The Death & Resurrection of Jesus
The Death & Resurrection of Jesus
Answer the following questions concerning the death and resurrection of Jesus (must be a min. of 3,000 words and 8-10 sources):
When did Jesus predict his death and resurrection in the Gospels? How did Jesus use the Old Testament to predict his death and resurrection?
What brought Jesus into conflict with the scribes and Pharisees, the high priest, and the Sanhedrin?
What significance did Jesus give to his death? What evidence is there for the historicity of Jesus’ eucharistic words and of the ransom saying of Mark 10:45?
Identify various rationalistic explanations for the resurrection. What is the most widely held rationalistic explanation today? Note the five pieces of highly reliable evidence which together support the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus.
What was the significance of the resurrection of the dead in first-century Judaism?
Why is the literal, bodily resurrection foundational to Christianity? APA references.
Question 1: When did Jesus predict his death and resurrection in the Gospels? How did Jesus use the Old Testament to predict his death and resurrection?
Answer: Jesus predicted his death and resurrection several times in the Gospels, especially in Mark, Matthew, and Luke. For example, in Mark 8:31, he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and after three days rise again.” He repeated this prediction in Mark 9:31 and 10:33-34. In Matthew 16:21, he said, “From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” He also said this in Matthew 17:22-23 and 20:17-19. In Luke 9:22, he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” He also said this in Luke 18:31-33.
Jesus used the Old Testament to predict his death and resurrection in two ways. First, he used typology, which is a method of interpreting the Old Testament events and figures as foreshadowing or prefiguring the New Testament realities. For example, in John 3:14-15, he said, “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” He was referring to Numbers 21:4-9, where God sent venomous snakes to punish the Israelites for their rebellion, but also provided a way of salvation by instructing Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Anyone who looked at the snake would live. Jesus compared himself to the bronze snake, who was lifted up on a cross to save those who believe in him from sin and death. Another example is in Matthew 12:40, where he said, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” He was referring to Jonah 1:17-2:10, where God sent a great fish to swallow Jonah after he disobeyed God’s command to preach to Nineveh. Jonah prayed to God from inside the fish and was vomited out after three days. Jesus compared himself to Jonah, who was buried in the earth for three days and then rose again.
Second, he used prophecy, which is a method of interpreting the Old Testament predictions or promises as fulfilled or confirmed by the New Testament events. For example, in Luke 24:25-27, after his resurrection, he said to two disciples on the road to Emmaus, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” He was referring to various passages in the Old Testament that foretold his suffering, death, and resurrection. Some of these passages are Psalm 22 (which describes his crucifixion), Isaiah 53 (which describes his substitutionary atonement), Psalm 16:10 (which predicts his resurrection), Daniel 9:26 (which dates his death), Zechariah 12:10 (which portrays his piercing), and Psalm 110:1 (which proclaims his exaltation).
Question 2: What brought Jesus into conflict with the scribes and Pharisees, the high priest
and the Sanhedrin?
Answer: Jesus brought himself into conflict with the scribes and Pharisees, the high priest
and the Sanhedrin by challenging their authority, exposing their hypocrisy,
and claiming to be equal with God.
The scribes and Pharisees were religious leaders who interpreted and taught
the law of Moses. They were often legalistic, self-righteous, and oppressive. They added many traditions and rules to the law that burdened people unnecessarily.
Jesus confronted them for their hypocrisy and corruption. For example, in Matthew 23, he denounced them as “blind guides”, “whitewashed tombs”, and “brood of vipers”. He accused them of neglecting the more important matters of the law, such as justice, mercy, and faithfulness. He also exposed their greed, pride, and hypocrisy. He said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:23-24).
The high priest was the chief religious leader who represented the people before God. He was in charge of the temple and the sacrifices. He also presided over the Sanhedrin, which was the supreme council of Jewish elders who judged civil and religious matters. The high priest at the time of Jesus was Caiaphas, who was appointed by the Roman governor. He was corrupt and politically motivated. He conspired with the Sanhedrin to arrest and kill Jesus. He said, “You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” (John 11:50).
Jesus claimed to be equal with God, which was considered blasphemy by the Jewish leaders. He said, “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30). He also said, “Before Abraham was born, I am!” (John 8:58). He used the divine name “I am”, which God revealed to Moses in Exodus 3:14. He also said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” (John 5:24). He claimed to have authority over life and death, which only God has. He also said, “For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:21-22). He claimed to have authority over judgment, which only God has.
These claims provoked the Jewish leaders to accuse him of blasphemy and seek his death. They brought him before the Sanhedrin and asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of God?” (Matthew 26:63). When Jesus answered affirmatively, they tore their clothes and said, “He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Look, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They answered, “He is worthy of death.” (Matthew 26:65-66).
Question 3: What significance did Jesus give to his death? What evidence is there for
the historicity of Jesus’ eucharistic words and of the ransom saying of Mark 10:45?
Answer: Jesus gave his death a significance that transcended his own personal fate.
He gave his death a meaning that related to God’s plan of salvation for humanity.
He gave his death a purpose that involved his sacrifice for sinners.
Jesus gave his death a significance that related to God’s plan of salvation for humanity by
fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies and types that pointed to him as
the Messiah and the Suffering Servant. He said, “This is what I told you while I was still with you:
Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
(Luke 24:44). He also said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
(Mark 10:45). He used the term “Son of Man” to identify himself with the figure in Daniel 7:13-14 who receives the dominion and glory from God.
He used the term “ransom” to describe his death as a payment or a liberation for many.
He implied that his death was necessary to free people from sin and death.
Jesus gave his death a meaning that involved his sacrifice for sinners by
instituting a new covenant in his blood.
He said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for
the forgiveness of sins.”
He used the term “blood” to signify his life that he offered as a sacrifice.
He used the term “covenant” to signify his relationship with God and his people that he established by his blood.
He used the term “forgiveness” to signify his gift
of grace and mercy that he bestowed on those who believe in him.
He used the term “testament” to signify his witness and authority that he revealed through his words and deeds.
He used the term “new” to signify his fulfillment and transformation of the old covenant that he made with Abraham, Moses and David.
He used these terms to express his love and his mission, to invite us to share in his communion and his kingdom, to challenge us to follow his example and his commandments, to inspire us to hope in his promise and his return. He used these terms to reveal himself as the Lamb of God, the Mediator of the new covenant, the Forgiver of sins, the Author of life, the Lord of all. He used these terms to speak to our hearts and minds, to shape our identity and destiny, to form our faith and spirituality, to guide our ethics and morality, to renew our worship and service. He used these terms not only in the Last Supper, but throughout his ministry and especially in his passion, death and resurrection. He used these terms as the core of his gospel and the foundation of his church. He used these terms as the key to understanding who he is and what he has done for us.
The resurrection of the dead was a central belief in first-century Judaism, as it expressed the hope of God’s justice and restoration for his people. The resurrection was not seen as a mere spiritual or symbolic event, but as a concrete and physical reality that would affect the whole person and the whole creation. The resurrection was also linked to the expectation of the Messiah, who would inaugurate the age to come and vindicate the righteous.
The literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is foundational to Christianity because it confirms his identity as the Messiah and the Son of God, who has defeated sin and death and brought salvation to humanity. The resurrection also guarantees the future resurrection of all believers, who are united with Christ by faith and share in his life, death and glory. The resurrection is the basis of Christian hope, mission and ethics, as it transforms the lives of those who follow Jesus and empowers them to live for his kingdom.