What is the difference between the raising of the…
What is the difference between the raising of the dead by the Lord Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and the raising of the dead by the holy prophets, in the Old Testament?
We read in the Old Testament about the raising of the dead by the holy prophets. Is there a difference between what the Lord Jesus Christ did, in the New Testament, and what the holy prophets, in the Old Testament, did?
The answer is: Of course there is, and the difference is too broad and big.
The Lord Jesus Christ used to raise the dead by the word of his Divine power, while the holy prophets did that, by the power of God, not by theirs.
Elisha raises the son of the woman of Shunam: “When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the Lord” (2 kings 4: 32 – 33).
The verse is clear: “He prayed to the Lord”, for salvation comes from God, and no prophet got the power to raise the dead by his own, but he rather asks for it from God, and God responds. In the raising of the son of the Shunammite woman from the dead, God honored and dignified the prophet by accepting his prayer.
Elisha raises a dead man: “Then Elisha died, and they buried him. And the raiding bands from Moab invaded the land in the spring of the year. So it was, as they were burying a man, that suddenly they spied a band of raiders; and they put the man in the tomb of Elisha; and when the man was let down and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet” (2 kings 13:20).
This belongs to the category of the intercession of saints as mentioned above (2 kings 4:32-33).
First, there is no death with God, because he is the God of the living not of the dead. And Elisha was still alive in Spirit.
Second, if Elisha had had power of his own, he would have raised himself from the dead, as exactly is the case with the Lord in the New Testament.
Third, what had happened to Prophet Elisha in the Old Testament is similar to what happened to Apostle Peter when he prayed on Tabitha and she came back to life. The crowd who were assembled, believed in the Lord Jesus Christ not in St. Peter.
“At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them.Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord. So it was that he stayed many days in Joppa with Simon, a tanner” (Acts 9: 36- 43).
The crowd present, believed in the Lord not in Peter himself.
The same thing occurred to St. Paul when he raised the lad
Euthychius who was sitting in the window-sill, and fell off dead.
“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, "Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him. Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted” (Acts 20: 7- 12).
This also occurred to Prophet Elijah in the Old Testament.
The prophet Elijah and the son of the widow (1 kings 17:22). “And (Elijah) cried out to the Lord and said, "O Lord my God, I pray, let this child's soul come back to him. Then the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived” (1Kings 17:21-22).
The New Testament mentions three miracles:
The raising of the official’s daughter after her immediate death (Mathew 9:25; (Mark 5:41-42; Luke 8:54-55).
When the Lord raised her, he didn’t pray, as Elijah did with Elisha, and the Saints Peter & Paul, but with a word from him he gave orders, for he is God the incarnate.
2- The raising of the son of the widow of Nain and restoring him to life. At the gate of the city, and on the day of his death:
“Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd. And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep." Then He came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And He said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother. Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has risen up among us"; and, "God has visited His people. And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region” (Luke 7:11- 17).
The Lord asks the widow to stop crying. He has pity on her, and raised her son from the dead.
Here we see his perfect Humanity and perfect Deity, just like he wept over Lazarus. Then crying out, he raised him from the dead after he had rottened (Lazarus).
3- Raising Lazarus:
Lazarus has been in the tomb for 4 days. The Lord cried out with a great voice: “Lazarus walk out. The dead man came out” (John 11).
“Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" (John 11: 25-26).
And just like he asked Martha: “Do you believe that”? He also raises the same question to every one of us: “Do you believe that?”
The Lord also assures: "he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).
It is important to understand that raising the dead is a discussion of the one who has power over death.
Here lies all the difference: Has anyone raised himself from the dead except the Lord Jesus Christ?
None has of course except the Lord. This has never happened before because the Lord Jesus Christ is a perfect man and a perfect God; He is God who condescended and became incarnate.
The prophets raised the dead because they are righteous, and because God responded to their prayers. But in the end they would die like all creatures. Whereas Jesus Christ raised the dead just like he raised himself, I mean by a power of his own, and because he can overcome death.
God vivifies and kills: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mathew10:28).
“Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory” (1 Timothy 3:16).
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