SoulBreaths

Resurrection Jewish Style Series: Part 1—What God Revealed

By SoulBreaths Author [ 4 months ago ]

Empty tomb, garden near Golgatha

It’s real . . . with sneak peeks throughout the Bible to prove it.

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

READING TIME: 7 MINUTES.

 

Death. Is it a body decomposing into nothingness, trapped in a waiting-for-Godot moment—as Emily Dickinson portrays, rather derisively, in her “Alabaster Chambers” poem below? Or is it a future transition of the soul-body matrix into something far greater?

 

Safe in their Alabaster Chambers—

Untouched by Morning

And untouched by Noon—

Lie the meek members of the Resurrection—

Rafter of Satin—and Roof of Stone!
—Emily Dickinson, original first stanza;
later published in her third version, posthumously, in 1890

 

You probably have your take on the resurrection matter. But opinions and poets aside . . . the real question is, what does God say? In His words, the Bible. After all, it’s His creation, His rules, His story. The gist of His resurrection event unfolds like this . . .

 

Death isn’t the end. It’s another beginning. The soul is eternal.

 

God said to Moses, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face because he was afraid to look at God. —Exodus 3:6, approximately 1446 BCE.

 

What was God saying?
I am the God of your father—not I was.
Your father’s soul is with Me. His soul is not dead.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have long past from this world,
and yet, their souls are alive.

I am their God.

But God doesn’t leave things suspended there, with the eternal soul separated from its earthly vessel (the body) . . . the design from the beginning was for us to enjoy an everlasting soul-body existence made holy unto Him.

 

That’s why an integral part of the what’s-ahead story is the soul-body reunion, coming at the end of days—called acharit ha-yamim in Hebrew, אחרית הימים—and orchestrated by the hand of God.

 

He’s been telling humanity about that for thousands of years—and He’s given ten sneak-peek accounts of it to make this seemingly preposterous resurrection notion understandable to us, recognizing it as a valid upcoming event.

 
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THE 4-1-1 BRIEF

 

From scripture . . . some resurrection cues and actual resurrection accounts given to us over time.

 

1406 BCE (approximate). Resurrection cue. Song of Moses about God’s might; Moses was the leader-deliverer of Israel from Egypt, God’s mouthpiece and humble prophet who spoke with God face to face.

See now that it is I!
I am the One, and there is no god like Me!
I cause death and make alive
[restore life back from the dead, per the Hebrew].
I strike, but I heal, and no one can rescue from My Hand!
—Deuteronomy 32:39

 

1100 BCE (approximate). Resurrection cue. Hannah. Mother of the prophet Samuel and a faithful servant of the Lord; she prophetically said this after a mighty move of God that made her longtime barren womb fertile:

There is no one holy like the Lord;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.

The Lord brings death and makes alive
[restores the dead to life, per the Hebrew];
he brings down to the grave and raises up.

It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the Lord will judge from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.
—1 Samuel 2:2,6,10

 

1044 BCE (approximate). Resurrection cue. David. King of Israel, prophet, psalmist, a man after God’s own heart. His Davidic throne will seat the Messiah.

You will not abandon my soul to the grave;
You shall not allow your pious one to see the pit.
—Psalm 16:10

 

1000 BCE (approximate). Resurrection cue. Also ascribed to King David.

You have shown me great
and severe troubles again;
you shall revive me
[restore to life from the dead, per the Hebrew]
and from the depths of the earth
You will raise me up again.
—Psalm 71:20

 

863 BCE (approximate). Resurrection sneak-peek account. Elijah (Eliyahu, in Hebrew). Renowned, zealous prophet of Israel; under God’s power, Elijah resurrected a widow’s child. 1 Kings 17:10-14.

 

849 BCE (approximate). Resurrection sneak-peek account. Elisha. Elijah’s disciple who carried on the mantle of Elijah’s prophetic work; Elisha resurrected a Shunammite’s child. 2 Kings 4:20-37.

 

812 BCE (approximate). Resurrection sneak-peek account. Elisha’s tomb. Well after Elisha died and his body placed in a burial cave, some men buried a dead man’s body in that cave—but when the body touched Elisha’s bones, the man was resurrected. 2 Kings 13:20-21.

 

753 BCE (approximate). Resurrection cue.  Hosea. A major prophet ministering in the Northern Kingdom of Israel; his life, a symbol in God’s hands demonstrating God’s unfathomable love for His unfaithful people.

He will revive us [restore the dead to life, per the Hebrew]
after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live in His sight.
—Hosea 6:2

 

725 BCE (approximate). Resurrection cue.  Isaiah. A mighty prophet and a surrendered vessel in God’s hands for Israel, Messianic prophecies, and end-times events.

Your dead will live;
Their corpses will rise.
You who lie in the dust [are dead], awake and shout for joy,
For your dew is as the dew of the dawn,
And the earth will give birth to the departed spirits.
—Isaiah 26:19

 

539 BCE (approximate). Resurrection cue. Daniel. A courageously faithful prophet and dream interpreter of the Lord during the Babylonian captivity; a vehicle for God’s voice regarding many end-times prophecies.

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth [the dead]
shall awake to everlasting life
and others to everlasting reproach and abhorrence.
—Daniel 12:2

 

28 CE (approximate). Resurrection cue. Jesus (Yeshua, his Hebrew name). Renowned rabbi, prophet, and for those with ears to hear, Messiah.

For an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs
will hear his voice and will come forth;
those who have done good will come to a resurrection of life,
those who have done evil will come to a resurrection of judgment.
—John 5:28-29

 

28-33 CE (approximate). Resurrection sneak-peek accounts: six of them. Witnessed by many. John 11:1-44; Mark 5: 21-43; Luke 7:11-16; Matthew 27:50-53; Acts 9:36-41; Acts 29:7-12.

 

33 CE (approximate). Resurrection sneak-peek account. Jesus (Yeshua).The most powerful and most unique resurrection event—even some Jewish scholars don’t deny it. Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-8; John 20:1-13.

 

THAT BEGS THE QUESTION

 

Since resurrection is a futuristic event, what is our life down here about? There’s much to that answer—some discussed in this series and elsewhere on this blog. But for now, as one rabbinic source puts it . . .

 

This world is like a lobby before the World to Come;
prepare yourself in the lobby
so that you may enter the banquet hall.
—Rabbi Yaakov, Pirkei Avot 4:21

(Ethics of our Fathers, ethical/moral Torah teachings
from the Mishnaic 2nd century CE period)

 

Keep this in mind: There are no do-overs. No reincarnation to try it again. God’s word is pretty straightforward about that. That’s why what you do down here in the “lobby” is critical. Are you living according to His word, His roadmap—or your imagined version of that?

 
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HE SAID/THEY SAID 

 

God has graciously given us ten sneak peeks in the Bible to demonstrate His resurrection power. They are real stories about real people who breathed their last, were mourned, and were either entombed or on their way to that tomb—then were resurrected to demonstrate God’s power, compassion, and future promise. Ten accounts—of Jews and Gentiles—given to nudge our faith toward the main event up ahead.

 

But despite that, there have been various voices going against His grain.

 

Exhibit A. For Messianic Jews and evangelical Christians, God’s word and resurrection are the bedrock of their belief system. Orthodox Judaism also adheres to the resurrection teaching. In fact, the resurrection of the dead has been so entrenched in Jewish/biblical doctrine that it became the thirteenth principle of faith, as defined by The Rambam—Moses ben Maimonides, a renowned, 12th-century rabbinic scholar and philosopher.

 

Yet other Jewish sects—Reform, Conservative, Reconstruction, Renewal, Humanistic—stray from that biblical core truth (and most others) to one degree or another.

 

Eh, so what’s new? Exactly. Through the millennia, things may change but somehow remain the same. During the Second Temple period—1st century CE—the two major sects of the day argued it out.

 
 

Their Judaic counterpart—the Sadducees—pooh-poohed the soul’s eternal existence, the resurrection, angels, and spirits. One account of the Pharisees-Sadduccees disagreements before the Sanhedrin is recorded in Acts 23:1-10.

 

The Sadducees even tried to corner Jesus (Yeshua) on the subject of resurrection—a trap because they didn’t believe in it. So they gave him an afterlife scenario and asked for his viewpoint. It went like this:

 

On that same day some Sadducees
(who say there is no resurrection)
came to Jesus and questioned him, asking,
“Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children,
his brother as next of kin shall marry his wife,
and raise up children for his brother.’

“Now there were seven brothers with us;
and the first married and died,
and having no children left his wife to his brother;
so also the second, and the third, down to the seventh.
Last of all, the woman died.
In the resurrection, therefore,
whose wife of the seven will she be?
For they all had married her.”

But Jesus answered
and said to them,”You are mistaken,
not understanding the scriptures nor the power of God.
For in the resurrection
they neither marry nor are given in marriage,
but are like angels in heaven.
But regarding the resurrection of the dead,
have you not read what was spoken to you by God?
I am the God of Abraham,
and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

When the crowds heard this,
they were astonished at his teaching.
—Matthew 22: 23-33

 
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RESURRECTION: SNEAK PEEKS

 

Explore each account via the links below. These resurrected people went on to live again . . . but eventually had to die again and now await the resurrection occurring at the end of days.

 

That is, all except one.
The life giver . . . and life changer.

 

There’s more coming up about that singularly unique resurrection story in this series. But now . . . those real-life resurrection accounts.

 

Real-Life Accounts

Real-Life Accounts Cont’d

The Resurrection Thunderbolt From Heaven

Rabbi Scholars Defend Jesus’ Resurrection

Why A Bodily Resurrection

 

Resurrection series initially created between March 30, 2016 – July 3, 2016

 
 

CREDITS: Bible photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.com

CREDITS: Gavel photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash.com

CREDITS: Roll the Drums photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash.com

 

RELATED RESOURCES

 

McFarland, Philip (2004), Hawthorne in Concord, New York: Grove Press, p. 149, ISBN 0-8021-1776-7.

Royot, Daniel (2002), “Poe’s humor”, in Hayes, Kevin J, The Cambridge Companion to Edgar Allan Poe, Cambridge University Press, pp. 61–2, ISBN 0-521-79727-6.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13614-shulamite

http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/shunammite-midrash-and-aggadah

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/all-women-bible/Great-Woman-Shunem

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/107781/jewish/Ani-Maamin-I-Believe.htm

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/jewish-resurrection-of-the-dead/

 

Resurrection Jewish Style Series: Part 4—Rabbi Scholars Defend Jesus’ Resurrection

By SoulBreaths Author [ 4 months ago ]

Rolled stone from tomb

The resurrection event that changed everything—on both sides of the Judaic-Messianic bridge. What an orthodox rabbi and Jewish scholars have to say about the resurrection of Jesus (Yeshua, his Hebrew name).

 

© SoulBreaths.com. All rights reserved.

 

READING TIME: 7 MINUTES.

 

HAVE YOU READ THE FIRST POSTS IN THIS SERIES?
What God Revealed
Real-Life Accounts
Real-Life Accounts Cont’d
The Resurrection Thunderbolt From Heaven

 

The world’s history has long encompassed extremes—light and darkness, goodness and evil, sagacity and folly, hope and discouragement . . . and the ultimate dichotomy, death and resurrection.

 

It’s the stuff authors love to write about, carefully mirroring our up-down, soul-body matrix existence in their art, which sometimes is reflected back into life. Remember the seesaw duality of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities?

 


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness . . .
it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness


 

Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us in our fractured state. We will rise from the abyss of death.

 

But in sync with life’s duality, even the resurrection event is good news/bad news. There will be a resurrection to everlasting life for the righteous . . . and a resurrection to judgment for the others. (Daniel 12:2 and John 5:28-29.)

 

This is serious business. So God gave us ten resurrection accounts—seriously, count them—to encourage us, to help us see our lives down here via a more heavenly lens. (See prior posts in this series.)

 

And yet, all those resurrection accounts beg the question.

Since resurrection is an obvious biblical teaching,
then why do some people give
an acknowledging nod
to many of those accounts . . .

but discount 
one resurrection in particular?
Namely, the historical resurrection of 
Jesus.

 

Well, one modern-day orthodox rabbi didn’t.
Nor did some other Jewish biblical scholars and rabbis.

 

note: stock photo, not Rabbi Lapide

 

MEET RABBI PINCHAS LAPIDE
author, Jewish scholar, theologian specializing in the New Testament

 

An Orthodox rabbi, Lapide had a real bridge-crossing view. He even wrote a book in 1979 about it: “The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective.” It made quite a stir back then, even garnering attention in Time magazine’s religion section.

 

Lapide (1922-1997) and his scholarly process were all about rediscovering the Jewish aspects of early Christianity. After all, Jesus (Yeshua) and his followers were Jews.

 

Lapide’s convincing Judaic arguments in favor of Jesus’ resurrection as a historic event are worth examining.

 

I mean, rabbis, some of the Sanhedrin, and Pharisees—not to mention multitudes of Jews—recognized in the first century CE that Jesus (Yeshua) is the Messiah. So when a modern-day rabbi studies the totality of the scriptures and supports Jesus’ resurrection, it’s a red-letter moment.

 

Per Lapide, the “Hebrew Bible knows of the translation of Enoch (Genesis 5:24), a transfiguration (Saul: I Samuel 10:6), an ascension (Elijah: 2 Kings 2:11) and three resurrections [which God] carried out through the hands of His prophets.”

 

Namely: I Kings 7: 17-24; 2 Kings 4:18-21, 32-37; 2 Kings 13:20-21.

 

Not a single case was met with unbelief in Israel, per Lapide.
Nope, not one.

 

The hope and belief in resurrection were so ingrained in Judaic thinking, it became part of the daily prayer from renowned 12th-century rabbinic scholar, Moses ben Maimonides and his Thirteen Articles of Faith:

 

Lapide also commented that postbiblical literature gives reports of several miraculous healings, multiplication of bread, diversion of a flood, victory over demons, rainfall after prayer, etc.

 

So the historic resurrection of Jesus
wasn’t a bizarre, non-Jewish event.
And it wasn’t so-called magic or a scheme.
It was real.
From the hand of Adonai, God Himself.
In fact, over the 40-day period following his resurrection,
Jesus appeared to his disciples, others, and over 500 people at once.

 

In addition to Lapide’s scientific analysis of Jesus’ resurrection—which includes support for the genuineness of Saul Paulus’ Damascene experience—he mentioned two other points as further support:

 

(1) God permitted the women to be the first to witness and give testimony of that resurrection—when they held no value in the culture.

 

(2) Many  Jewish believers were willing to die defending their belief in Jesus’ resurrection.

 

Per Rabbi Pinchas Lapide:
Without the Sinai experience—no Judaism.
Without the Easter [Passover/Crucifixion/Resurrection] experience—no Christianity.
Both were Jewish faith experiences whose radiating power . . .
were meant for the world of nations.
For inscrutable reasons, the resurrection faith of Golgotha was necessary to carry the message of Sinai into the world.

 
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THREE FINE POINTS

 

Point #1. Messiahship. Now I don’t agree with Lapide’s initial inference that Jesus (Yeshua) is only the messiah for the Gentiles (Goyim)—but Lapid did say that in Jesus’ parousia (second coming) he would manifest himself as Israel’s Messiah.

 

To clarify that . . . the prophet Zechariah says that what actually happens at the second coming is this: Israel’s spiritual eyes are open, the veil is removed, so they can see Jesus (Yeshua) for who he is and always has been, the Jewish Messiah of the world.

 

I will pour out on the house of David
and on those living in Jerusalem
a spirit of grace and prayer;
and they will look to me, whom they pierced.
They will mourn for him as one mourns for an only son;
they will be in bitterness on his behalf
like the bitterness for a firstborn son.
—Zechariah 12:10

 

There is one Messiah—per scriptures—sent by God
for the Jew first and then for the Gentile.
And Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies, over 100.
Including the Messiah’s initial coming for spiritual redemption,
which will be followed by the final physical redemption,
ushering in the Messianic Age.

 

Point #2. Probability factor. The scientific probability of Jesus (Yeshua) fulfilling the many messianic prophecies is mind-boggling. As Lion and Lamb Ministry aptly states on their site, referencing the noted work of now-deceased mathematics/astronomy university chair Peter Stoner:

 

“The chances of fulfilling 16 [of the 108 prophecies]  is 1 in 1045.
When you get to a total of 48 [prophecies fulfilled],
the odds increase to 1 in 10157.

Accidental fulfillment of these prophecies is
simply beyond the realm of possibility.”

 

Point #3. Lapide and the hotly debated three-days-in-the-tomb issue. Even Christians battle out the calculations. [An easy method to me—without gagging on a calculations gnat—is using our Judaic/biblical view that a day is measured sundown to sundown: (1st “day”) Friday daylight buried before Shabbat began; (2nd day) Friday sundown to Saturday sundown, still in the tomb; (3rd “day”) Saturday sundown to Sunday morning, arose on that third day.]

 

But Lapide gives a compelling Judaic response: It’s not a literal expression in the Hebrew Bible.

 

Stick with me for a moment and hear him out . . .

 

Lapide says, for those with ears biblically educated, that three-days-in-the-tomb expression used in various scriptures refers to the clear evidence of God’s mercy and grace that is revealed after two days of affliction and death by way of redemption.

 

  • Genesis 22:4. On the third day, Abraham lifted his eyes . . . [before the Akedah, the binding of Isaac]
  • Exodus 19: 16. On the morning of the third day, there was thunder . . . [before God’s Sinai appearance]
  • Genesis 42:18. On the third day, Joseph said to them . . . [before releasing his brothers—except one—to return to Canaan]
  • Jonah 1:17. Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days . . . [before he was saved]
  • Esther 5:1. On the third day, Esther put on her royal robes . . . [Israel saved after bitter affliction]
  • Hosea 6:2. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up . . . [before He comes like the spring rain to water their souls ]

 
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JESUS  & JEWISH BIBLICAL SCHOLARS 

 

Per Lapide, the Pentecost testimony of the apostles—claiming the crucified Jesus had risen—proved a big pain you know where for the Sadducees. But for the Pharisees or the majority of Jews, it was a “problem seriously to be investigated.” They knew a resurrection was “entirely in the realm of the possible (Sanhedrin 90b).”

 

And also per Lapide’s book (pages 137-138, 142), the spiritual heirs of those Pharisees—today’s Jewish rabbis and biblical scholars—have commented on the matter from different angles.

 

  • Maimonides—renowned rabbinic authority. “All these matters which refer to Jesus of Nazareth . . . only served to make the way free for the King Messiah and to prepare the whole world for the worship of God with a united heart, as it is written: Yea, at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord (Zeph. 3:9). In this way, the messianic hope, the Torah, and the commandments have become a widespread heritage of faith—among the inhabitants of the far islands and among many nations, uncircumcised in heart and flesh.”
  • Rabbi Samuel Hirsch—pioneer of the Jewish Reform movement. “In order that Jesus’ power of hope and greatness of soul should not end with his death, God has raised in the group of his disciples the idea that he rose from death and continues living. Indeed, He continues living in all those who want to be true Jews.”
  • Rabbi Leo Baeck—author of The Essence of Judaism. “They [disciples of Jesus] were seeking the Messiah, the son of David, the promised one, and they found and beheld him in Jesus. His disciples in Israel believed in him even beyond his death so that it became to them an existential certainty that he—as the prophet foretold—had risen from the dead on the third day.”
  • Rabbi Samuel Sandmel—prolific author, theologian, an authority on Jewish-Christian relations. “Only a Jew whose unique combination of qualities was extraordinary could have been thought by other Jews to have been accorded a special resurrection.”
  • J. Carmel—Israeli teacher/author, who says he regrets the Gospels aren’t at home in the framework of Jewish literature. “If the prophet Elijah has ridden a fiery chariot into heaven, why should not Jesus rise and go to heaven?”

 

READ THE NEXT POST IN THE SERIES

Why A Bodily Resurrection

 

HAVE YOU READ THESE EARLIER POSTS IN THIS SERIES?

What God Revealed

Real-Life Accounts

Real-Life Accounts Cont’d

The Resurrection Thunderbolt From Heaven

Rabbi Scholars Defend Jesus’ Resurrection

 

Resurrection series initially created between March 30, 2016 – July 3, 2016

 

CREDIT: Western Wall photo by Dave Herring on Unsplash.com

CREDIT: Bridging the Distance photo by Marija Zaric on Unsplash.com

CREDIT: Lion photo by Jeff Rodgers on Unsplash.com

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