Where Do We First See the Hope of the Resurrection in the Bible?

An Old Testament Proclamation

The resurrection is all over the New Testament as a proclamation. The New Testament Gospels tell us of Jesus’s resurrection. The apostles are proclaiming the resurrection to the first century audiences and listeners, and even the readers of their documents. But when you read what these New Testament authors say, Jesus’s resurrection has fulfilled an earlier hope. And we can see that the resurrection is an ancient notion.

The Old Testament authors hold out for us a resurrection hope of our bodies. This is to fulfill what the garden and the plan of God from the beginning have aimed at as a trajectory—that we will have a life with God of embodied glory and immortality for Christ himself. We proclaim his resurrection as good news for the nations. But the Old Testament hope of resurrection is an important foundation and backdrop to this.

Resurrection Hope and the Death of Death

Mitchell L. Chase

Mitchell L. Chase traces the theme of resurrection hope throughout Scripture, explaining how an understanding of resurrection is essential to faith now, in addition to a longing for what is to come. 

I want people to notice the ancient rootedness, the Old Testament texts from Genesis to Malachi that stir and advance a hope of bodily life after death. The Old Testament does teach us that we will die. The Old Testament does teach us that we will rise. The New Testament authors write and minister in a worldview that has been shaped by these earlier texts, and therefore, our understanding of resurrection hope is bolstered and supported in a major way.

If we can see how the Old Testament has pointed the way and prepared the way that Christ himself has embodied, and that we ourselves have a great hope in, then ancient words of resurrection hope are older than the empty tomb and starting as early as the Book of Genesis.

Mitchell L. Chase is the author of Resurrection Hope and the Death of Death by Mitchell L. Chase.

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