Yes and Amen: The Promise of the Resurrection

Yes and Amen: The Promise of the Resurrection

Yes and Amen: The Promise of the Resurrection.

“In Christ is found the Yes! to all God’s promises, and therefore it is through Him that we answer Amen! to give praise to God. As His Yes! and our Amen! ascend to God, we bring Him glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

YES: the answer in the affirmative.

AMEN: (Hebrew, related to the root word for truth); Yes! That’s right! We agree; This is absolutely truer; This is certain; This is trustworthy and assured; So be it; Let this be true; We heartily approve; We believe this with all our heart and soul.

“We have come here to tell you the good news that the promise made to your ancestors has come about! God has fulfilled it to their children by raising Jesus from the dead!”  (Paul preaching to a Jewish audience in Acts 13:32-33).

God’s first promise about the Resurrection was way back in the Garden of Eden, when God promised Satan that he would be defeated by a descendant of Eve. “He will crush your head, and you will bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15). To crush the head was certain death. God is giving us an early hint that a man would defeat Satan by a powerful act, which turned out to be the Resurrection. Here we have a foreshadowing of Christ’s Resurrection, a promise that the Evil One would eventually be destroyed, and salvation would come to the world through this one special Man. Bruising His heel refers to Satan’s repeated attempts to hamper Christ’s ministry on earth, Satan’s nibbling away at his life and actions. It also refers to the Cross, in which Satan may have injured Christ, but it was not an injury that leads to ultimate death. Satan’s injury to Christ on the Cross wea not fatal. The Resurrection overcame Christ’s injury and defeated Satan’s strongest weapon, which is death. Jesus died, but then defeated death through His Resurrection. The empty tomb was the crushing blow to Satan’s head, to Satan’s powers, now a doomed foe. That portion of Genesis is called “the first Gospel,” because it was the first time God prophesied a Savior that would come and destroy Satan and His works. There was only one way to defeat Satan, and that is by destroying death itself, by overcoming death through life. “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:8).

God also promised the coming Resurrection in Psalm 16:9-11... “My heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”  Psalm 16 is the first psalm in Scripture that was interpreted by the early church. It is used to confirm the biblical background for the Resurrection, quoted in Acts 2:25-28 and Acts 13:35. Speaking through King David, the Holy Spirit promised that the Holy One, the Anointed One, would not be subject to decay or the physical corruption of death. The Messiah would be rescued from permanent death and enjoy eternal pleasures at God’s right hand. This portion of Psalm 16 reveals the joy that Christ must have felt at the first moments after rising from the dead. “I rejoice,’ says Jesus, “because I am walking on the path of Life!! I will be in my Father’s presence forever!”

God the Father and God the Spirit weren’t the only members of the Godhead to promise the Resurrection. Christ Himself predicted His rising from the dead on a number of occasions: Matthew 16:21-23; Matt. 17:22-23; Matt.20:17-19 (and the corollary passages in the other gospels). Each of those times Jesus promised that He would be killed, but then would rise from the dead on the third day. Jesus had utmost faith in His Father’s desire to raise Him from the dead, and He tried to communicate that truth to His disciples. They responded with confusion and grief, as would we. In fact, when Jesus once again hinted at the Resurrection in John 2:18-22, His disciples had to wait until after the fact to understand what Jesus was talking about. In this scene in John’s gospel, Jesus had just cleared the Temple in a fury, and the religious Jews of the Temple surrounded Him and demanded some type of sign to prove His authority to do such a thing. Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” The Jews took Him literally and said that was obviously impossible. “But the temple He had spoken of was His body. After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He had said. Then they believed the Scriptures and the words that Jesus had spoken.”