Light for the Last Days

The Resurrection in Exodus, Job, and Ecclesiastes

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This morning I was speaking about the Gospel from the resurrection from John’s point of view and one of the things we saw is that Jesus rose from the dead and that He was seen first of all by the women who were much more faithful and zealous to seek the Lord at this time in the morning.

And I suggested that the men, the disciples, had actually fled, most likely to Bethany, when Jesus was arrested, though Peter and John had gone into Jerusalem. And, during the day, Mary Magdalene and the women had gone to assemble the disciples and to bring them together in Jerusalem where they met with the risen Lord.

We’re going to read about the meeting with the Lord in Luke 24.33 and then I’m going to speak on the theme of the resurrection in Judaism and in Christianity remembering of course that Jesus and the disciples were all Jewish.

Let’s just have a word of prayer as we come to the Lord.

Lord, we thank you for your Word. We pray that you bless the reading and the speaking of your Word and help us to understand this subject. We pray in the name of Yeshua, Jesus the Messiah.

Let’s start at verse 33. This is actually the people on the Emmaus road as they go back to Jerusalem.

33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. 36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” 37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” 40 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 But while they still did not believe for joy, and marvelled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” 42 So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 And He took it and ate in their presence.

Luke 24.33-49

44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

Luke 24.44

45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. 46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And you are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

Luke 24.45-49

When you look at the Bible you find actually there was not a great deal about this subject as I said in the Old Testament, especially in the Torah.

When you come to the time of Jesus, you find that one of the arguments between Jesus opponents the Sadducees and the Pharisees was over this very subject: Is there a life after death? Is there a resurrection?

Two references particularly in Matthew chapter 22 when Jesus is challenged by the Pharisee the Sadducees and in Acts 23 when Paul is before the council and he says that, I’m a Pharisee and because of the belief in the life after death in the resurrection of the dead, I am before you, which set off a big row between the Pharisees and the Sadducees Acts chapter 23.

Let’s look at Matthew 22. The Pharisees believe in the resurrection but the Sadducees don’t. The Sadducees were the people who were concentrating their worship and their whole religious life around the Temple worship, the sacrifices and, basically, believe the five books of Moses and not much else so they their origin was really confined to the Torah the five books of Moses.

23 The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 24 saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. 27 Last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”

Matthew 22.23-28

Arnold Fruchtenbaum commented on this and said ‘it wasn’t so much a theological question but should be a question for the police department‘. What was this woman putting in the soup that all her husbands kept dying?

But it was a religious question. So, what does Jesus answer? He said,

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.

Matthew 22.29-33

The Sadducees took the Torah the part which was significant to them, so Jesus had to say tell them something out of the Torah that they may understand. Speaking out of Exodus 3.5-7 and referring to the burning bush passage and to Moses standing before the burning bush, when the Lord confronts him and says ‘I am the God of Abraham, God of Isaac, the God of Jacob. God is not the God of the dead but of the living’.

What is the point of that answer? Well, God is ‘the living God’ and He’s speaking to Moses who is living some 400 years + after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And He is saying that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are living.

Do you see that?

Therefore, there has to be some resurrection which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have gone through. Therefore, there is a life after death. That was the argument.

Jesus also spoke about when he said of the rich man that he saw Lazarus was ‘in Abraham’s bosom’ in Luke chapter 16.

19 “There was a certain rich man … 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table … 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 27 “… ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 … that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

Luke 16.19-31

So, there’s some connection between Abraham being alive and Abraham, who died many years before Moses, and before Jesus, being alive today. You have this statement from Jesus.

Let’s have a look at another scripture. In the Torah, there’s no direct statement (if anyone can find one, let me know, but I’ve never found one) which says there is a resurrection from the dead.

What Jesus says in Luke 16 is an inference He makes from Exodus. There’s no direct statement you’ll find anywhere in the five books of Moses saying there is a resurrection from the dead.

There are however, several passages in the prophets and in the other parts of the Bible.

Let’s have a look at some of them. One of the most remarkable is in the Book of Job. In the Book of Job chapter 19, Job says,

25 For I know that my Redeemer lives,

And He shall stand at last on the earth;

26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,

That in my flesh I shall see God,

27 Whom I shall see for myself,

And my eyes shall behold, and not another.

Job 19.25-27

What happens after your skin is destroyed? You’re dead, right?

He is saying that, ‘after I’ve died, I’m going to see God‘.

How is he going to see God? He is going to see God if he is resurrected from the dead.

And he says also,

I know that my Redeemer lives and he shall stand at last on the earth.

Who’s his redeemer? He didn’t know Him by name but we, know His by name. It’s Yeshua / Jesus the Messiah.

Job is saying ‘I know that my redeemer lives and he’s going to come in the person of Jesus and stand on the earth and after I’ve died. I’m going to be resurrected and see God‘.

Here is what some people think is the oldest book in the Bible which has a very clear reference to resurrection in it.

Let’s look at another passage in the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 12.

It says, (this is verse 6 of Ecclesiastes):

Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed,

Or the golden bowl is broken,

Or the pitcher shattered at the fountain,

Or the wheel broken at the well.

Then the dust will return to the earth as it was,

And the spirit will return to God who gave it.

Ecclesiastes 12.6-7

Verse 6 is a very poetic description of death. When the golden bowl is broken and the picture shattered, this is basically speaking about ‘when you’re no longer here, when you’re dead’, it says, the dust (the physical body) will return to the earth out of which it came and the spirit will return to God who gave the spirit.

Therefore, you have a body and a spirit. Your body is going to return to the dust of the earth, your spirit is going to return to God.

Here is a statement about something that’s going to happen after death in which the spirit part of you leaves your body and returns to God. And the Bible speaks very clearly that we do have a physical body and a spirit part of us that makes us different from the animals.

The animals just have a body and they have a soul but they don’t have the spirit part such as ours with which we relate to God.

In Genesis chapter 2, in the creation account, it says,

7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Genesis 2.7

Therefore, man became a living being. He had a physical nature. He also had a spiritual nature which came from God. And the spiritual and the physical will be separated.

When Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus in chapter 3 of John’s Gospel, he says,

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”

5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3.4-8

The Bible (both Old and New Testaments) tells you that you and I, and every human being on the face of the earth has a spirit part of us as well as a physical part of us.

There are a lot of people who deny that but, whether they deny it or not, there is a space within each one of us which is the spirit part, which is made to be filled with God, with the Holy Spirit, and, through faith in Jesus, you can be born again and receive the Holy Spirit and therefore be ready to meet God when you die.

That’s the good news of the Gospel but what he’s saying is:

there is a life after death.

So, again, all these scriptures are telling you that there will be a resurrection, and they’re implying also that it is a literal resurrection and a bodily resurrection. Therefore, Daniel will be resurrected as Daniel, he will be recognizable as the prophet Daniel, and others from the Old Testament period will be resurrected as well.

Tony Pearce

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