Following The Evidence #83

Before we move on to the next “Evidence” I would like to spend a day or two reflecting on the Old Testament understanding of the Resurrection.
“By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son. . . . He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead—and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back” (Hebrews 11:17, 19, NRSV).

Death is depressing, cold, and unnatural. It robs life of certainty and meaning and abruptly breaks relationships. Dying does not make sense. As humans, we were never meant to die. Only because of sin do we die. However, in the Garden of Eden in the midst of darkness and despair, God introduced hope. Hope shines where there is no hope, just as the moon and stars bring light into darkness. This hope began with God’s search for Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:9) and His announcement that He would send the Promised Seed to defeat Satan (Gen. 3:15). Hope is a gift from God Himself to us. Eve thought that her firstborn son would be that Savior (Gen. 4:1), but death would be defeated only by the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament church (Acts 7:38) lived by this hope, looking forward to the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of His kingdom. The hope of resurrection already is strong in the Old Testament. It starts with Job, (the first book to be written by Moses) culminates with Daniel, and in between, several authors testify to it. The Old Testament hope is grounded, not on Greek ideas about the natural immortality of the soul, but on the biblical teaching of the final resurrection of the dead.

But how could a no-longer-existent human body, cremated into ashes or destroyed by other means, be brought to life again? How can someone who has been deceased, perhaps for centuries or even millennia, recover again his or her identity? These questions lead us to reflect on the mystery of life. We are alive and enjoy the life that God graciously grants us every day. Even without beginning to understand the supernatural origin of life, we know that in the beginning God brought life into existence from nonlife through the power of His word (Genesis 1; Ps. 33:6, 9). So, if God was able to create life on earth the first time from nothing, why should we doubt His capacity to re-create human life and to restore its original identity?

When explaining this I sometimes use the analogy of a computer document. I can create such a document, save it to my hard drive ad then turn off my computer. If I were to open my computer and examine the disks, even with a microscope, I would not be able to find that document. It is in effect deceased. However, at anytime I can turn on my computer and with the right commands I can recover my original document, just as I filed it. At death, we, in effect, go onto the “computer banks” of heaven. At any time, God can recreate me just as I was (though now perfect.)
One of the clearest and best Old Testament texts on the resurrection is from the first book of the Bible to be written – Job. Written by Moses even before Genesis.

Job 19:25-27 reads like this,” Yet as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last, He will take His stand on the earth. Even after my flesh is destroyed, yet from my flesh I will see God, whom I, on my part, shall behold for myself, and whom my eyes will see, and not another. My heart faints within me! I Shall See God.” (NLT) When and under what circumstances was Job expecting to “see God”?

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