Seven more resurrection accounts nudge the spiritual ball further—much, much further.
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READING TIME: 12 MINUTES.
HAVE YOU READ THE FIRST POSTS IN THIS SERIES?
Besides God’s three sneak-peek resurrection accounts in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh)—He gave us seven more (in the New Testament) that take on even greater momentum.
And since even rabbis study the New Testament, let’s check out those accounts. Six are in this post . . . the seventh account deserves its own post.
Drum roll, please . . .
#1. JEWISH LAZARUS—FOUR DAYS ENTOMBED
[John 11: 1-44]
Lazarus of Bethany and his two sisters—Miriam and Martha—were Jewish followers of Jesus [Yeshua] and close friends of the famed rabbi. One day, Lazarus fell sick. His sisters sent a message to Jesus to please come, knowing of his healing miracles. But Jesus opted to stay two more days where he was and prophetically said, “This sickness will not end in death . . . it is for God’s glory.”
The days passed and Jesus told his disciples that Lazarus was “asleep”—meaning he died. “I’m glad I wasn’t there so that you will come to have faith. Let’s go to him.”
By the time they arrived, Lazarus had been dead four days. That’s right—four days in the tomb. But Jesus nudged the sisters’ faith.
Jesus said to Martha, “Your brother will rise again.”
In true Jewish fashion, she answered, “I know that he’ll rise again at the Resurrection on the Last Day.”
But Jesus wasn’t referring to the end-of-days resurrection. He meant now. This is the part when it gets really, really good—and why this is one of the most dramatic resurrection accounts in the Bible. Adonai was about to reveal the resurrection-and-life power in Jesus as Messiah.
Jesus, the two Jewish sisters, the many Jewish mourners, and the Jewish disciples walk to the tomb. It was a cave with a large stone covering the tomb’s entrance.
“Take the stone away!” Jesus says.
But Martha warns him,
“By now his body must smell—it’s been four day since he died!”
“Didn’t I tell you that if you keep trusting,
you will see the glory of God?”
So they remove the stone. Jesus looks upward and says, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know you always hear me, but I say this because of the crowd standing around, so that they may believe you have sent me.”
Then Jesus called out. “Lazarus, come out!”
The man who had been dead came out.
His hands and fee wrapped in strips of linen
and his face covered with a cloth.
Jesus said, “Unwrap him and let him go!”
Unlike the prophets Elijah and Elisha who had to continue to pray over a body and stretch out over it, etc. before the body was resurrected, Jesus merely commanded life with the words and power of God—and it was done.
Not surprisingly, many of the Judeans who had come to visit the sisters and seen what Jesus had done believed in him as Messiah. But not all. Nope, some ran to the Pharisees and told them about the resurrection. Well, you can imagine how that went.
The head cohanim (priests) and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. They weren’t pleased and began plotting to not only kill Jesus but to do away with Lazarus as well, since it was because of his resurrection that large numbers of Judeans were leaving their leaders and putting their faith in Jesus as Messiah. (John 12: 9-10)
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#2. JEWISH SYNAGOGUE LEADER’S DAUGHTER
[Mark 5:21-24, 35-43]
Jesus [Yeshua] had been ministering to a crowd of people near the Sea of Galilee—casting out demons, healing the sick, etc. A Jewish synagogue official named Ya’ir fell at the feet of Jesus, pleading desperately. “My little daughter is at the point of death. Please! Come and lay your hands on her so she will get well and live!”
Jesus agreed to go, the crowd of people pressing in on him on all sides. A woman touched the hem of his garment and was healed of her twelve-year bout of hemorrhaging. Then people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the rabbi any longer?”
Ignoring what they said, Jesus tells the synagogue official, “Don’t be afraid, just keep trusting.”
Jesus let his disciples Peter, James, and John follow him to the man’s home. At the house, there was great commotion—understandably. Weeping and wailing. “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead, she’s just asleep!” Jesus said. The people jeered at him, so he put them all outside, then took the child’s parents and his three disciples with him to the child.
Jesus took the twelve-year-old child by the hand and said, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” At once, the girl got up and began walking around.
Everyone was amazed. Jesus told them to give her something to eat—and gave strict orders for them to say nothing about the event to anyone.
Yeah, I’m not so sure they obeyed that last request . . . especially since we’re still reading about it and telling the miraculous event 2,000 years later.
* * *
#3. JEWISH WIDOW OF NA’IM’S SON
Jesus, his twelve disciples, and a large crowd went to a lower-Galilee town called Na’im, just south of Mount Tabor within the boundaries of the Tribe of Issachar. As he approached the town gate, a dead Jewish man was being carried out for burial. Surrounded by a sizable crowd, the man’s mother—a widow with no other children—wept and walked with the others. A bleak future lay before her.
When Jesus saw her, he felt compassion for her and said, “Don’t cry.” Then he came close and touched the coffin—the pallbearers stopped.
Jesus said,” Young man, I say to you, Get up!”
The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him to his mother.
They were filled with awe and gave glory to God. The report about Jesus spread throughout all Judah and the surrounding countryside.
* * *
#4. MANY JEWS RAISED SIMULTANEOUSLY
Right after Jesus breathed his last on the crucifixion stake, the earth shook, rocks split, and tombs were opened. After Jesus was resurrected, many bodies of the righteous were raised and appeared in the Holy City to many. When the centurion and his fellow soldiers who had been guarding the tomb of Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly, this was the Son of God.”
* * *
This resurrected record happened well after Jesus had been crucified, buried, resurrected, and forty days later, ascended into heaven.
The Messianic community was being built up in Judah, the Galilee, and Samaria. Their numbers, multiplying. A beloved woman named Tabitha—Dorcas in Greek—lived in the Mediterranean port city Joppa, about 30 miles south of Caesarea. A believer in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah, she was esteemed for her tireless charitable work making clothes for the poor, widows, and others.
In time, Tabitha grew ill and died. After washing her, they laid her in a room upstairs.
The Messianic believers heard that Peter—a well-known disciple of Jesus—was in nearby Lydda and sent for him to come without delay. When he arrived, all the widows were standing around Tabitha’s body, sobbing and showing Peter all the dresses and coats she had made for people.
Peter put them outside, knelt down, and prayed.
As a Jewish believer in Jesus as Messiah, he was indwelt with the power of the Holy Spirit and had learned how to step into that heaven-earth soul connection to hear God’s voice and know what He was doing, what He was saying, how He was leading.
In obedience to God’s voice, Peter turned to the body, he said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, saw Peter, and sat up.
He offered his hand and helped her to her feet, then called the believers and widows, presenting Tabitha to them alive. Many people put their trust in Jesus as Messiah because of what God had done for Tabitha.
* * *
Pharisee Saul Paulus had a Damascene encounter with the ascended Jesus—and thereafter became a believer in Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah. He traveled extensively to spread the truth of the Messiah—often amid great persecution.
At one point in his travels, Saul Paulus spent five days in Troas, an ancient Greek city on the Aegean Sea, near Turkey’s northern tip. He taught and ministered to followers of the Messiah. On the first day of the week, he gathered with believers to break bread. Since he was going to leave the following day, he prolonged his message until midnight.
There were many oil lamps burning in the upstairs room where they were meeting. A young man named Eutychus was sitting on the window sill. As Saul Paulus continued teaching, the young man eventually grew sound asleep and fell from the third-story window.
When they picked him up from the ground, he was dead. But Saul went down, threw himself onto him, put his arms around him. His faith went into action. Saul said, “Don’t be upset, he’s alive!”
Then Paul went back upstairs, broke the bread and shared it with everyone. He continued teaching until daylight—with everyone greatly relieved the boy was brought back to life.
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