Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Was Moses Resurrected Before Christ?

I recently received a question in the mail from Ernie in St Louis, MO. He asked, “If Moses was raised before Christ, doesn’t this conflict with the concept that Jesus is the first fruits of those who are have fallen asleep? In other words, how could Moses have been resurrected before Jesus Christ?”

The answer to that question is the operative word “if,” because in truth it was Jesus not Moses who was the only person in history to have received a glorified, resurrected body. Others like Lazarus in John 11 was resuscitated and then died again. Only Jesus Christ was resurrected immortal, imperishable and incorruptible.

Moses—like all those who died during the Old Testament era—experienced the presence of the Lord in Abraham’s bosom or in paradise, but still awaits the bodily resurrection, which will occur at the second appearing of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel accounts of the transfiguration of Christ, we see appearances of Moses and Elijah, but there is no reason to think that they had yet received permanent resurrected bodies.

In fact, the object of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is to demonstrate that He is the Lord of Glory, and the transfiguration reveals to the disciples something of the pre-incarnate glory of Jesus Christ, and then to anticipate His coming exaltation. The disciples were called not to marvel at a resurrected Moses but rather to come to grips with the greater reality in the presence of Jesus Christ that the soon to be crucified Messiah was going to be vindicated in resurrection and ascension in glory.

This why Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ the first fruits; then when he comes, those who belong to Him.” Paul is of course echoing what Christ had already said in John 5:28-29, “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear this voice and come out––those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”

We can take this question and relate it to ourselves because when we die, we are going to be absent from the body and present with the Lord. Then we will await a time in which Jesus returns and then our soul will return to our body and our body will be resurrected immortal, imperishable and incorruptible. So Christ is the first fruits and then we too will have what we long for: a new paradise, no longer will the earth groan in travail, it will be liberated from decay, and no longer will we groan in our mortal bodies because then they will be immortal bodies.

In the meantime, Abraham, Moses, everyone who died in the Old Testament, my father who died in 1997 and all those who die prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will await the glorious transformation of their mortal bodies, and we have the first fruits in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and because He lives, we know we too will live.

11 comments:

Boris said...

Where is any mention of either of these figures and at least one or two of the things they supposedly did in anything that could be considered a historical document? Nowhere. Neither Moses or Jesus ever existed.

Anonymous said...

Simply because the documents have been collected into what we know as the Bible and aren't left elsewhere doesn't mean they aren't true.

Besides, there are documents, such as the writings of Josephus, but then people like you just say they are fakes, so why argue with you?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Why does this question matter? Would God be less God, if one answer or another proved to be true? C.S. Lewis wrote that the existence of angels and fallen angels was one of his opinions, but if it proved to be false, his faith would not be shaken in the least. So I think it is with what body who will appear in, in what order. MY OPINION is that whatever the life to come may be, it will be on a plane so utterly inconceivable to us now, that it is not worth thinking about. If a dying person is comforted to think of green fields, or streets paved with gold, or mansions in the sky, so be it, but we don't know. If anyone's faith gets wrapped up in such questions, better to throw the question away. It just gets Boris worked up over nothing.

Anonymous said...

This idea that Moses was resurrected is part of Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) theology. SDAs do not believe in an immaterial part of man (spirit) that returns to God at death. So they have no way for Moses to show up at the transfiguration, unless they invent a resurrection for him. Never mind that the Bible never mentions any such event. Had SDAs thought that through at all they would realize how reckless it is to invent a resurrection for Moses because of how such a teaching collides with 1 Corinthians 15 which teaches that Christ had to be the 1st being raised from the dead, given a resurrection body and taken to heaven.

Boris said...

Simply because the documents have been collected into what we know as the Bible and aren't left elsewhere doesn't mean they aren't true.

Boris says: Calling these books in the Bible "documents" is a typical distortion of the language that Christians always engage in. What ancient document contains word for word dialog with people speaking in complete sentences? That is the hallmark of fiction and NEVER history writing. The reason the stories in the Bible can't be verified is because they are fiction. The reason the Bible appears to predict future events is because later writers wrote fictional stories to make it seem like earlier prophecies had really come to pass. This is the truth about the Bible. You can either accept it or live a life of misery, fear and delusion.

Boris said...

Had SDAs thought that through at all they would realize how reckless it is to invent a resurrection for Moses because of how such a teaching collides with 1 Corinthians 15 which teaches that Christ had to be the 1st being raised from the dead, given a resurrection body and taken to heaven.

Boris says: Wrong. The Bible says that when Jesus died dead people came back to life, climbed out of their graves and appeared to many other people in Jerusalem. I bet you Christians wish that embarrassing story just wasn't in the Bible because it proves the Bible is a bunch of nonsense believed only by idiots.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Seventh Day Adventists are very nice people, so I really don't care what exactly they teach about these tedious little details. A man or woman has to believe something, and they're doing better than "I believe I'll have another drink." Besides, I appreciate their teaching on hell, which is, those who are found wanting at the final judgment will die, forever, not be subjected to everlasting torment by an incongruously sadistic deity.

JRoger said...

Hmm, well Boris, i guess i am an idiot since i do hold to the scriptures. the Lord Jesus is God just as He said and the Jews took up stones to stone Him. Now why do you think they did this?

And i am looking forward to the day i do see the glory of the True God and i see Him face to face and there worship Him forever.

Boris said...

JRoger
I don’t think any of that happened. The only source we have for this supposed claim by or any other words from Jesus is the Bible. We have no evidence from first century historians who lived in Palestine, like Philo who lived in and around Jerusalem for example, that Jesus Christ even existed. Is it not amazing that a civilized people were so filled with murderous hate towards a kind and loving man who went about doing good, who preached forgiveness, cleansed the leprous, and raised the dead--that they could not be appeased until they had crucified the noblest benefactor of mankind? Nothing could be more improbable than the story of Christ's crucifixion. The civilization of Rome was the highest in the world. I don’t believe that the master of a Roman court in the days of Tiberius Caesar, having found a man innocent and declared him so, and having made efforts to save his life, tortured him of his own accord, and then handed him over to a howling mob to be nailed to a cross.

You can look forward to what ever you want. Belief in some kind of afterlife is an almost universal neurosis but that doesn’t make it any less insane.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

Well, try this one on for size Boris. It is orthodox Jewish thinking, handed down from the time of the Pharisees, that Jesus was a rebel against Roman rule, who was crucified by the Romans like any other zealot. How would a rational nonbeliever rationalize that with the Synoptic Gospels? Maybe Christians trying to accommodate themselves to the Roman Empire twisted the story line a bit, to reduce Roman responsibility for the death of their Savior, and put the onus on "The Jews." What do I believe? There was such a person, the historical details are of no great significance spiritually (C.S. Lewis covers that in The Screwtape Letters), and yes, the responsibility for his execution was primarily the doing of Rome, not of "the Jews," although the Jewish population was badly split between Hellenistic Jews who accommodated also to Roman rule and culture, observant Jews who patiently abided Roman rule because they saw disaster in rebellion, and militant Zealots of various stripes, ready to rebel immediately. We know the role each played in actual events. We also know that there was a significant division in Zealot ranks when a rabbi named Simon bar-Kochba as Messiah, because there were Christian Jews who thereupon withdrew from the revolt, since they had other ideas who the messiah was. These are all factually supported by contemporary accounts. Of course none of this data speaks to whether Jesus was in any sense sent by God. Some people accept on faith that he was, and if you don't, then you won't. That's a difference of significance only to you.

Boris said...

You are wrong. There isn't a word about Jesus Christ in anything written by a Jew that lived during the first half of the first century. In fact there's nothing written by any Roman historians from that period or anyone else either. Not one event mentioned in the New Testament is recorded anywhere and some of them certainly would have been had they actually occurred. The Gospels are fictions set in the past in a far away land. They were written by Greek speaking pagans in or around Rome who knew nothing about Jewish customs or the geography of Palestine. Forget the Bible for a minute. Then you have not one mention of Jewish Christians our Christians ever existing in Palestine during the first century. In fact once you take a way the Bible you've got nothing to support any of your religious delusions. This is why you worship this stupid collection of nonsense as an idol. Because without it you've got nothing.