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The death and resurrection of Jesus prophesied in the OT


Many people, including Jews and some Hebrew Israelite groups, reject Jesus as the Messiah.

They claim that the Old Testament does not say that the Messiah would be put to death and resurrected from the dead.  Jesus having been put to death fails to fulfill the title of the Messiah.


There are also many christians who would also say that the OT does not predict the death and resurrection.


Now it is very true that there is not a verse that specifically states that the Messiah would be put to death and be resurrected on the third day. However Jesus believed that the scriptures spoke of him, the Messiah.


John 5-39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Jesus uses the plural scriptures not scripture here. It is the scriptures as a whole and not one specific text that testify of him.


After Jesus had risen from the dead he appeared unto his disciples. He told them that all things written in the law of Moses and of the prophets and the psalms concerning himself, must be fulfilled. Jesus here clearly appealing to the Tanakh as a whole and not one book or one part of the Old Testament.


Luke 24-44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me


Jesus explained these things, the things that must be fulfilled from the scriptures that they might understand the scriptures.


Luke 24- 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,


Jesus most certainly believed and taught his disciples that the OT did teach that the Messiah was to die and rise again. He explained, that it was written in the scriptures, that he, the Christ, was to suffer and rise from the dead the third day.  


Luke 24-46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:


So Jesus believed that the Old Testament did teach that the Messiah was to be put to death and rise from the dead.


Jesus had already declared that he was to be put to death and rise again on the third day to his disciples while he was still alive, before his crucifixion and resurrection.


Luke 9- 21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing; 2Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.

Jesus told them these things after he had asked them who they said that he was and after they had confirmed that they believed he was indeed the Christ.

Luke 9- 18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? 19They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. 20He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.

It was from the time after they made this declaration that Jesus taught them that he was to die and resurrect.

Matthew 16- 21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day

This part, the disciples belief that Jesus was the Messiah is actually quite important which will be shown a just a moment.


However, the disciples did not understand what Jesus meant. They did not understand that Jesus, the Christ was to be put to death and rise again on the third day.  

In fact Peter even rebuked Jesus in this matter

Matthew 16- .22Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

To which Jesus states that this statement was from men and not from God.

Matthew 16- 23But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

The disciples like most Jews did not fully understand their own scriptures.

The disciples asked Jesus why he spoke to the crowds in parables.


Matthew 13-10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?

Jesus replied that it was not given to them, the crowds to understand the mysteries of heaven but it was given to the disciples.


Matthew 13-11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.

Jesus as we already saw had to explain the resurrection to them from the scriptures. This is because the truth about the scriptures is not given to everyone. It is for those that are willing to listen, hear and receive the message.

When Jesus taught about John he stated “if you will receive it” and “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear”.

Matthew 11- 14And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.15He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The truth is only for those willing to receive it and for those willing to hear it. It is for this reason that many cannot see the resurrection in the Old Testament.


After Paul was called, he himself went around reasoning with the Jews from out of the scriptures concerning Jesus

Acts 17-2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,


Paul reasoned with them from the scriptures plural.

The only scriptures that existed at the time were the scriptures of the Old Testament as the New Testament had yet to be written. Paul appealed to the Old Testament.


Paul used a number scriptures to prove the resurrection of Jesus from the OT

Acts 17-3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

Paul stated again in 1 Corinthians that Christ died for our sins, was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the SCRIPTURES.

1 Corinthians 15- 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;  4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

Paul preached that the scriptures declared the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

So Jesus and Paul used the scriptures, the Tanakh, the Old Testament,  in order to prove that Jesus fulfilled what had been written about the Messiah regarding his death and subsequent resurrection.

But why did the Jews, including the disciples, not already know that the Messiah was to be put to death and then rise again the third day.

Because again as we have already seen, they simply did not understand the scriptures. If we go back to Luke 24-45 we see that Jesus opened their understanding so they could understand the scriptures.

Luke 24- 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,

It wasn’t that the scriptures did not speak of this but rather they simply did not understand that the scriptures in fact did.


So which scriptures were being referred to to show that the resurrection was predicted in the Old Testament.

In Acts 2 we see Peter preaching to the crowds regarding Jesus telling them that King David had spoken of Jesus, the Messiah

Acts 2- 25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

Peter then continues on and tells the crowd exactly what it was that David had said regarding Jesus.


Acts 2- 26Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

These are references back to Psalm 16

Psalm 16-9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope

Psalm 16-10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Peter applies to Jesus what David had said regarding leaving his soul in hell and not allowing him to see corruption.  Many people argue that David is actually talking about himself here. However a simply examination of the text shows that David was not talking of himself and neither could he be. David died. He was buried and he has not been resurrected. He is still dead. His body has seen corruption

We know that David was both still dead and buried

Acts 2-29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

If David was talking of himself then it would have required David to have risen from the dead.

Peter however further states that David knew God had sworn an oath to him regarding the Christ.

Acts 2-30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

Then we see that Peter affirms that David was speaking of the resurrection of Jesus and not about himself which as we have just seen could not have been the case.

Acts 2- 31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. 32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

On the cross Jesus spoke the words My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.


Matthew 27-46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

This is a reference back to the opening line of Psalm 22

Psalm 22- 1 {To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.} My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

Psalm 22 is a prophetic Psalm about the Messiah on the cross.

See my writing for a full explanation of why Jesus spoke these words.

This Psalm that Jesus quotes from declares that the Messiah was to be put to death in the very manner by which he actually was.

Isaiah 53

The 53rd chapter of Isaiah describes the suffering Messiah. It states that he would be despised and rejected by men.


Isaiah 53- 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were ourfaces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.


The Messiah would be wounded for our transgressions and that we would be healed by his stripes. He would be cut off from the land of the living.


Isaiah 53- 5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Further Isaiah declares that God would prolong his days, he would bare the sins of many and be made an intercession for the transgressors.


Isaiah 53- 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

God had stated that he spoke by the way of the prophets and he gave them visions and had used similitudes.

Hosea 12- 9 And I that am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt will yet make thee to dwell in tabernacles, as in the days of the solemn feast.10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

Similitude is דָּמָה damah, to be like, similar, resemble

Moses was told that God would raise a prophet like unto him


Deuteronomy 18-18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him


We are told that Adam was a figure of him that was to come.


Romans 5-14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.


After the Pharisees asked of Jesus a sign he told them that no sign would be given apart from the sign of the prophet Jonah. Just like Jonah would be in the belly of the whale 3 days and 3 nights , Jesus would be in the heart of the earth.


Matthew 12-38Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.39But 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: 40For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.


Here Jesus demonstrated Jonah being inside the whale for 3 days and 3 nights was a similitude to himself being dead for 3 days and 3 nights (see my writing on Jonah)

Jonah 1- 17 Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

This third day resurrection is also alluded to in Hosea

Hosea 6- 1Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

2After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.


Jonah even makes reference to being brought up from corruption just as David had done in Psalm 16.

Jonah 2- 6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God.


The death burial and resurrection is found in the Old Testament for those that are willing and able to see it.


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