The Easter season is the celebration of the Resurrection Day. Jesus was crucified on a Friday, buried that day and on the third day He arose from the grave. But what is the hope of the resurrection?
Job in the Old Testament acknowledged the hope of the resurrection when he proclaimed: “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (Job 19:25-27)
The hope of the resurrection is recorded in Isaiah centuries before the Messiah: “But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise — let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy — your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.” (Isaiah 26:19)
The book of Daniel declares the hope of the resurrection. Daniel 12:2-3 reads: “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Old Testament characters looked ahead toward redemption … looked toward the Cross. As Christians today, we can look back at the Cross.
The resurrection is the essence of the Christian faith. Christ came to earth, and born as a baby so He could live among us so we could know Him. Yet without His resurrection, His coming as a baby would mean nothing. If Christ were born as a man and died as a man, he would be as any other man. He would be no different than other good man who has ever lived and died.
We can be sure of this fact. Even Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrote about the resurrection of Jesus in “Jewish Antiquities,” Book 18: “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the Cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named for him, are not extinct at this day.”
Jesus did rise on the third day. The ancients looked toward eternal life, the New Testament writers recorded the event and history documents it. The message of Easter is that Jesus is alive and it is in His resurrection, and the certainty of eternal life that we can all see the significance of the Cross and our purpose for living.
Centuries ago, Job asked this question: “If a man die shall he live again?” Jesus answered that question: “I am the resurrection and the life, He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25) Job’s question was answered on resurrection morning and that answer is an expectation and assurance for all of us. The hope of the resurrection is eternal life with those who know Jesus.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: