Notes from Reb Jimmy’s Teaching on Resurrection

The belief in bodily resurrection was one of the basic principle of the first century Messianic Jews.When this body dies your spirit goes to Abraham’s bosom, the place where our father Abraham is. It is sometimes called Paradise. It is where our spirits await the resurrection. We will be reunited with our bodies but in a glorified state. Bodies without sin, sickness, or corruption.

Within Orthodox Jewish and Conservative Christian circles accepted as a fact.Found in Rambam’s 13 principles of faith. Recited every morning with the Morning Baruchim. Read three times a day in the 2nd blessing of the Amidah. To the Jews of the first century this was an openly debated issue.

The Sadducee’s were literalists who claimed the Scriptures offered no proof of bodily resurrection. Most liberal scholars today teach that the concept of resurrection came into existence after the exile in Babylon and cannot be supported by older Scriptural text.

Are there any support to these claims? 

The Pharisee’s as the fathers of the great rabbi’s claimed that the Scriptures fo indeed support the belief in bodily resurrection. Proof text of the resurrection could be found if one knew how and where to look. The important point to make is that Scripture is a progressive revelation.  The revelation of resurrection in the Tanakh follows the pattern of speculation to faith, to confidence assured.

Job 14:7-14 “For a tree, there is hope that if cut down, it will sprout again, that its shoots will continue to grow. Even if its roots grow old in the earth and its stump dies in the ground, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant. But when a human being grows weak and dies, he expires; and then where is he? Just as water in a lake disappears, as a river shrinks and dries up; so a person lies down and doesn’t arise until the sky no longer exists; it will not awaken, it won’t be roused from its sleep. “I wish you would hide me in Sh’ol, conceal me until your anger has passed, then fix a time and remember me! If a man dies, will he live again? I will wait all the days of my life for my change to come.

 Job 19:25-27 “But I know that my Redeemer lives, that in the end he will rise on the dust; so that after my skin has been thus destroyed, then even without my flesh, I will see G-d. I will see him for myself, my eyes, not someone else’s, will behold him. My heart grows weak inside me!”

The belief in the resurrection call also be found within the Torah! Genesis 22 The Akedah and Abraham’s faith in resurrection is a prime example.

The Psalms likewise speak of a hope in resurrection.

Psalm 16:8-11 “ I always set AD-NAI before me; with him at my right hand, I can never be moved; so my heart is glad, my glory rejoices, and my body too rests in safety; for you will not abandon me to Sh’ol, you will not let your faithful one see the Abyss. You make me know the path of life; in your presence is unbounded joy, in your right hand eternal delight.

 A more accurate translation is “You will not let your Holy One see decay” Peter quotes from this Psalm in Acts 2 associating it as a Messianic prophecy finding its fullness is Messiah Yeshua. Apostle Paul references Psalm 16 in his message at Antioch. Both apply a remez method of interpretation.

Acts 13:32-37 “As for us, we are bringing you the Good News that what G-d promised to the fathers, he has fulfilled for us the children in raising up Y’shua, as indeed it is written in the second Psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’ And as for his raising him up from the dead, to return to decay no more, he said, ‘I will give the holy and trustworthy things of David to you.’ This is explained elsewhere: ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’ For David did indeed serve G-d’s purposes in his own generation; but after that, he died, was buried with his fathers and did see decay. However, the one G-d raised up did not see decay.”

 What did G-D promise the fathers? They would see the promise of G-D that through Abraham the world would be blessed. Abraham died never taking possession of the land. He died the father of one under the eternal covenant. To see the promise of G-D Abraham would have to see resurrection.                    

2 Samuel 12:23 “But now that he’s dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

Here again is another proof text of the eternalness of the spirit.                                 

1 Kings 17:21-22 “He stretched himself out on the child three times and cried out to AD-NAI: “AD-NAI my G-d, please! Let this child’s soul come back into him!” AD-NAI heard Eliyahu’s cry, the child’s soul came back into him, and he revived. Eliyahu took the child, brought him down from the upstairs room into the house and gave him to his mother; and Eliyahu said, “See? Your son is alive.”

The promise of eternal resurrection hinted at with a temporal resurrection.

 Daniel 12:21-3 “At that time, your people will be delivered, everyone whose name is found written in the book. Many of those sleeping in the dust of the earth will awaken, some to everlasting life and some to everlasting shame and abhorrence. But those who can discern will shine like the brightness of heaven’s dome, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”

 Isaiah 26:18-19 “But we, as it were, have given birth to wind; we have not brought salvation to the land, and those inhabiting the world have not come to life. Your dead will live, my corpses will rise; awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the morning dew, and the earth will bring the ghosts to life.”

 Could both of these passages be more clear? Can you see the progression of speculation to assurance? The belief in resurrection was not hopeful fantasy but the very promise of G-D found throughout the Tanakh.

 Two last references.

  1. When confronted with some Sadducee’s about resurrection the Masters comments in Luke 20 put to rest any question. Quoting from Hashem in Sefer Shemot  “I am the G-D of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,…He is not the G-D of the dead but of the living.”
  2. Ezekiel 37 and the valley of dry bones.

 Ezekiel 37:12-14 “Therefore prophesy; say to them that Ad-nai EL-HIM says, ‘My people! I will open your graves and make you get up out of your graves, and I will bring you into the land of Isra’el. Then you will know that I am AD-NAI – when I have opened your graves and made you get up out of your graves, my people! I will put my Spirit in you; and you will be alive. Then I will place you in your own land; and you will know that I, AD-NAI, have spoken, and that I have done it,’ says AD-NAI.”

 The obvious context is the rebirth of the nation of Israel but the imagery is hard to ignore. G-D’s message is crystal clear.

 What is the purpose of redemption if we do not have the promise of resurrection? Why do we need atonement if we just die and become what Carl Sagan refers to as  “star dust”. Is all this just a huge practical joke? Do we serve a G-D with no desire for eternal fellowship? Are we just puppets He plays with when He gets bored? That is not the G-D I know and love?

Why were the early believers thrown out of the Temple? More then just there belief in Y’shua as the Messiah. Throughout the B’sora Tov we find no small amount of tension between the Sadducee’s and those who believed in resurrection. In Luke 20 some Sadducee’s in their arrogant way tried to make a mockery of Yeshua and resurrection. Acts 24 Rav Shaul is put on trial for believing in the resurrection.

Acts 4:1-3 “Kefa and Yochanan were still speaking to the people when the cohanim, the captain in charge of the Temple police, and the Tz’dukim came upon them, very annoyed that they were teaching the people the doctrine of resurrection from the dead and offering Yeshua as proof. The Temple police arrested them; and since it was already evening, they put them in custody overnight.

The Disciples of the Master claimed to have proof of resurrection. Proof found in Messiah Yeshua. This did not go over well with the Sadducee’s and the Temple authorities. The more the Apostles proclaimed Yeshua the more upset they got. Lead up to the excommunication of the believers from the Temple. This was prophesied by the Master in John 16. Most translations use the term Synagogue. The Greek simply reads the assembly, most likely the Temple. Jewish believers would be thrown out of the Synagogue only a few years later with the Council of Yavneh. Believed they were doing G-D a service.

 Rav Shaul one of them most vocal of the Apostles. Has a lot to say about the issue.

I Corinthians 15:12-22 “But if it has been proclaimed that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, how is it that some of you are saying there is no such thing as a resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then the Messiah has not been raised; and if the Messiah has not been raised, then what we have proclaimed is in vain; also your trust is in vain; furthermore, we are shown up as false witnesses for G-d in having testified that G-d raised up the Messiah, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then the Messiah has not been raised either; and if the Messiah has not been raised, your trust is useless, and you are still in your sins. Also, if this is the case, those who died in union with the Messiah are lost. If it is only for this life that we have put our hope in the Messiah, we are more pitiable than anyone. But the fact is that the Messiah has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have died. For since death came through a man, also the resurrection of the dead has come through a man. For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive.”

To Shaul the resurrection of Messiah Yeshua was no longer an issue of Biblical Hermeneutics. It was a fact. A fact that changed his life forever. Previously dedicated to the eradication of the people of “The Way”. Even more dedicated to the preservation of truth in Messiah Yeshua. A truth he bore witness to on the road to Damascus.

It was not just Shaul who witnessed the Messiah risen but thousands others. He appears to Mary Magdalene. He appeared to Mary the mother of James. He appeared to Joanna. He appears to the 11 remaining Apostles. He appeared to the two Disciples on the road to Emmaus. He appeared to His brothers from Mary (sorry Catholic). There lives were never the same.

As written at the end of the book the purpose of Yochanon was to bare witness to all of these things. Luke also bares witness of Peter and many others testimony in the Acts of the Apostles.

Acts 2:29-32 “Brothers, I know I can say to you frankly that the patriarch David died and was buried – his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, since he was a prophet and knew that G-d had sworn an oath to him that one of his descendants would sit on his throne, he was speaking in advance about the resurrection of the Messiah, that it was he who was not abandoned in Sh’ol and whose flesh did not see decay. G-d raised up this Y’shua! And we are all witnesses of it!”

 The Disciples of the Master were so confident in what they bore witness to that they were willing to give up their life to secure its truth. A truth that bares witness to us today. Belief in the Masters resurrection is the heart of who we are. As Shaul teaches if He was not raised from the dead then He is just another man who died. He has concurred neither sin nor death. What hope do we then have? We have all hope for we know that the testimony is true.

Stone tablet found in the Dead Searegion reated much stir. Predicts the Messiah as a suffering servant. Will be born from the Davidic line, put to death and rise on the third day. To many Christians this is a test to their belief in the uniqueness of Christianity and its individuality from Judaism. To others it brings the question did the Gospel writers adopt and transform a well know prediction of the suffering Messiah to fit into the life of Yeshua?

 Two prevailing opinions of the Messiah in the Talmud. Messiah would come in one of two ways.

  1. As the suffering servant sometimes referred to in Talmud as Ephraim as the son of Joseph.
  2. As the David the offspring of Jesse who would come bringing military victory.

 R. Johanan said “The son of David will come only in a generation that is either altogether righteous or altogether wicked. As it is written, “Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever.” Isaiah 60:21

 Sanhedrin 98A “If they are meritorious, (he will come) with the clouds of heaven; if not, lowly and riding upon an ass”.

 When the Talmudic Rabbi’s debated the coming of Messiah they reasoned that he could come in either case.

Either the world would be so far gone that only the Messiah could bring restoration or the world had spiritually evolved to such a state that finally we would warranty the coming of Messiah. If we are worthy He would come riding on a white horse bringing military victory. If we are found unworthy He would come humble riding on a donkey as the suffering servant.

The Leper Messiah. 

Even today messianic pretenders will come riding into Jerusalem riding on a donkey hoping to be proclaimed Mashiach. Some sages however would see his coming even in both cases. We know from the apostolic writings that the coming of King Messiah brings salvation for the faithful, but also condemnation for the wicked that don’t believe.                    

John 3:18 “Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is G-d’s only and unique Son.”

John 3:36 “Whoever trusts in the Son has eternal life. But whoever disobeys the Son will not see that life but remains subject to G-d’s wrath.”

The Master would come to us lowly riding on a donkey to suffer on our behalf. He would conquer death once and for all with His resurrection. He will return in full glory escorted by His Bride as L-RD and King to the earth. The Messiah as suffering servant who would conquer death is not a Christian concept but a deeply Jewish one. He did not come with new teachings, especially in regards to resurrection, unique to the B’sora Tov but with foundational principles found throughout the Tanakh. Even the prophecy of the Messiah being buried and risen on the third day is found in the Tanakh.

As the Master spoke in Luke 24…

Luke 24: 45-46 “Then he opened their minds, so that they could understand the Tanakh, telling them, “Here is what it says: the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day;”

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “For among the first things I passed on to you was what I also received, namely this: the Messiah died for our sins, in accordance with what the Tanakh says; and he was buried; and he was raised on the third day, in accordance with what the Tanakh says.”

Where does the Tanakh say the Messiah would be raised on the third day? Remez (hint) method of interpretation. As the Master says the Torah is filled with Him.

Genesis 22 It was on the third day that Abraham arrived at Mt.Moriah where He would offer his son Isaac.

  • Exodus 19 G-D came down upon Sinai and gave the Torah on the third day. On the third day the Messiah, who being in essence the Torah made flesh would usher in the promise of the New Covenant with His resurrection.
  • Leviticus 7:17-18 The Sacrifices left to the third day were consumed in fire.
  • Numbers 19 He who is defiled by death shall be cleansed by Ha Maiyim Niddah on the third day and on the seventh day. The third day is to remind us of how death was defeated when the Master rose. Seven reminds us of completion, when the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven as the eternalHoly Placeof G-D and His beloved.
  • Ezra The secondTemplewould be built in three days. TheTemplethat is the Messiah’s body as spoken by John would be struck but built again in three days as prophesied by the Master.

 Hosea 6:1-2 “Come, let us return to AD-NAI; for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind our wounds. After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up; and we will live in his presence.”

Most likely verse Paul and Peter were referencing. Like many prophecies there is a hint here of a deeper meaning. A dual fulfillment if you will. The Targum translations hinted at a fulfillment of Hosea 6 in both Israel and the Messiah. The Master was torn for our sake. He was struck and healed. He was in the grave for two days at the dawn of the third He was revived. The term “Yom” can mean more then just 1 day but one age. Used interchangeably with 1000 years. Let us read the passage again with mystical translation.

 Hosea 6:1-2 “Come, let us return to AD-NAI; for he has torn, and he will heal us; he has struck, and he will bind our wounds. After two days, he will revive us; on the third day, he will raise us up; and we will live in his presence.”

Israel was torn as the curtain was torn in two. Israel was struck by Rome in 70 Ad when the Temple was destroyed. She would be scattered for 2000 years. At the end of the two thousand years Israel would be gathered from her homeland.

As Ezekiel 37 says…she would be raised from her grave…revived. On the third day Israel will live in the presence of the L-RD.

As spoken previously the revelation of resurrection is a progressive revelation. So also is the revelation of the Master’s death and resurrection on the third day. How were the authors of the stone tablets able to predict the death and resurrection of the Messiah in 3 days? By looking at the Tanakh. It’s all there.

 Luke 24:44 “This is what I meant when I was still with you and told you that everything written about me in the Torah of Moshe, the Prophets and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.”

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