Easter in the Old Testament

by Rev. Benjamin Eder

0409scripture1.jpgEaster is usually observed during the month of April, and for Christians, it is a day of rejoicing. We are a people of hope, for Christ is risen, and the Church boldly proclaims this Good News to the world.

Sometimes the question is asked, “What hope did believers have in the days before Christ?” Some even question whether the Old Testament saints were saved or knew of the resurrection as we do. Be assured that the Old Testament Scriptures taught the resurrection, and the Easter hope of the New Testament lived in the hearts of Old Testament believers. Easter is in the Old Testament! Let’s review the key passages that reveal this truth:

Read Job 19:23–27. Despite his pain and suffering, who is the Redeemer that Job is talking about? What is Job’s expectation for his own body?

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In Ps. 16:9–11, what gives David cause for rejoicing?

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According to the prophet Isaiah, what will come forth from the earth? See Is. 26:19.

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Read Dan. 12:2. Compare this verse with Jesus’ words in Matt. 25:46. What will become of the dead on the Last Day?

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Even before Easter, there were resurrections in the Old Testament. Read 1 Kings 17:17–24. Before the healing, who received the blame for the boy’s death? What conclusion did the widow make (v. 24)?

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For another example of a resurrection, read 2 Kings 4:8–37. In what respect was the woman blessed twice with the gift of a son?

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In Ezekiel’s vision of the dry bones (Ezek. 37:1–14), who or what gives life to the dead bones? What kind of restoration will take place?

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Jesus often referred to the Old Testament in support of His resurrection from the dead. In what way did Jesus connect Jonah’s experience with His own? See Matt. 12:38–42.

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Although the promise of Easter was fulfilled in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ from the dead, the assurance of Easter is found throughout the Holy Scriptures. Whether one is looking backward or forward, God’s promises are equally valid for believers in every time and place. Just as the Old Testament Scriptures served as a foundation for New Testament believers, the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday points to the resurrection we will experience on the Last Day.

To God alone be the glory!

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