Vision Logo Circle

Did He Really? Pt 5

by | Mon, Jul 18 2022

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We’ve spent the last 4 programs looking at the arguments against the resurrection of Jesus, coming at the issue from the point of disbelief and looking at the other possible outcomes. None of them stack up. We learned too that the resurrection is a non-negotiable essential truth that validates Christianity, and if there’s no resurrection, if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead…then we’ve wasted our faith and trust, we’re fools and are still doomed to pay for our own sin. In other words, we’re the biggest dummies to have ever lived. But all the evidence points to the truth that Jesus did really, truly die, and Jesus did really, truly rise again.

I’ve been using as my primary resource for this topic the ministry of One For Israel and an article titled, ‘Did Jesus Really Rise From The Dead’ and I highly recommend you look it up and read it for yourself.

What you might not realise, is that the most ardent of Jesus’ enemies were silent about His resurrection. At the time Jesus rose from the dead, no one claimed that He didn’t.

The Talmud, Tractate Abodah Zarah, page 17 & 27, describes a conversation between two rabbis, about a disciple of Jesus, who would pray for people in Jesus name and they’d be healed. Apart from bribing the guards and promising to speak well of them so they wouldn’t get into trouble, they didn’t speak a word about Jesus’ resurrection.

Rabbi Daniel Asor is noted for saying, “Jesus was indeed a false prophet, for he acted only through sorcery…He is the embodiment of Satanism.”

What I’m trying to say is that, even though Jewish rabbis in ancient times, during the Middle Ages and even today, don’t try to deny that Jesus had supernatural power…they know He had supernatural power, they just won’t attribute it to God. Sadly.

I want to read you a quote from Josephus, a Jewish historian and as far as the written records indicate, he wasn’t a Christian. He is known to be very accurate however in most things. This is what he wrote in his book called, ‘The Antiquities of the Jews,’ book 18, Chapter 3. It was published in The Works of Josephus, translated by William Whiston, Hendrickson Publishers, 1987.

“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 amongst 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 then thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

Jesus was known by the miracles He performed during His ministry years, He was also known to have risen from the dead, something that could only have been done by the Christ. The Mashiach, the Messiah, who was long-awaited and longed for, who had to die in order to atone for the sins of the world, first for His own people, the Jewish people, and then for the entire Gentile world. Not only that, to prove His identity and power over sin, He had to rise from the dead after three days in the grave and even the Jewish historian Josephus testifies of this historical fact.

Professor Israel Knohl is Jewish orthodox scholar from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, he’s the man who worked on the Gabriel Stone that we talked about a little while ago, that seems to indicate a resurrection of Mashiach on the third day. Professor Knohl teaches that the angel Gabriel will raise a Messianic leader from the dead three days after he dies, and that this Messianic leader will have the name, “Prince of Princes. Here’s a quote from Professor Knohl;

“It is possible to determine that in the period in which the revelation was written, a the end of the first century BCE, a common view among certain groups that the Messiah was to die and be resurrected after three days, was an integral part of the process of redemption. Therefore, if there was a Jewish tradition about a Messiah who was resurrected, we can understand Jesus as a national Jewish Messiah who goes to His death.”

Dr Eitan Bar, in the article I used for the basis of this series, from One For Israel concludes his lesson by explaining that, “classical Judaism believed that the Messiah would die and rise from the dead after three days. Jesus the Messiah was crucified to death for our sins, conquered death, rose from the dead. But the rabbis today refuse to accept even what the Sages claimed in the Midrash regarding the Messiah; that the One who is called Messiah son of Joseph, would rise from the dead.”

We started our look at the resurrection by quoting Paul in Corinthians. I want to finish our series on the resurrection by completing Paul’s argument. After saying that if Jesus didn’t rise, then no one would rise, we’re still dead in our sins and should be pitied for our delusion, he went on to say…

1 Corinthians 15:20-22, ‘But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.“

In the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, there’s an empty ancient tomb that may or may not have been the tomb Jesus was laid in, but on the door as you turn to walk out, there’s a sign that says, “He Is Risen”…and He is. Yeshua, Jesus, is Mashiach, the Messiah of the world. He is risen indeed, of that I have no doubt.