SET YOUR HOPE UPON CHRIST JESUS
In the movie "Shawshank Redemption" Red says to Andy - "Hope is a dangerous thing my friend, it can kill a man." Andy replies, "Hope is a good thing, maybe even the best of things. And good things never die."
God gave the world Hope thousands of years before Christ arrived. Many Christians who study the Scripture know of Old Testament passages that reveal the prophetic word of Jesus' miraculous birth, His life, suffering and death for the redemption of all.
However, how many of us know or research the Old Testament passages that foretell Christ's resurrection? Paul mentions this prophetic support of Christ's resurrection in the O.T. in his letter to the believers in Corinth.
- “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, . . . that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve” (1 Cor. 15:2, 3-5).
Without the resurrection of Jesus, we just have another man claiming to be The Messiah. However, Jesus did rise from death, Hades and the grave, plus He fulfilled Old Testament passages that said He would. Isaiah 53:10 said "he will see his offspring and prolong his days..." after He sacrificially gave His life for ours - "though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin".
- "Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand."
- "...my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. (Psalm 16:8-10)
As a final example of Old Testament prophecies foretelling Christ's resurrection, part of The Lord's response in Matthew 12 to the Pharisees demand for a sign was that of an analogy to Jonah's predicament in the belly of the great fish for three days.
- "'For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth' (Matt. 12:40). As Jesus explains, Jonah and the big fish is an analogy of the death and resurrection of Jesus, though Christ is a much greater prophet than Jonah. Craig Blomberg is insightful: 'Just as Jonah’s time in the fish would have proved meaningless had he not been spit up onto the shore to continue his appointed ministry of preaching repentance to Nineveh, so also the crucifixion is not the decisive sign of who Jesus was, for his subsequent rescue from death is what vindicated his ministry and enabled his mission to go forward'” (https://credomag.com/2013/03/the-resurrection-of-christ-in-the-old-testament/)
- "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved." (Romans 8:22-24)
- "My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." (John 14:2-4)
- "For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words." (1 Thess. 4:13-18)
- "In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," (1 Peter 1:3)