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.
There’s also another concept in the coming of the Messiah to the Mount of Olives.
Anyone who has been to the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem, knows here’s a big graveyard there, and it’s a place where Orthodox Jews want to be buried because they believe that, when the Messiah comes, He’s going to blow a trumpet and the people who are nearest to the Messiah when he blows the trumpet will be the first to rise from the dead. So, it’s a good prestigious place to be buried.
Now, we believe that the dead in Christ will rise first, but that’s another issue. What is certain is that this concept of ‘resurrection’ is there in Judaism, and that there is a hope in the resurrection of the dead. This may not be quite so clear as it is in the New Testament, but there are passages which speak about a New Heavens and a New Earth and even one which speaks about a place where the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched which you’ll find in Isaiah 66parallel to New Testament passages on heaven and hell.
But, what about the Messiah? And how does this relate to Jesus?
The traditional Jewish states that all this is about the Messiah and that, when He comes, He’s going to bring the resurrection of the dead. Christians would say that the resurrection has already happened. The one who is bringing the resurrection has already come in the person of Yeshua/Jesus the Messiah.
This is then another issue which I’m not going to go into in detail today because it really is another topic which we will look at later: how the Messiah brings resurrection.
So, Sheol is the place of the dead. In the New Testament the term is ‘Hades’ not ‘Gehenna’.
Gehenna is the place of the dead for the damned, but Sheol is a place which has, in New Testament terms, in Luke 16, the meaning of ‘a good compartment’, Abraham’s bosom, where the righteous go, and a bad compartment, where the rich man goes and is in torment.
Therefore, at the end of days, Jesus is going to empty (some believe He has already emptied) the ‘good compartment’ and taken those who are there to heaven. People in the ‘bad compartment’ of Hades will be thrown into the Lake of Fire at the Judgement of the Great White Throne described in Revelation chapter 20. But that’s another big subject we won’t go into detail today.
What’s important here is that Peter speaks of this as referring to Jesus.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
Therefore, if Sheol is the place of the dead, the place where the body sees corruption, then this one the prophet is speaking of here is not going to be allowed to stay there. And Jesus, who is the Son of God, was put into the grave (according to my understanding) His Spirit then went to Sheol, to the ‘good part’ of Sheol, and He proclaimed things and He emptied part of it.
We don’t know for sure, but Jesus was certainly conscious during the time between His death and His resurrection. Then, at the resurrection, His Spirit returned into the body and Jesus then burst out of the tomb, alive in the resurrection body.
So you have an event which took place and Peter refers to this in Acts chapter 2 verse 29 where he says concerning this:
So, who is the One who rose from the dead? It’s Jesus. He didn’t see corruption, He didn’t stay in the tomb because He is God. He couldn’t remain dead, He had to come back to life, and, having come back to life in the resurrection of the dead, He appeared to the disciples.
They witnessed it, and now they are telling people what they should do about it. He says this Jesus whom you crucified is both Lord and Christ.
Who crucified Jesus? We all did, because Jesus died for our sins.
Some churches say that the Jews crucified Jesus and are therefore under a curse. That’s NOT the case at all, there were Jews who were for Jesus and those who were against Jesus.
Peter was probably talking to some of the Jewish religious leaders who were responsible for the death of Jesus, telling them that they made a mistake, that they should repent and believe in Jesus.
But the fact is that every one of us is guilty of the death of Jesus because Jesus died for our sins and we’re all sinners. But we can all be forgiven if we repent and believe the Gospel and that’s what He wants of us. Peter says the promises to you and your children to all as many as the Lord our God will call.
Jesus did literally die and rise from the dead and this is prophesied here in the scriptures. Because He died and rose from the dead, therefore, those who believe in Him will also rise from the dead in the resurrection.
The Bible, both Old and New Testaments speak about the resurrection of the dead. In the Old Testament, it’s a bit veiled, it’s not as clear as it is in the New Testament but it is there.
The Old Testament points us to the Messiah who has come to redeem us. I haven’t even looked here into the prophecies like Isaiah 53 which we’ll look at some other time, but there are so many prophecies in the Hebrew scriptures which point us to Yeshua being the one who has died for our sins, was buried, and rose again from the dead!
In Him we can have eternal life; so, believe on Yeshua / Jesus the Messiah.
The Bible does indicate that the Messiah will die and rise from the dead. Asher Norman was wrong when he says that ‘it’s not possible, not Jewish’. It is there, in the Hebrew scriptures.
And here is just one quote to finish with. Jesus spoke to Martha and said,
I’m the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live, whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
Do you believe this? Good!
If you don’t, now is the Day of Salvation!
There may be somebody here or somebody listening to this talk who does not believe in Yeshua the Messiah. If you do, then, you have eternal life through faith in Him, your sins are forgiven, and you can look forward to a glorious resurrection. You don’t have to fear death, you don’t fear judgment because the price has been paid through Jesus the Messiah who died for us on the cross.
It’s there in the Old Testament, it’s, in some ways, a bit hidden, but, in the New Testament, this is revealed in the person of Yeshua / Jesus the Messiah. And our prayer is that as well as all of us here, and all Christians, that Jewish people around us may also recognize that Jesus is the Messiah who came to redeem us. He is the one who paid the price, and He’s the one who died and rose from the dead. So, believe on Yeshua the Messiah and you will be saved. Amen.
Amen, let’s just have a word of prayer then we’ll close so Lord we do thank You for these scriptures, we thank You that your Word is clear and it points to Jesus the Messiah.
Thank you that You are the Saviour who died for us and rose from the dead and we pray Lord that Your Word will go out to the Jewish people, and they will understand who You are and believe on Yeshua the Messiah, amen. Amen.