The Resurrection Foretold
Ancient prophecies had foretold of both the death and the
resurrection of Jesus. Seven hundred years before Jesus' birth the prophet
Isaiah had stated that the Messiah would die, and yet, that His days would also
be prolonged after His death. Consider some excerpts from Isaiah's prophecy:
"His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His
death... He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good
pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand... My Servant, will justify the
many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion
with the great... Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with
the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the
transgressors." (Isaiah 53:9-12).
It was difficult for God's people before Christ to reconcile all these statements - a Messiah who was put to death and yet who's days would be prolonged and prosper. The Psalmist had added that He would not remain in the grave very long (Psalm 16:7-11). Jesus Himself got very plain about the events that would occur at Jerusalem - He would be killed but He would also rise from the grave (Matthew 16:21). These prophecies from Isaiah, from the Psalmist and many others, as well as from Jesus Himself came to pass.
It is the resurrection of Christ that is the foundation of the Christian's hope and confidence. The Scriptures state that Jesus "was declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead." (Romans 1:4). The Christian has not committed his love, loyalty and trust to a corpse, but to a living Savior. Jesus' death proved His great love for us, and His resurrection proved His great power. We have good reason to submit our lives to His will. The Bible says, "For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all... that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.." (2 Corinthians 5:14,15).
The same prophets of old who spoke about the Redeemer's resurrection also spoke of the spiritual resurrection, or renewal to come. If we are truly confident in our Redeemer, then our faith will be seen in our lives. The Bible says, "... knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him... Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus." (Romans 6:9,11).
A full faith in the resurrection is strong motivation to transform one's life according to the gospel. It is not enough just to pretend to believe. We must be compelled by the love Christ has had for us to make His will our own. How sad to settle for less than the full measure of the blessings of God in Christ.
By Jon W. Quinn
The Final Page
From Expository Files 14.3; March 2007