imprinted with some symbol of authority. It was also likely that the ropes were also sealed at their juncture in front of the stone. In this way, no one could move the stone or the ropes without breaking the dried clay and destroying the “seal” affixed upon the clay.  The seal was there to “put on notice” that no one was to mess with the tomb. Rome could deal quite nastily with those who did so. Now, this doesn’t mean much to us today, for we are long past the norm of using “seals” as they were utilized in ancient times. but in those days, a seal was inviolable[1]. It represented authority, authenticity, and finality. No one messed with a seal. In the book of Esther, when King Ahasuerus issued the order to save the Jews, he commanded them to “seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.” (Esther 8:8) When Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den, “… a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel." (Daniel 6:17) In the vision concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, the Scripture says this: And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” Isaiah 29:11 The permanence of a seal against all who were unauthorized to break it was an inviolable part of their world.  It becomes even more apparent when John is caught up to heaven and there beholds the scroll with seven seals. John begins to weep because there was “no one worthy to open the scroll or to look into it” (Revelation 5:4). Of course, we find that the Lamb, “standing as though it had been slain” (Revelation 5:6), was worthy to break the seals. And when each of those seals were broken, great calamity came upon the earth. Seals in the Scripture mean something. And John had wept, because the seal represented an inviolable wall to anyone who did not have the authority to break it. Seals show authority. They show authenticity. And they show finality for all except the one who had the authority to break them. And so, we now come back to the tomb. The seal, whether it was a Roman seal or the High Priest’s seal, represented a fixed closure that no one was allowed to breach. When it was set upon the tomb, there was a finality, a stamp of ultimate authority, that said, “this tomb is closed”. Ah, but God is not subject to the laws or seals of man. I can imagine that when the earth began to shake and the stone was rolled aside, that those clay seals with the authority of man impressed upon them broke into a thousand pieces and lay as trash littering the ground. If Jesus rose from the dead, then the seal of man, meant to keep Him in the grave, had been utterly and completely destroyed. But there is one more thing that must be mentioned regarding “seals”. It is important to note that God has given us this detail in the record to help substantiate the reality of the accounts of the empty tomb and the risen Lord Jesus. But it also brings our minds to something quite wonderful. In John 6:27, Jesus said this: Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” If God seals something, it is sealed! In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:13 “… it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:21 This is God’s seal of authority, authenticity, and finality. You are His, sealed with His guarantee. Oh, my, dear brothers and sisters in Christ! How deep is the steadfast love of God that He should do such mighty things to secure us to Himself and then tell that He has put His own seal upon you and me. As David writes: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” Psalm 139:6 [previous] [next]     [1]Inviolable /ĭn-vī′ə-lə-bəl/: never to be broken, infringed or dishonored; unassailable; secure from violation or assault or trespass
If Jesus Rose from the Dead, then... (#0)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most important event in history. It is the most important truth claim in a biblical worldview. It is the key apologetic for Christianity. Over the next seven weeks, I would like for us to think through forty compelling arguments and implications that are true if Jesus, indeed, “rose from the dead”. This will take us through Ascension Day and Pentecost. Both are important days of remembrance following the Resurrection and we will highlight them. But more importantly, I want for us to see the tremendous significance of the Resurrection by looking at not only the many proofs, but also the many implications. And this, I pray, will lead to deep contemplations in our hearts and minds. Paul states that without the resurrection, our faith would be in vain and we would still be lost.  “… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”      1 Corinthians 15:17 This is not a minor statement, and it should cause us pause, for it puts this unique historical event into sharp perspective. Without the Resurrection, we are hopelessly lost. We are without a true faith and we are unforgiven, still condemned in our sins. We should probably read that verse over several times before plowing forward. It is easy for me, and possibly you, to treat Easter as another Christian holiday marked by multiple, and possibly extensive, preparations. Church choirs rehearse diligently and on overtime, special services are prepared (think Good Friday and sometimes Sunrise Services), thousands of lilies are tended and provoked to bloom at the right time and are purchased to line sanctuary rails, special meals are planned and prepared and joyously consumed, treasure hunts are created, painted eggs are hidden and Easter baskets are filled with chocolate bunnies, peeps, and who knows what else the market has, and will, come up with.  The point here is that just like Christmas and Thanksgiving and every other holiday, including birthdays, anniversaries, and the multitude of “take-your-boss-to-lunch” kind of days, they are preceded with much preparation, happy execution, and then forgotten except to toss the wrappings into the trash and press on with life as usual. When I was at the White House, the annual “Easter Egg Roll” on the south lawn was a big deal with weeks of preparation, followed immediately by a massive clean-up and the Secret Service hustling folks out of the “compound”. For the Resurrection, however, Paul implies that it is something so critical to our faith that it should be an ever-present reality. The astounding cry, “He lives!” should be ongoing, not a one-and-done holiday. I believe it is important for us to frequently ponder and meditate upon the deep implications that the tomb was really, truly empty and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is absolutely true… a historical fact that has everyday implications. So, we will look at not only these implications, but also the apologetic propositions and the incredible truths that logically follow this unmatched historical assertion. We will not go through these in any particular order. We are not going from the least to the greatest or vice versa, although we will generally lay down the apologetic arguments first and then deal with the implications. And hopefully, after seven weeks, we will have imprinted these truths deep in our hearts such that they will help us with our walk into the darkness we call future. Because it is the Resurrection of Christ that stands at the forefront in the apologetic reality of who Jesus is and what God has done for us. As a famous hymn states: "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow." [Next: The Seal Was Broken]