THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, May 2, 2010

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).


Two disciples were walking toward the village of Emmaus. It was on Sunday afternoon – the day that Jesus rose from the dead. As they were walking Jesus drew near and went with them. They did not recognize Him at first. He asked them what they were talking about and why they were so sad. They said that they had thought that Christ would redeem Israel, but instead He had been crucified and was dead. They also said that certain women had been to His tomb earlier in the day. The women had told them that Christ was alive. These two disciples still did not realize they were speaking to the resurrected Christ. He rebuked them for their unbelief,

“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

They still did not realize that they were listening to the risen Christ until they stopped to eat dinner. Then Jesus,

“…took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him…”
      (Luke 24:30-31).

On the very day he died, Dr. M. R. DeHaan recorded these words for his famous Radio Bible Class. These are the last words Dr. DeHaan preached on the radio.

      As Jesus took the bread and broke it and handed it to them, they saw His identification marks – the wounds in His hands. As He passed the bread to them they beheld His hands. The wounded hands of Jesus were His identification (M. R. DeHaan, M.D., Portraits of Christ in Genesis, Zondervan Publishing House, 1966 edition, p. 55).

I have not read that anywhere else, but it seems like a reasonable explanation of what happened. But even if DeHaan was right there was a supernatural quality in the fact that “their eyes were opened, and they knew him” (Luke 24:31). It takes the power of God to enlighten “the eyes of [our] understanding” (Ephesians 1:18).

This account, then, shows us how these people came to know Him. And it is a picture of how all Christians come to know Christ. First, He preached to them from the Scriptures (Luke 24:27). Second, “their eyes were opened, and they knew him” (Luke 24:31). But, before their eyes were opened, Jesus said to them,

“…O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

Jesus began with the writings of Moses, and then went through the Old Testament Scriptures, “expounding [explaining] unto them in all the [Old Testament] scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). He must have started in the book of Genesis, written by Moses, for we are told that He began with the writings of Moses, and then went on to other Old Testament Scriptures, explaining “unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Therefore we will go through the Old Testament and show some of the things that Christ must have taught them about His crucifixion, and especially His resurrection.

I. First, Christ’s resurrection implied in His work of creation.

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”
      (Genesis 1:1).

Right there, in the first words of Genesis, we see Christ as the Creator of heaven and earth. The New Testament tells us,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3).

The great Creator, the Word of God, was Jesus Christ. This is shown clearly in John 1:14,

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

The creation by Christ is closely tied to His resurrection from the dead in Colossians 1:16-18.

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence”
       (Colossians 1:16-18).

He who had the power to create “all things” was also “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18). His ability to create the universe strongly implies His power to rise from the dead. Jesus would no doubt have told this to those He spoke with on the road to Emmaus.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself”
     (Luke 24:27).

II. Second, Christ’s resurrection pictured in Adam.

Christ, the last Adam, slept in the tomb, while the church was taken out of His side. This is pictured by Eve being taken out of Adam’s side.

“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man”
     (Genesis 2:21-22).

This is a picture of Christ and the church.

“For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:30-32).

Adam slept. God took Eve from his side. The Scofield note says, “Eve, type of the church as bride of Christ” (note on Genesis 2:23). Christ slept in death for three days in the tomb. Dr. DeHaan said, “His side was opened, and the cleansing water and His justifying blood flowed forth. The Church, like Eve, was a new creation” (DeHaan, ibid., p. 33). Also, Adam awoke after Eve was taken from his side, which pictures Christ, the last Adam, rising from the dead.

“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32).

III. Third, Christ’s resurrection in the protevangelium.

All agree that Genesis 3:15 is the protevangelium, the first mention of the Gospel. It was addressed to Satan. It says,

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

The “seed” of the woman is Christ, for the word “seed” never, in any other place in the Old Testament, refers to a woman. The “seed” of the woman is Christ,

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14).

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

Then, too, the bruising of Christ’s heel would not be fatal, but the bruising of Satan’s head is fatal. Dr. DeHaan said, “The Saviour’s heel was bruised at His first coming, but Satan’s head will be crushed at His second coming” (DeHaan, ibid., p. 64). Here, then, in the first mention of the Gospel, we have a picture of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself”
     (Luke 24:27).

IV. Fourth, Christ’s resurrection pictured in Abraham sparing Isaac.

God told Abraham to take his son Isaac and offer him as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah. But when they got to the place of sacrifice,

“…Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son” (Genesis 22:13).

The New Testament tells us that Isaac being saved from death is a picture of resurrection,

“Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure”
       (Hebrews 11:18-19).

Surely Jesus pointed out this parallel with His own resurrection from the dead when he spoke to those travelling to Emmaus.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself”
     (Luke 24:27).

V. Fifth, Christ’s resurrection pictured in the life of Joseph.

Joseph’s brothers were jealous of him. They threw him in a pit. Then they pulled him out of the pit and sold him into slavery in Egypt. There in Egypt God raised Joseph to great prominence. Years later, when his brothers were starving, they came to Joseph. He fed them and saved their lives. Then Joseph said to his brothers,

“And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God...” (Genesis 45:7-8).

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20).

In his chapter, “The Perfect Antitype,” Dr. DeHaan said, “The story of Joseph is beyond a doubt the clearest type of the…exaltation of Christ to be found anywhere in the Old Testament” (DeHaan, p. 178). As Joseph was exalted to a high position in Egypt, to give life to his brothers, so Jesus rose from the dead to give life to the world!

So far we have seen types and pictures of Jesus’ resurrection in the writing of Moses, in the book of Genesis. We could go on and on, giving one type after the other that show prophetically the resurrection of Christ. Dr. John R. Rice said, “The Old Testament has many intimations of the future resurrection of Christ which probably have not been noticed by the average reader” (John R. Rice, D.D., The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1953, p. 16). In this sermon I can only give one more of these types, these prophetic pictures of Jesus rising bodily from the grave. That prophetic picture is in the Old Testament book of Jonah.

VI. Sixth, Christ’s resurrection pictured by Jonah.

Jonah was running away from God’s call on his life. He was thrown into the ocean and swallowed by a sea monster. But, after three days, God spoke to that creature “and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (Jonah 2:10). I completely agree with what Dr. McGee said about this,

…the belly of the fish was his grave, and a grave is a place for the dead – you do not put a live man in a grave. Jonah recognized that he was going to die in that fish and that God would hear him and raise him from the dead (J. Vernon McGee, Th.D., Thru the Bible, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982, volume III, p. 749; note on Jonah 2:2).

Dr. DeHaan said the same thing as Dr. McGee, and so did Dr. Henry M. Morris – and I believe they were exactly right. Jonah died in the sea monster, but God raised him from the dead. The book of Jonah tells us that Jonah was in the stomach of the sea monster “three days and three nights” (Jonah 1:17).

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of this as a literal account of what happened to Jonah. And Christ spoke of what happened to Jonah on two different occasions (Matthew 12:39-40; Matthew 16:4). I am going to give you the first of these two,

“But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's [fish's] belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”
     (Matthew 12:39-40).

The only point I’m bringing out this morning is that Jonah’s resurrection from the dead, after three days in the sea monster, was a prophetic picture in the Old Testament of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Surely that is one of the things Jesus told those disciples on the road to Emmaus!

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself”
       (Luke 24:27).

But now we move past these types and pictures to two clear statements about Jesus’ resurrection in the Psalms. And I want you to look at these. Please open the Old Testament to Psalm 16:8-10.

VII. Seventh, Christ’s resurrection predicted in Psalm 16.

Now stand and read aloud Psalm 16:8-10.

“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:8-10).

You may be seated. The word “hell” in verse 10 means “the grave” in this context. We are plainly told that God did not leave His “holy one” – the Messiah Jesus, in the grave – and that God would not let the body of Jesus “see corruption.” Those words are plain and clear on the page of Scripture. And, on the Day of Pentecost, the Apostle Peter preached them, just as you read them. Peter said,

“David speaketh concerning [Jesus], I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance”
     (Acts 2:25-28).

And then the Apostle said,

“He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption” (Acts 2:31).

Dr. Rice said, “Here we have foretold in the Old Testament the feeling of Christ Himself, rejoicing that…His flesh would rest in hope, knowing that [God] the Father would not leave His soul in death, and that His body would not see corruption, but would be raised from the grave. The body of Jesus was never to decay, was never to return to dust. That body [of Jesus] had to be raised from the dead and then triumphantly… ascend to Heaven and the same Saviour, with that same resurrected body, is in [Heaven] now waiting for us” (Rice, ibid., p. 15). Amen! Now turn to Psalm 110:1.

VIII. Eighth, Christ’s resurrection predicted in Psalm 110.

Please stand and read verse one aloud.

“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1).

You may be seated.

Dr. Henry M. Morris said that “Psalm 110:1 is quoted four times in the New Testament (Hebrews 1:13)…Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42; Acts 2:34” (Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., The Defender’s Study Bible, World Publishers, 1995, p. 655; note on Psalm 110:1). Psalm 110:1 is alluded to many more times in the New Testament. The Apostle Peter quoted Psalm 110:1 in his great sermon on the Day of Pentecost,

“For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ”
       (Acts 2:34-36).

Christ has risen from the dead. He is now seated at the right hand of God in Heaven!

There are many more prophecies of Christ’s resurrection in the Old Testament Scriptures. I could only give a few of them this morning. Doubtlessly Christ spoke of them to the disciples on the road to Emmaus on that first Easter Sunday,

“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).

How we pray that you will not be “slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! Christ has not only risen physically from the dead. He has ascended back to Heaven, and you can be drawn up there by the power of God, and “sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). I will preach on that tonight, in a sermon titled, “Resurrection Now!” (May 2, 2010, 6:00 PM). May you be drawn to Christ. May you be washed clean from your sin by His precious Blood. May you be born again. May you come to Jesus and be saved for all time and all eternity! Come to Jesus and receive pardon for sin and eternal life! Jesus said,

“All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

May you come to Jesus. When you come to Him, He will not cast you out!

(END OF SERMON)
You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.realconversion.com. Click on “Sermon Manuscripts.”

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Luke 24:13-27.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Christ Arose” (by Robert Lowry, 1826-1899).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

(Luke 24:25-27, 30-31; Ephesians 1:18)

I.    First, Christ’s resurrection implied in His work of creation,
Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3, 14; Colossians 1:16-18.

II.   Second, Christ’s resurrection pictured in Adam, Genesis 2:21-22;
Ephesians 5:30-32.

III.  Third, Christ’s resurrection in the protevangelium, Genesis 3:15;
Isaiah 7:14.

IV.   Fourth, Christ’s resurrection pictured in Abraham sparing Isaac,
Genesis 22:13; Hebrews 11:18-19.

V.    Fifth, Christ’s resurrection pictured in the life of Joseph,
Genesis 45:7-8; 50:20.

VI.   Sixth, Christ’s resurrection pictured by Jonah, Jonah 2:10; 1:17;
Matthew 12:39-40.

VII.  Seventh, Christ’s resurrection predicted in Psalm 16,
Psalm 16:8-10; Acts 2:25-28, 31.

VIII. Eighth, Christ’s resurrection predicted in Psalm 110,
Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:34-36; Ephesians 2:6; John 6:37.