THE DOCTRINE OF THE RESURRECTION – Easter 2022 – Hebrews 11


By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your descendants be named.” He considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead; hence, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.

Hebrews 11:17‭-‬19 RSV

Abraham believed that “God is able to raise up from the dead.”

The insinuation of some, therefore, that the doctrine of the resurrection arose long afterward among the Jews, probably introduced to them from Persia, is false.

Faith in the resurrection antedates even the time of Job and his faith in it (Job 19:25-27), for Abraham was before Job, as also is Genesis.

The certainty that Abraham did believe in the resurrection derives from the plain import of these words, and also from the deduction that unless he had so believed, it would have been impossible for him to have acted as he did in the offering of Isaac.

Moreover, the whole concept of looking “for the city that hath the foundations,” and counting himself a sojourner and pilgrim in the earth (Genesis 23:4), is absolutely incompatible with any lack of true faith in the resurrection of the dead.

True, it is properly said that our Lord brought “life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10); but nevertheless, the Old Testament is not without its sure and certain witness of the resurrection.

“For thou wilt not leave my soul in Sheol (that is, `the grave’); neither wilt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption” (Psalms 16:10).

This is nothing if not a prophecy of resurrection. Also, Daniel said, “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to everlasting shame and contempt” (Daniel 12:2).

Our Lord, to be sure, went far beyond all of the marvelous intimations of immortality, resurrection, and eternal life found in the Old Testament, and flatly declared that all the dead, good and bad, small and great, shall be raised from the graves to confront God in the judgment.

The entire teaching of Christ is oriented to the doctrine of the resurrection.

The author of Hebrews makes it one of the fundamentals of the faith (Hebrews 6:1ff); also see John 5:24-29; Matthew 25; and especially three instances in which Christ actually raised the dead.

These were the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:35ff), the raising of the son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11ff), and the resurrection of Lazarus after he was dead four days (John 11:11ff).

The entire fabric of the New Testament is woven upon the sturdy warp of the doctrine of the resurrection. See more on this in the blog “Six Fundamentals”

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, with instruction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do if God permits.
Hebrews 6:1‭-‬3 RSV

It's Your Turn. Write Something. Say Something.