The Resurrection of Yeshua: Why It Matters

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On of the 13 tenets of historic Judaism (Pharasaic/Talmudic/Rabbinic) is the resurrection of righteous Jews at the end of the world, on the last day.  The righteous Jewish person is the one who keeps the traditions of the elders/sages, and seeks favor with God that He would find their “good works” greater than their “bad works”. (Jn 11:23-27; 6:35-40, 53-58; Acts 23:6-9)

It takes faith to believe that a dead person, especially one who has been buried, can physically rise alive again, and live forever, without ever dying again.  It takes faith to believe that a buried dead man – like Lazarus – can physically rise again from the grave, even though he will die again.  There are times that someone dies for a few minutes – maybe in a hospital; maybe after a drowning – is resuscitated, and lives.  They were never buried, and they were dead for only a very short time, before their brain died.  The two witnesses who are to come will be killed, and lie in the street for 3 ½ days.  They are not buried, and God miraculously preserves them for those days, and then raises them to life again, and takes them up into heaven in the sight of all who saw them. (Rev 11:1-13)

To believe that someone dead and buried under the ground or behind a heavy stone in a burial cave could rise again and come out of their grave was beyond comprehension.  Have any of you ever seen this?  It was hard for the closest disciples of Jesus/Yeshua.  It requires genuine faith in the power of the God who created the heavens and the Earth and the seas, and all that is in them.  If He can do that, as He says that He did – even in six days! – then He can truly do anything.  Nothing is too difficult for Him!:  dividing the Reed Sea; a virgin conceiving and giving birth; resurrecting the dead to life; creating a perfect and eternal new heavens and new Earth.  This is the God we believe in if we truly believe that Yeshua/Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the Living God of the living!

Lk 24:1-11; Jn 20:24-31; Mt 28:16-17; Mk 16:9-16  All four gospel accounts speak of the doubts about the resurrection of the Lord by those closest to Him.  He had spoken several times to them about His death and resurrection, but when it actually happened, they couldn’t believe it. (Mt 16:15-21)  It may be a doctrine of the faith, but to actually believe it!?

1Cor 15:12-22, 29-32  If Messiah did not rise, no one will be resurrected, and our faith is empty and futile – and so would be this word today; just another philosophy based upon a “good and holy” man.  You may as well follow Buddha, or be an avowed atheist; it would make no difference if Jesus/Yeshua did not rise from among the dead, justified by God for His sinless life.

1Cor 11:26 – In the Lord’s Supper, we remember His death until He comes again:  to die, He  had to be born in flesh and blood; to come again means He had to have risen from death and the grave; to come again means that He ascended back to Heaven, from where He came in the flesh the first time, and from where He will come again in His new phyical body that He ascended with in front of the apostles.  The Lord’s Supper is both a sober and joyful celebration memorial by redeemed and forgiven children of God, who marvel at the price of our own redemption, and the joyful anticipation of that day of glory when the Lord comes again! (Mt 26:26-29; Acts 1:9-11; 1Jn 4:1-6)

Because the Yeshua the Messiah lives – the Scapegoat lives! – God can fulfill all of His covenant promises which He gave to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob/Israel.  And not only for the Jewish people, but for all humanity. (Gen 3:15; Rom 15:8-9)  He has found one Righteous Man, who came as an Israeli Jew, by Whom He can save all who believe in Him, and not destroy the whole nation, or the whole world. (Gen 18:16-33; 2Pt 2:6-9

One of the big promises which YHVH God promised, with an oath, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob is the inheritance and everlasting possession of the land of Canaan.  God is bringing Jewish people from all around the world back to this land, even though they, as a people, have not yet repented and believed in Yeshua, and are not a righteous nation.  This is also according to the prophetic Scriptures. (Ezek 36)  If the Jewish people believed that it is the YHVH God of Israel who is the One initiating this return, they would call upon Him to establish them and to protect them, saving them from their enemies.  But as long as they say that Zionism is the self-determination of the Jewish people to reestablish the ancient and historic homeland of chosen people, they will continue to rely on and boast in their own strength and abilities to “make it happen”. 

So, too, for many believers in Jesus:  There are many Christians who want to “take the world for Jesus” before, or without, His return to accomplish that.  Self-determination to make a better world.  (The Muslims have a much different view of what a better world looks like, and the Islamists are determined to bring that to pass.)  It is as if Jesus did not really rise from among the dead, and is in full control of all that will bring about His glorious return and reign in and out from Jerusalem, Israel. (Mt 28:18-20

R” is an Israeli Jew who did not believe that Jesus rose from the dead – nor in a resurrection at all — but wanted to be baptized, because she said that she believed in him.  Why be baptized for a dead man?!  (We did not baptize her.)  

Sam Harris – an American neuroscientist known as an clear intellectual thinker has become a Zionist in the wake of Oct 7 and the eruption of antisemitism and anti-Israel extremism.  He is a Jewish atheist, and is glad whenever he meets Christians who do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead.  “I love you; let’s work together to make the world better!”  (my paraphrase of a recent podcast pronouncement)  He knows that the resurrection of Jesus is the core of the true faith in Jesus as the Messiah, which cannot be compromised.  If so, the exclusive claims of Yeshua/Jesus are not true; e.g., that He is the only way to God the Father for salvation from our sins.  Sam Harris likes people of faith, so long as it is not the one true faith in the one true God and Savior, who has revealed Himself through the whole Bible, and in the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus the Messiah.  May the Holy Spirit convict him of his sin so that he might repent and be saved!

John Lennox is an Irish mathematician, philosopher of science, and Christian apologist who knows that the Christian faith is unique among all others, and that the God of Christianity is different than the God of Pharasaic/Talmudic/Rabbinic Judaism, and from the God of Islam:  In Judaism, Yeshua is not the Messiah or the Son of God, who died but did not rise; in Islam, Isa (the Muslim name for Yeshua) is not the Son of God, and he did not die at all, and, therefore did not rise from the dead or the grave; in Christianity, Jesus both died and rose again.  All three, though, profess to believe in one God.  Which God?!  What is His Name, and what is His Son’s Name?! (Ja 2:19; Prov 30:4; Ps 2)

These are simple truths to help us when we are evangelizing, or having a discussion with non-believers from whatever religion.  It is not just a matter of knowing “facts” or a statement of faith, but we must believe the truth from our heart, from our inmost being:  Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again on the third day, according to the Scriptures! (Rom 10:9-11; 1Cor 15:1-8

When we believe, without doubting, in Yeshua/Jesus for who He really is, then we know that He is always with us by the Holy Spirit living in those who are born-again spiritually through faith in His Name; for He lives, and is seated at the right-hand of the Father in Heaven, interceding for us as our High Priest and King.  We pray to the Father in the name of the living Savior, who took the punishment for our sins, which He bore on the cross so that all who believe can be saved in the rightousness of God.  If Yeshua/Jesus only died, but did not rise again, then we are still guilty for our sins, and for killing the Son of God.  But in the mercies and covenant faithfulness of YHVH God, all who believe that Jesus took the blame and died for our sins, and that He also lives because death could not hold the Holy and Righteous Redeemer, then we are forgiven, and can live in the light of the truth of YHVH God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – the God of the living; the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel. (Mt 22:23-33

Our God is for us, and no thing, and no created being, can separate us from the love of Messiah!  Whatever struggles, sufferings, problems, crises that come our way, we have the living Lord to call upon.  Whatever joys and blessings that are ours, we have the living Savior to thank and praise and worship.  The resurrection of Yeshua/Jesus gives purpose and hope in our lives that no other religion or faith can; but all will bow the knee, and every tongue will confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord/YHVH, to the glory of the Father!  Let us stand strong in our faith in the crucified and risen Savior, Yeshua/Jesus.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

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