“God has come to help his people.”
YOU may be surprised to find out that quite a number of dead people were resurrected. The Bible mentions some resurrections that occurred en masse at the resurrection of Jesus. The whole Christian world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ this Sunday about 2000 years ago, after His death on the cross on Mt. Calvary. When Jesus died on Holy Friday, “the earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs (of various saints in Jerusalem) broke open” Matthew 27:50-53. Those open tombs remained open until the third day. At that time, “the bodies of many holy people…were raised to life. The came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people”. On the day that Jesus was raised to life, these saints were also raised and became witnesses in Jerusalem of the life that only Jesus can give. So this is already a bunch of people that were raised from the dead.
Who else was raised from the dead? Elijah the prophet raised the widow of Zarepath’s son from the dead (l Kings 17:17-24) Elijah was staying in an upper room of the widow’s house during a severe drought in the land. While he was there, the widow’s son became ill and died. In her grief, the woman brought the body of her son to Elijah with the assumption that his presence in her household had brought about the death of her boy as a judgment on her past sin. Elijah took the dead boy from her arms, went to the upper room and prayed, “Lord my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” Elijah stretched himself out on the boy three times as he prayed and “the Lord heard Elijahs’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived”. The prophet brought the boy to his mother, who was filled with faith in the power of God through Elijah.
Elisha, another prophet, not to be confused with the other prophet Elijah, raised the Shunammite woman’s son from the dead. He regularly stayed in Shunem in an upper room prepared for him by this woman and her husband. One day, while Elijah was at Mount Carmel, the couple’s young son died. The woman carried the body of her son the Elijah’s room and laid it on the bed (2 Kings 4:18-37). Then, she looked for Elijah. When she found him, she pleaded with him to come to his room. He sent his servant, Gehazi, ahead of them with instructions to lay Elijah’s staff on the boy’s face. As soon as Elijah and the mother arrived back to his room, he shut the door and prayed. Then he stretched out on top of the boy’s body, and the body began to warm. The boy then sneezed seven times and awoke from death. Elijah then delivered the boy, alive again, to his grateful mother.
A dead man resurrected after his body was thrown into Elisha’s grave. Don’t get confused here. We’re talking about the prophet Elisha, not the prophet Elijah. As you probably know, God brought Elijah up to heaven in a fiery chariot. So Elijah is one of two people who did not died but was brought into heaven alive and kicking. The other person who was brought to heaven alive was Enoch. Who was Enoch? Enoch was the great grandfather of Noah, the guy with the Ark full of animals saved from the great flood. Enoch was 365 years old when God took him to heaven still alive. Pretty cool, huh?
Sometime after Elisha had died and was buried, some men were burying another body in the same area. The gravediggers saw a band of Moabite raiders approaching, and rather than risk an encounter with the Moabites, they threw the man’s body into Elisha’s grave. “When the body touched Elisha’s ones, the man came to life and stood up on his feet (2 Kings 13:20-21).
The first resurrection performed by Jesus was for the dead son of the widow of Nain. As the Lord approached the town of Nain, He met a funeral procession leaving the city. In the coffin was a young man, the only son of a widow. When Jesus saw the procession, “his heart went out to the woman and he said, “Don’t cry”, then Jesus came close and touched the coffin and spoke to the dead man. “Young Man I say to you, get up.” Obeying the divine order, “the dead man sat up and began to talk” (Luke 7:11-17). And so, Jesus turned the funeral into a praise and worship service: “God has come to help his people,” he people said.
Jesus also resurrected the dead daughter of Jarius, a synagogue leader. A crowd surrounded the Lord when Jairus came to Him, begging Him to visit his house and heal his dying 12-year-old daughter. Jesus began to follow Jarius home, but on the way a member of Jarius’ household approached them with the sad news that his daughter had died. Jesus turned to Jarius with words of hope: “Don’t be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed. Upon arriving at the house of Jarius, Jesus took the girl’s parents, Peter, James, and John and entered the room where the body lay. There, “he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up (Luke 8 42-55).
Jesus resurrected his friend Lazarus who had been dead for four days (John 11).
The apostle Peter raised Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:36-43). The apostle Paul raised the young man Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:7-12)
Of course, any list of resurrections in the Bible must include the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His death and resurrection are the most important events in the history of the world. The resurrection of Jesus is different from the other resurrections in that the resurrection of Jesus is “permanent”. The others that were resurrected died again when it was time for them to die again. They all died twice. Jesus rose, nevermore to die. The resurrection of Jesus is proof that his plan his for us to have eternal life with Him, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit! This is the best news there is in the history of the world from our loving Father!
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“Because I live, you will also live” — John 14:19h
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Lawrence Bautista Yang specializes in bankruptcy, business, real estate and civil litigation and has successfully represented more than five thousand clients in California. Please call Angie, Barbara or Jess at (626) 284-1142 for an appointment at 1000 S. Fremont Ave, Mailstop 58, Building A-1 Suite 1125, Alhambra, CA 91803.