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Resurrection of Jesus Christ the Jewish Messiah

QUESTION: How did the nature of the resurrection of Jesus Christ fit with Jewish expectations of their Messiah?


Consider the situation the disciples faced following Jesus’ execution. Their leader was dead. And Jews traditionally had no belief in a dying, much less rising, Messiah. Such a figure was widely believed to be the one who would lead Israel in a military and political campaign against Israel’s enemies (i.e. Rome) and re-establish a Davidic reign -- not suffer the somewhat embarrassing death of a criminal. According to Jewish law, Jesus’ execution by hanging on a tree showed Him out to be a man literally accursed by God (Deuteronomy 21:23). The crucifixion was undoubtedly a catastrophe to the mindset of the early church, for it had effectively showed that the Pharisees and the Jewish council had been right all along, and that the disciples had left their livelihood, homes, families and possessions to follow a heretic -- a man literally accursed by God.

Jewish beliefs concerning the afterlife precluded anyone rising physically from the dead to glory and immortality before the general resurrection at the end of the world. It is thus significant that the disciples had no necessary predisposition toward a bodily resurrection, for it was counter-cultural given the prominent Jewish mentality.

This is perhaps why, as John testifies in his account (John 20:9) that upon the discovery of the empty tomb, “They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.” All the disciples could hope to do was preserve their leader’s tomb as a shrine where the bones could reside until that time when the righteous dead would be raised by God to glory.

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What do you think?
We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, I want to follow Jesus

I am a follower of Jesus

I still have questions

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