Via Wintry Knight.
In the Rabbinical literature there are explicit teachings on the resurrection. It says in the Mishnah 10.1, it says, “All Israelites have a share in the world to come; … and these are they that have no share in the world to come: he that says that there is no resurrection of the dead prescribed in the Law.” Moses Maimonides, a Jewish rabbi and a medieval Jewish philosopher who has forever influenced the Jewish and non-Jewish world said:
” The resurrection of the dead is one of the cardinal principles established by Moses our teacher. A person who does not believe this principle has no real religion, certainly not Judaism. However, resurrection is for the righteous. This is the earning of the statement in Breshit Rabbah, which declares: “the creative power of rain is both for the righteous and the wicked, but the resurrection of the dead is only for the righteous.” Our sages taught the wicked are called dead even when they are still alive; the righteous are alive even when they are dead” (Bab. Talmud Brakhot 18 b).
3 points are made here: 1. Resurrection is a cardinal principle taught in the Torah which all Jews must believe 2. It is for the righteous alone 3. All men must die and their bodies decompose.
Donal Graeme (If you were a Presbyterian of the old school you knew your OT very, very well, but these moderns…)
I covered how Jesus came to live among us in order to take away the sins of the world. The nature of sin and sacrifice is not something that I have always understood well. In fact, one really has to have a decent grasp of the Old Testament (which is the most generous description of my understanding of the Old Testament I dare to give) in order to truly understand that. For me, that has been a recent process. Before that time, I focused on another aspect of Jesus’ life among us, namely nature as both Man and God.
To me, at first, the message of Jesus (the one that I understood best, anyways) was that God would never ask of us what He wouldn’t be willing to undergo Himself. Like everyone Human being following Adam and Eve, God endured all that we must endure. He was born of a woman. He was born to a noble lineage, but his family itself was not well off. He grew up, and was obedient to His parents. Later, He walked among us, teaching us the Truth and working great miracles. As a result of this he was slandered, with many vile, and false, accusations made against him. Eventually, he was arrested, tried unjustly, tortured, and finally forced to endure a slow and agonizing death. There is little in the way of the misery of life that Jesus did not undergo while he lived among us. To me, this was a striking thing- the Creator of the entire universe was willing to subject Himself to the pitfalls of mortal existence, all for the benefit of the very people who rejected Him.
This was a very humbling lesson when I first came to understand. It still is, in fact. Yet it is also a comforting one. For I know that nothing I do, nothing I experience, nothing I suffer, will be any worse than what my God endured on my behalf nearly two millennia ago. It is a hard path that I walk, but I do not walk it alone, for He is with me on it, and the gladness that fact brings me cannot be taken away by this world or its ruler.
Christianity does not change. Our duty remains the same. If the churches preach the gospel they will succeed, otherwise, they will fail.
Ordering one’s life around faith and the church requires considerable sacrifice. Therefore, people have to see why church is so compelling that they would bother to get out of bed on Sunday morning. Moralistic pabulum and vague niceties don’t cut it. Pastors and teachers need to constantly trumpet the shocking claims of the gospel. Our sin has put us in jeopardy of hell. God became incarnate as a man, Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross so we could be forgiven. He rose again bodily to defeat death. He reigns forever now with the Father. These and others are historic, bracing truths of Christianity, and they compel a response of adherence, for those with ears to hear.
Without coincidence, true truth is triune truth: it’s decreed by God (the Father), personified in God (the Son), and effected by God (the Spirit). Contrary to popular belief, truth isn’t based on personal feeling, self-understanding, or a contemporary situation. It’s based on God’s revelation, centered in the gospel, and revealed by the transforming work of the Spirit.
Unlike the mood of our age, truth isn’t something we can create, discover, or deny. Like the innocent man Pilate sentenced to death, truth has a way of coming back to life.
May we, like Jesus, make the good confession and hold fast to the truth.
So, as we move forward from Easter, let us hold fast to the gospel. Where the gospel is preached, there is life, where there is the gospel, there is no life.