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.
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.
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,
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.
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,
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):
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,
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,
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.