Growing up in church, we hear about the death and resurrection of Jesus. Do we ever think about how if Jesus simply died, we would not have Christianity today? The resurrection is everything to our faith. The death of Jesus was the necessary sacrifice for our sins, but the resurrection was the victory. Today we are going to study what this key word, resurrection, means.
When we think about resurrecting something, we are bringing back to life. Ephesians 2:1 tells us that we were once dead in our sins, but then Ephesians 2:4-5 goes on to say, “But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved!”
Adam and Eve lived in a perfect world, with perfect bodies, and there was no sin. When they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they sinned and death was the consequence. Our sins lead to death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ. Jesus had to resurrect Himself; He needed to defeat death for us so we could be brought back and restored to the life God intended for us. Sin separates, but Jesus resurrects.
Anastasis is the word for resurrection in the Greek. Strong’s Concordance says that Anastasia is “a standing up, i.e., a resurrection, a raising up, rising.” Helps Word Study shares, “Christ's physical resurrection is the foundation of Christianity, which also guarantees the future resurrection of all believers (see Jn 6:39,40,44).”
Resurrection Seen in the Old Testament
Although resurrection is mostly thought to be in the New Testament, the concept is intertwined throughout the entire Bible.
James Street from Masters Seminary shares “Job himself in Job 14:14 says, ‘If a man dies, will he live again?’” He shares Job 19:26, which says, “Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God.” Street explains, “Job does not know how God is going to do it, but he believes in his heart that somehow God will raise him from the dead.” Street brings up the point that Psalm 91:16 references David’s belief in salvation and that in Psalms 49:15 and 103:4 he believers resurrection would come through the Redeemer.
Of all people, Hosea knew what it was like to show forgiveness and reconciliation. He was called by God to marry a prostitute named Gomer who was continuously unfaithful to him, however he remained faithful and pursued her. This was God’s way of showing His relationship and loyalty to us as humanity. Hosea 6:2 says, “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.”
One of the most popular instances of Jesus’ foreshadowing is seen in the life of Abraham and Isaac. In Genesis 22, God tests Abraham’s faith by asking him to sacrifice his one and only son of the covenant. Abraham believed that God would make a way, but was obedient to the point right before he struck his son dead on the altar. Jewish tradition holds that Isaac about around 25 years old. This meant that he was willing to allow His older father to slay him as a sacrifice for the Lord.
I cannot even imagine the pain and sorrow both father and son were going through. Thankfully, God stopped Abraham and provided a ram caught by the horns to be the sacrifice instead of Isaac. This moment of rescue represents the rescue that we have because of Jesus. This scenario did not play out the same way when God the Father sacrificed Jesus the Son on behalf of our sins. God gives us a glimpse into the pain and difficulty to send His one and only Son to the cross at Calvary to slay Him on our behalf.
Old Testament Verse about Resurrection
Isaiah 26:19 - “Your dead will live; Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, For your dew is as the dew of the dawn, And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.”
Ezekiel 36:26 - “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
Daniel 12:2 - “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.”
Resurrection Seen in the New Testament
There is a beautiful moment in John 11:25-26 when Jesus decides to raise Lazarus from the dead. He looks at Martha and says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me will live, even though he dies. And everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” This is the gospel message – Jesus is the resurrection, He is the life. Even though believers in Him will die, they will live eternally in Heaven because of Him.
Jesus resurrected three people during his ministry on earth. He raised the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11-17), the daughter of Jairus (Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-43, Luke 8:40-56), and Lazarus (John 11:1-44). Although these individuals were given an extended life on earth, they would each still face death again. What Jesus offered through His death and resurrection was eternal relationship and security through Him.
If you have ever participated in an Easter church service, then you might be familiar with the call and response, “He has risen" "He has risen indeed." This comes from the message of the angel at Jesus’ tomb. In multiple places we read “He is not here; he has risen” (Matthew 28:5-6, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:7). Jesus was on a mission, we see His death, resurrection, and ascension in Scripture. Jesus raised Himself back to life and then ascended to Heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father.
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we too will be resurrected one day. The Gospel Project says, “Our resurrection will take place at the future return of Christ. When we die, we immediately enter the presence of the Lord, but the final resurrection has not yet happened. When it does, we will know it because Christ’s return will be known by all."
New Testament Verse about Resurrection
1 Peter 1:3-5 - “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
2 Corinthians 5:15 - “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
Romans 6:4 - “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Although resurrection literally means to rise up or stand up, to a believer, resurrection means that their eternity is sealed in Jesus. Resurrection is one of the foundational beliefs of the Christian faith. It is by the grace of God that we have been saved though faith in Jesus and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. This means that we can live in victory – today, right now, in this moment – because of the finished work of Christ. Romans 8:11 says, “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”
Just as Jesus resurrected Lazarus from his dead state, maybe there is an area that is dead in your faith right now? Ask the Holy Spirit for help, for anything idle in your faith to be renewed and that your life can be one of victory in Jesus. It is by His resurrection that we can live life in victory each day.
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Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, inspiring young women to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and they have been married for over a year. Drew and Emma serve with Upstate CRU college ministry in South Carolina. Emma is an avid writer for Salem Web Network and provides articles on the Bible, life questions, and on the Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 viewed article on Crosswalk for the year 2021. All the glory to the Lord! She has the joy of being the host of Her Many Hats podcast where she explores the many roles that women play while serving One God.
Emma enjoys singing/songwriting, fitness classes, trying new recipes, home makeover shows, and drinking tea! During her ministry career, Emma recorded two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, ran the Refined Magazine, and served in music education for early childhood. Currently, she is in the editing stages of her first published book on singleness. Emma also had the privilege of being a national spokesperson for Mukti Mission based out of India. Mukti has been working to restore shattered lives in India for over 120 years. You can view her articles through her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com