This season of the Resurrection also occurs during a significant Old Testament feast day, the feast of “Firstfruits” (Hebrew, “bikoreem”). When Yeshua (Jesus) rose from the dead he was the firstfruit of the resurrection. On that day the keys of Hell and Death were obtained by our Lord. The apostle Paul connected the resurrection with the feast of Firstfruits in his letter to the congregation at Corinith. "But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."
In today's world of Smart Phones, tablets and instant Internet access, there are many things that we can "know." "How long is the Golden Gate Bridge?" Pop out your iPhone, ask "Siri", the golden-voiced digital encyclopedic genius, and you'll have the factual answer in seconds.
The central fact of the gospel message is the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus), declared in Psalm 2, the begotten Son of God. In 1952, Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in Cave 4 called the "Messianic Apocalypse". The Messiah's ministry of resurrection is reiterated in these ancient documents with an obvious reference to Isaiah 61:1-3. The scroll identifies someone who "… will heal the wounded, and revive the dead and bring good news to the poor." It is clear that at least some of the authors of these documents clearly understood the central nature and ministry of the coming Messiah, most certainly based on their intimate knowledge of the prophetic writings in the Tenach (OT)…that ministry, resurrection of the dead.
From the moment we were conceived we began aging, growing older by the day. We may slow down the physical aging process by exercising, eating right and other natural techniques – but we cannot ultimately stop it. This mortal flesh, our outer man, is "wasting away" and moving toward decay as we await the immortal bodies promised us in the Resurrection.
Jonah now acknowledges that God put him where he is, and he accepts His discipline. "Sheol" is the "grave", the "pit" or the "abode of the dead". Did Jonah die, or was he only nearly dead from three days of fish stomach acid, and little or no air? The text doesn't say; only that if he didn't actually leave his body, he came as close as a man can get to it; three days worth. In this nebulous and miserable place Jonah cried out, probably from the deepest depths of his agonized soul…he cried out to the Lord.
Just a few weeks prior to this incident, the disciples were trembling for their lives as their Lord was arrested and then crucified. They had all fled in the Garden of Gethsemane and then Peter, whose boldness was legendary, had denied him three times. The fact that they had been serving with Yeshua (Jesus) for three years, witnessing many miracles, including Peter's amazing walk on the water…
I could tell you about countless difficult and drawn out circumstances over which we have tried to stand firmly in faith until they finally came to pass. Sometimes we made it and sometimes we were weak and began to doubt. But God mercifully came through for us on most of these things, despite our lack of strength to stay faith-ful.
For nearly 2000 years the Jewish people were scattered across the world without a homeland. In one day, according to the meticulous preparation of God, on May 14th 1948, the nation of Israel was restored. As millions of Jews were returning to their homeland they began rebuilding the ancient cities that were destroyed, restoring the desolations of many generations, and fulfilling Biblical prophecy…
Numerous modern critics of the Bible say the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus) is simply a myth based on pagan stories of "resurrected gods" from around the world, and that the authors of the New Testament borrowed from these myths and incorporated them into the Bible. But the similarity of two stories proves nothing about their origin or truth content. The Jews of Yeshua's time were steeped in Old Testament monotheism which had a well developed tradition of resurrection believed and taught by the Pharisees. Polytheistic pagan ideas would have been abhorrent to men who understood and practiced the Judaism of the apostles and New Testament writers.
Sometimes, the more significant, powerful, or influential someone is, the less you know about him or her. There are some people of influence whose names most of us have never heard, and about whom we know almost nothing, yet they make decisions which affect millions of lives.
One of the mysteries of God is how He has placed the prophetic clock according to the Hebrew calendar. The feast of Sukkot is a harvest feast, which is also known as the feast of ingathering. This is one of the few feasts that has not yet been fulfilled prophetically.
When Joseph was thrown into prison, his life was thought to be over. How could anyone escape an Egyptian prison? But then, in one day, according to God's perfect timing, he was instantly promoted to reign over all Egypt with only the Pharoah, ("god on earth") as his Lord…
Our sojourn in America has been a series of divine appointments. When we were in Nashville, we were introduced to the ancient Hebrew alphabet; letters which were originally written much like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics in the time of Moses. In this written language it was often possible to derive the meaning of a word, because each letter was a symbol, which had its own particular meaning and significance.