What does the Resurrection even mean?
Full Video by Dr. William Lane Craig at: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3986644701975339116&ei=RpmESfjVIJbUqAPfqO30Cg&q=dr.+william+lane+craig+on+the+resurrection
When Jesus was in Judea 2000 years ago, the Roman occupation was oppressive, and the people felt helpless. They looked for hope, the same way people look for hope today. The popularity of the cartoon/TV series “Superman” had a super-human like individual from the planet Krypton, who rights the wrongs of evil doers. Superman had two identities one as Clark Kent a “mild mannered” newspaper reporter with glasses and the other as Superman. When needed, Clark would transform from reporter to Superman. The two identities were so dissimilar that friends of Clark such as Lois Lane who new both Clark and Superman could not make the connection that both were the same person playing two different roles.
The need for Superman dates back to the beginning of man himself. One of the more well known is the Greek man-god known as Heracles (Hercules-Roman) the son of Zeus and a mortal woman, who though fallible seeks to right injustice. Ultimately, its man’s search for hope and meaning that leads him to search for a rescuer. We look for rescue, from the problems of life; sickness, injustice, poverty, hunger, war and death. The imprint in the heart of man for his need of redemption, (Rescue) goes back to the fall.
It was very good
Mankind was created on the 6th day, after his creation was complete we are told, God saw everything and it was “very good”.
Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 1:31
Why so bad?
If everything was “very good”, what is the Bible’s explanation for the condition of the world, for all the misery and pain people go through? The condition of man goes back to choice. God did not create robots, but “Free will” beings, with the ability to choose. At man’s creation, the man and woman had the choice to “obey God” or “Not obey God”. This choice is typified in the “Tree of Knowledge” at the Garden of Eden.
In the Garden of Eden man, choose to disobey God and listen to the Serpent, whom was Satan speaking through the body of an animal, to Adam and Eve. The Serpent called God a liar, and urged them to disobey God, by eating of the forbidden fruit. They listened to Satan, a fallen being himself, and mankind fell. The misery followed when they choose to disobey God.
The Seed of the Women
What earlier God declared as “Very Good” became corrupted; sin entered the Human race along with death and misery. Humanity was without hope, but in mercy, God opened a door of hope for humanity, a promise of redemption. The “Seed of women” a “Son of Man” would bruise the head of the Serpent and his offspring, “The wicked”.
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." Genesis 3:15
Nevertheless, in this same verse we see the Serpent would bruise the “Heel” of the “Seed of the Women”. The “Son of Man” the “Seed of the Women” would suffer the bite of the serpent at the heel. This is the first hint at the sufferings of the Messiah. However, the “Son of Man”, the seed of the Women, will vanquish or cover (Shoof…Hebrew) the Serpent/Satan. Redemption is in the heart of all humanity. Man is looking and seeking redemption from the problems of this world.
Job one of the oldest books in the Bible, looked forward to his redemption in the latter years by a “Redeemer”
25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, 27 Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:25-27
Here Job speaks of a future day when even after his body is decayed, He would see his “Redeemer” with new eyes and be in new flesh. This would be last event on the earth. But some questions may arise here. Is Job talking about a man or is he talking about God. Is God Job’s “Redeemer” or the “Son of Man”, the “Redeemer”? Job is talking about the Messiah.
Who is the Messiah ?
The word for “Messiah comes from the Hebrew root word, “Msh” which to “touch lightly” or “rub with oil” this word is applied to Priests (Exodus 28:41), Kings (I Kings 19:16), and Prophets (I Samuel 12:5) who were chosen by God to accomplish specific tasks. King Cyrus of Persia is addressed as “Anointed”.
"Thus says the Lord to His anointed, To Cyrus, whose right hand I have held-To subdue nations before him And loose the armor of kings, To open before him the double doors, So that the gates will not be shut:
Cyrus chosen by God subdues nations, and he would later allow the exiles from Babylon to return home and rebuild the Temple. David calls Saul “the Lord’s anointed” (I Samuel 24:6). Therefore, in one sense there are many anointed of the Lord, or messiahs, people specifically chosen by God, to accomplish specific tasks. The term also has a very specific and individual meaning.
The Bible talks of a future King who will rule the Earth for eternity. This King is “Anointed” or chosen to fulfill this specific task. In 2 Samuel 7 we are given information about this individual’s family line.
"since the time that I commanded judges to be over My people Israel, and have caused you to rest from all your enemies. Also the Lord tells you that He will make you a house. 12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 "But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 "And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever." '2 Samuel 7:11-16
Nathan the prophet tells David that from his family line a “Son of Man” will come, a “Seed of the Women”, who will have the throne of David, and His eternal kingdom will be established forever. This “Son of Man” would also be a “Son of David”, therefore this person will be “Anointed” or chosen by God for a specific purpose. This individual is known as the “Messiah Son of David”.
The Qualifications of Messiah
Beginning in the third chapter of Genesis, we have specific information about this coming, “Seed of the Women” through progressive revelation. With each qualification, the search narrows until the potential candidates becomes very narrow in scope.
For example, currently the population of the earth is 6.3 Billion people. If you talk to some one and plan to meet, without knowing anything about them, you could locate them from the earth’s population. You could specify a time, place and article of clothing.
- Time: I will meet you on January 15th 2005 3:00 PM (Jerusalem Time)
- Place: At the Damascus Gate, Jerusalem
- Description: I will be wearing a Checkered Hat
By using, these three specific qualifiers we are able eliminate just about anybody from equation. Except for person who meets the qualifiers and the person who knows the qualifiers, everybody would be outside the loop on the meeting.
In this same manner through the prophets of Israel, the Messiah was qualified, specific information about Him, information spanning the generations of humanity. The Bible demonstrates its “Supernatural source” with “Supernatural objective evidence”. Evidence outside the scope of the natural realm is supernatural in nature.
5 Even from the beginning I have declared it to you; Before it came to pass I proclaimed it to you, Lest you should say, ‘My idol has done them, And my carved image and my molded image Have commanded them.’ Isaiah 48:5
9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ Isaiah 46:9,10
Using “Supernatural prophetic” utterances God has qualified His Messiah. Specific characteristics revealed between 1500 to 425 years before his birth, narrowed the search for God’s Chosen Messiah from the Billions born throughout the history of creation to just one person. The man Jesus Christ is the only person who ever lived who could fulfill the qualifications
- His Sex: “Son of Man” ..50% of the population of those who have ever lived.
- His place of Birth: Bethlehem of Ephrathah 99.9..999% of Humans born in the world eliminated as Messiah.
- His family line: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Jesse, David…99.99999999% eliminated
- His time of death: End of 483 Jewish Years following command to rebuild Jerusalem, March/April. (See 70 Weeks of Daniel Class 6)
- Description of death: Pierced, whipped, innocent of crime
· Specific events: After his death Temple destroyed and City destroyed
Through these qualifiers alone just about every human being, who ever lived is eliminated from the possibility of being the Messiah chosen by God, the King of the earth. (SEE CHART BELOW)
If Jesus was Messiah was he killed?
If what was going to happen were so clear in the scripture, why did Jesus die? Roman occupation of Judea dated from the time of Pompey, the Roman General who conquered Jerusalem in 63 BC. The Jewish people hated Rome and wanted deliverance. They looked to the coming of Messiah, The Son of David, who would vanquish the armies of the world. Moreover, Jerusalem would become the capital of the Earth according to the prophets.
In the Old Testament, there are several competing pictures of Messiah. He is seen as “the Son of Man”, and called “Son of God”, He is seen as “Judge and King” of the Earth while He is also seen as a rejected servant and suffering. During the time of Roman occupation, Israel looked to coming of the Son of David who would rule the Earth. They did not look for a servant Messiah who was going to die. Jesus presented himself as the “Son of Man” who was going to suffer, this was contrary to the view of Messiah expected by Israel. Going back to the illustration of Clark Kent and Superman, Clark’s friends could not make the connection between the two characters. The Pharisees did not see one Messiah playing dual roles, “Suffering Servant” and “Conquering King”. This was not expected of the Messiah who was going save Israel. This dual role will be unveiled at the end of time as hinted at in Isaiah 52:14,15
14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men; 15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider. Isaiah 52:14-15
The pictures of a “Suffering Messiah”, “Conquering King” ,“Son of Man” and “Son of God” seem to be in conflict with each other. Jesus questioned the Pharisees about this conflict.
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?" They said to Him, "The Son of David." 43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying: 44 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool" '? 45 "If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?" 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
Later at his trial before the High Priest, this conflict to understand the “Son of Man” and “Son of God” is revealed. They could not understand the Messiah being both “Son of Man” and “Son of God”.
63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, "I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" 64 Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." 65 Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, "He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy!
Matthew 26: 63-65
The solution to this conflict can be resolved in understanding the “First” and “Second” Coming of Messiah/Christ. Jesus came the first time to die for the sins of the world the second time he comes, he will come to judge the world. The Pharisee at the time of Christ could not reconcile these two conflicting roles.
One Messiah, Two Pictures
This Messiah will be one person with two roles. His first coming was to Redeem humanity from their sins through his sacrificial death as the prophet Isaiah reveals (Isaiah 52:12-53:13). His second coming will be to judge a disobedient and sinful world, “To crush the head of the serpent”.
These dual roles are revealed in Zechariah 12:10-12. The one, “Pierced” is mourned over by the land of Israel as He returns to rescue Israel from the nations surrounding her and bent on her destruction (Zechariah 12:3,9).
10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11 "In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 "And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; Zechariah 12:10-12
The Rabbis also see this verse as referring to the Messiah, except they describe the one “Pierced” as “Messiah bar (son) Joseph”, who will be killed and then brought back to life by “Messiah bar David” after the battle of Gog and Magog.
And the land shall mourn (Zech. 12:12). What is the reason of this mourning? R. Dosa and the rabbis differ about it. R. Dosa says: “[They will mourn] over Messiah who will be slain,” and the rabbis say: “[They will mourn] over the Evil Inclination which will be killed [in the days of the Messiah]…..”
(B. Suk. 52a)
The rabbis have taught: The Holy One, blessed be He, will say to Messiah ben David, may he be revealed soon in our days!: “Ask of Me anything, and I shall give it to you ,for it is written, The Lord said unto me, Thou art My son, this day have I begotten thee, ask of Me and I will give thee the nations for thy inheritance (Ps. 2:7-8). And when he will see that Messiah ben Joseph will be slain, he will say before Him: “Master of the World! I ask nothing of you except life!” God will say to him: “Even before you said, “life,’ your father David prophesied about you, as it is written, He asked life of Three, Thou gavest it him (Ps. 21:5).” (B. Suk 52a)
Again this conflict can only be resolved by seeing one Messiah fulfilling two roles. These roles are both fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ.
The Suffering Servant
The most vivid picture of the “Suffering Servant” Messiah is in the Isaiah 52:13 to 53:12 Specific qualifiers give details about an individual who will be “Very high” but first he will be marred.
He will be God’s servant.
· My Servant (Is. 52:13)
· My righteous Servant (Is. 53;11)
He will be exalted in the Earth
· He shall be: exalted (Is 52:13)
· extolled (Is 52:13)
· Very high. (Is 52:13)
· He sprinkle many nations (Is. 52:15)
· Kings shall shut their mouths at Him (Is. 52:15)
He will be beaten physically
· His visage was marred more than any man
· His form more than the sons of men
His identity will be revealed to certain people
· Who has believed our report? (Is.53:1)
· to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? (Is. 53:1)B
His true identity is hidden till later
· many were astonished at you (Is.52.14)
· what had not been told them they shall see ( 52.15)
· what they had not heard they shall consider (52:15)
He will be rejected and despised by the people
· He is despised and rejected by men (Is 53:3)
· He was despised, and (Is 53:3)
· We did not esteem Him. (53:3
· we hid, as it were, our faces from Him (Is 53:3)
He will be a Man, a descendent of the human race.
· A Man of sorrows (Is 53:3)
He will suffer at the will of God.
· sorrows and acquainted with grief (Is 53:3)
· He was oppressed (Is 53:7)
· He was afflicted (Is 53:7)
· Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him (Is 53;10)
What is His purpose for coming.
· He has borne our griefs (Is. 53:4)
· And carried our sorrows (Is. 53:4)
· He was wounded for our transgressions, (Is 53:5)
· He was bruised for our iniquities; (Is 53:5)
· The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, (Is 53:5)
· By His stripes we are healed. (Is 53:5)
· The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Is. 53:6)
· He bore the sin of many, (Is 53;12)
· And made intercession for the transgressors. (Is. 53:12)
He will also die.
· For He was cut off from the land (Is. 53:8)
· they made His grave with the wicked (Is 53:9)
· the rich at His death (Is. 53:9)
· He poured out His soul unto death, (Is 53:12)
He will die with the wicked
· they made His grave with the wicked (Is 53:9)
He will be buried with the rich
· the rich at His death (Is. 53:9)
He will be Righteous and Sinless
· He had done no violence (Is. 53:9)
· Nor was any deceit in His mouth. (Is. 53:9)
· My righteous Servant shall justify many (Is. 53;11)
He will be rewarded
· I will divide Him a portion with the great (Is. 53:12)
He will reward
· He shall divide the spoil with the strong (Is 53:12)
The qualifiers that describe this individual is a picture of Jesus Christ 700 years before his birth, in the book of Isaiah. They describe his ministry, his reason for coming, what will happen to Him when he comes, his treatment and what’s in store for those who trust Him