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.
Let’s look at another passage quite a controversial on this one in 1 Samuel chapter 28, the end of the Book of Samuel. Saul, the king, is in big trouble. He has lost his anointing, he’s lost his fellowship with God, and he’s about to face a battle with the Philistines. He is frightened and he doesn’t know what to do. So, he goes to a medium (known as the witch of Endor) to consult with a spirit. I’ll say a bit about that in a moment. Let’s just read what it says. 1 Samuel 28, verse 8:
A very curious story because, if you read through Deuteronomy, you’ll know that mediums and consulting with the dead is forbidden. So, please don’t think that I’m reading this so that you can go home and start talking to the dead or trying to consult the dead through a séance because you mustn’t, it’s forbidden and, if you do try and do that, you won’t consult with the dead, you will consult with an evil spirit who will be impersonating the dead and may actually have some information which will convince you that it really is your dead aunty or someone else, but it won’t be. It’ll be an evil spirit.
The Bible does not in any way endorse spiritism and consulting with the dead. This was a unique occasion and we can see that it was unique because the woman who was the medium was even more surprised than Saul when Samuel came up and she wasn’t used to someone actually appearing; she was really shocked by this.
Notice what Samuel says. She saw a spirit ascending from the earth and in verse 15, Samuel said to Saul: ‘why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?‘
Clearly, it’s Samuel who’s come up and he says he’s been disturbed from where he was. He was in the place of the dead and now he has appeared to Saul and gives him a message. Samuel knows who Saul is and he knows who David is, and he gives him information which is relevant to what’s about to happen.
What this story tells you is that there is a continuation of life after death, that Samuel has died already and now he’s been summoned back to life and he’s still Samuel, he’s still someone who knows who Samuel is and who knows who Saul is, and he knows who David is.
This tells you that there is a life after death. Now, I say, please don’t take this story as a model for what you should do, I just quote it here because it is a clear example from the Old Testament that there is a belief within the Hebrew scriptures in life after death, in resurrection.
Okay, let’s look at some of the words from the prophets and I’ll go through this fairly quickly but these are scriptures from the prophetic writings which tell you that there will be a resurrection of the dead.
In Isaiah, there are two or three passages. We’ll read a couple of them. Isaiah 25.8 says,
“In His salvation” means “In His Yeshua / Jesus”.
Therefore, He’s going to swallow up death forever; there’s going to be a time when God is going to change death into life.
An interesting verse that says ‘your dead shall live together with my dead body.’ Now, other versions say, ‘with your dead body’. But if it says ‘my dead body‘, who is the ‘my‘? Who is going to rise, and who’s going to bring others with Him to rise from the dead?
We can’t say definitely this is a prophecy of the resurrection of Jesus but I think it comes pretty close. It says someone’s going to rise and, as a result of this, One who has died and risen, He is going to bring others to life; and it also says that ‘the earth is going to cast out her dead‘. Therefore, it is speaking about something to do with the resurrection of the dead through somebody who rises from death.
The next verse is also very interesting it says,
God is saying that there’s going to be a time when God is going to take people out of the earth and take them into a safe place while He brings judgment on the world. Does that remind you of anything which is going to happen according to the New Testament?
Go to 1 Thessalonians chapter 4 and you have the Lord taking his people out of the world, I believe, before the Great Tribulation begins. You can’t say that’s a definite prophecy of the rapture of the church, but it is interesting, and the rapture of the church has also something to do with the resurrection of the dead, the resurrection of the believers.
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.