Raise has different meanings in different settings. A raise can mean more pay or bread dough almost ready for baking. To a believer, raise means the greatest triumph to ever happen; Jesus being raised from the dead.
The Scriptures record resurrections from the dead. Some stories were a type of resurrection. Even a dead tree used as a staff by a shepherd bloomed, blossomed and bore almonds overnight when Moses was leading Israel.
There were probably many more but the Gospels tell of three specific resurrections from the dead in the ministry of Jesus.
First, a 12-year old girl was sick and near death when her desperate father sought Jesus to heal her. On the way home with Jesus his servants told him his daughter died. Jesus continued with him to his house and raised the young girl back to life. I imagine they celebrated her birthday and her resurrection as well.
The second happened in a small village. He turned a funeral into a celebration in Nain. A widow followed the bier holding her son on the way to the grave. Jesus stopped the procession and raised the young man up. The widow wouldn’t make the trip all the way to the cemetery this time. Instead, she returned home with her son returned from the dead.
The third resurrection involved Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha who lived in Bethany, near Jerusalem. Lazarus became sick and his sisters sent for Jesus. He arrived at their home four days after Lazarus died. The sisters each expressed faith that Jesus could have kept him alive. Jesus said, “Thy brother shall rise again.” He followed them to the cave grave and told them to roll the stone aside. He called Lazarus forth and “he that was dead came forth.” What a reunion for those siblings!
Prophecies of the Bible are amazing. Scholars say there are over 70 prophecies concerning Jesus which were all fulfilled. This prophetic word details what the life, death and resurrection of Jesus means beyond just historical events.
The life and ministry of Jesus Christ fulfilled prophecy such as Isaiah 61. He healed the broken-hearted, gave sight to the blind, set the captives free and restored liberty to the prisoners, those trapped in sin. These and many other miraculous works were done.
His death was foretold in Isaiah 53. He was the sacrificial Lamb that took away guilt and sin. His blood was not just that of a crucified man, but the price of redemption paid for healing and salvation.
Jesus told his disciples many times of his resurrection to come three days after his death. His crucifixion and burial were so devastating and disheartening that they didn’t remember those words. Shock and awe were their reactions when they saw him raised to life again.
The Bible says Jesus remained with his disciples 40 days before ascending to heaven. These “infallible proofs” of his resurrection assure us of this great victory.
I call 1 Corinthians 15 the resurrection chapter. The words rose, risen and rise occur nine times. Raised is written 10 times. Resurrection is a strong hope. Keep believing and rejoicing, heeding and obeying God’s word, “Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus” (2 Corinthians 4:14).
Mitch Glover pastors the Sterling Pentecostal Church. Sunday Bible class at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. are livestreamed on Facebook as well as Thursday Bible study at 7 p.m. Visit the services and sterlingpentecostalchurch.com.