From the Old Testament Perspective
Job 19: 25-27 “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; and after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”
I wonder how many of you have heard, as I have, that the teaching about the resurrection
the dead is something that is unique to the New Testament. In countless historical TV programs that deal with the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), we hear all the time that the devil is a creation of the New Testament writers and that the resurrection from the dead is something that is unique to the Christian Bible.
I guess they overlooked the book of Job somehow. First Job says that his Redeemer lives, we could say that he is referring to God in heaven, but then Job adds that his Redeemer shall stand at last on the earth. Here Job is implying a resurrection from the dead, on the earth, at the end of times. Then Job goes on to say that after my skin is destroyed, meaning the physical deterioration of his body after his death, he says, this I know, meaning this is not just some conjecture on his part, that in my flesh I shall see God. If his body is destroyed how could he possibly see God in his flesh unless he Job, is physically resurrected from the dead. But wait there is more; whom I shall see for myself and my eyes shall behold, and not another. Job says it will not be in his spirit that he will witness that, but in his flesh, I myself he says and not another.
So that in the oldest book of the Old Testament we find the main character testifying to the physical resurrection from the dead at the end of times, and boldly declaring that he, Job himself, will be part of that glorious event.
Genesis 22:8, 13 “And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering’...Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.”
Genesis 22 begins with the words, God tested Abraham. What was Abraham being tested for? God tells Abraham to take his son, the son whom you love, to a certain place and there kill him and offer him as a burnt offering to God. When Isaac astutely realized that the only thing missing for the burnt offering was the lamb, he asked his father Abraham, where is the lamb for the sacrifice, to which Abraham responded, God will provide for Himself the lamb, even though he knew that it was his son Isaac that he was going up to sacrifice.
Romans 4:20-21 “He (Abraham) did not waiver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He (God) had promised He was able to perform.”
There is no other conclusion but that what Abraham was being tested for was none other than his faith in the physical resurrection from the dead. Abraham had to cross a threshold in his heart that if he killed the son of promise that God had given to him, that God would have no other choice but to raise Isaac from the dead, in order to fulfill His promise to Abraham that through Isaac all the nations would be blessed.
John 8:56 “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
When did Abraham see Jesus’ day? When he lifted (up) his eyes and looked. By faith Abraham saw the cross and rejoiced, before he saw the ram that was caught in the thicket by its horns.
So that not only did Job believed and testified to the resurrection from the dead, but we see also that faith in the physical resurrection from the dead was an essential part of God’s covenant with Abraham. And is all written there for us in the Old Testament. How could they miss it? What were they thinking?
Isaiah 26:19 “Your dead shall live; together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.”
Isaiah gives us an even more amazing insight into the physical resurrection from the dead in the verse above. In the original Hebrew the three words used for “dead” are all different and have different meanings associated with them that gives us insight into what the prophet was trying to convey to us.
Your dead shall live: The word translated dead at the beginning of the verse is according to Strong’s concordance # 4191 Muwth and it means To die and it refers to man, or body. So that when it says that your dead shall live is referring to the physically dead human bodies that will be resurrected at some point in the future.
My dead body: The next word translated dead is according to Strong’s concordance # 5038 Nbelah and it means Carcass and it can be applied to a human or a bestial carcass, often collectively, meaning that in most instances it applies to both. The meaning of the context is very clear, My dead body is in reference to a sacrificial carcass that is in nature both human and animal, as in the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, amazing!
The earth shall cast out the dead: The last word translated dead is according to Strong’s concordance # 7496 Rapha’ and it means the dead or deceased in plural. It comes from the root word # 7495 Raphah and it means to mend, to cure, cause to heal, to make whole thoroughly.
Oh what a beautiful picture of the resurrection from the dead we get from the prophet Isaiah. How one verse of Scripture, in the Old Testament mind you, can reveal so much, centuries before the actual resurrection of Jesus from the dead took place.
Luke 17:37 “...Where there is a dead body (carcass), there the vultures will gather.” NIV
Jesus seems to imply, according to what Isaiah wrote, that those rapture will be gathered together to His sacrificial body that was resurrected from the dead.
Daniel 12:2 “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contemp.”
I close with Daniel’s version of the physical resurrection from the dead in the Old Testament that reveals that is not just the righteous that will be resurrected, but what the New Testament also teaches, that at some point all the unbelievers will also be resurrected and will go physically into everlasting contemp.
Which brings us to the message of the resurrection; there is life after death, not just life, but physical life as well. Eventually all who die will be resurrected, can you imagine having immortality and having to spend eternity in reproach and contemp. Is there anything in this whisper of time that we have while here on earth, when compared to eternity, that is worth you having to spend eternity away from God’s comfort and love? I am not asking you to become religious, I’m just asking you to get right with Jesus.
Make Jesus your savior, why don’t you make Jesus your Lord today, I can guarantee that you will never regret it, never, ever.