Rabbi Schneider - The Core of Our Faith
We are going to focus today on the most incredible event in human history. We're going to be focusing on the fact of the historical, literal resurrection of Messiah Yeshua, King Jesus from the dead. If Jesus has not literally been raised from the dead, Paul tells us, our faith is in vain. If Yeshua has not absolutely historically and verifiably been raised from the dead, then you and I that believe in Him have given ourselves over to a lie. Paul talks about this in the first section of Paul's whole message was founded on the fact that Jesus has literally and physically been raised. Paul talked about the fact that he appeared not only to the 12 apostles but that He had appeared also to over of whom were still living at the time of Paul's writing of the book of 1 Corinthians. And then lastly, Paul says, "He appeared to me".
Our whole faith rests upon the actuality of the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ. But before I go further in that today, I want to allude to what I pointed out last time. And that is this. That the resurrection of Jesus was foreshadowed in the 23rd chapter of the book of Leviticus. In Leviticus 23, we read about what are oftentimes called the Lord's appointed days. These are the holidays, or the holy days that God gave the children of Israel. And everything, as I said last time, that Jesus did in His first coming, in His earthly ministry with us, every major act from His death, burial, resurrection, and then the sending forth of a Spirit, these were all tied to the holy days that God gave the Hebrew people. This is why Yeshua was crucified on Passover. This is why the New Testament tells us that Yeshua has become our Passover. This is why He was buried on the holy day in Leviticus 23 called Unleavened Bread. And this is why He rose from the dead on the holy day we read about in Leviticus 23:10-11 called first fruits.
Now, first fruits in its original historical context in the Torah was about this. The winter had been upon the land of Israel. And during the wintertime, there weren't the beautiful fruits. There weren't the beautiful flowers. I mean, those of you that live in a place where there are seasons, think about what the Earth looks like in the wintertime. Everything looks dry and dead and lifeless. No fruits. No flowers. No beauty. But all the sudden when the spring comes, it's like that earth that looked dead and drab just a few months earlier in the winter. When the spring hits, it's like that dead earth springs back to life. And beauty, blues, purple, and yellow flowers come from the ground, oranges grow on the trees, etc. So first fruits is the time in the Torah when the farmer, the Israelite farmer took the first sheaf of their spring harvests that had just come forth from that dead earth. He took the first sheaf of that harvest, he waved it before the Lord, and the Lord then accepted that first sheaf.
And in so accepting that first sheaf, the whole farmer's harvest was now dedicated. And so Paul uses this type of symbolism when he calls Jesus the first fruit, again, going back to that term in the Torah, the first fruit of those that have risen from the dead. So think about it again. The earth looks dead and drab. There's no harvest in the winter. But then the spring comes, the dead earth comes to life and the Israelite farmer takes the first of the sheaf of his harvest, he brings it to a priest, the priest then waves it before the Lord on the Israelite farmer's behalf, then the Lord accepts the entire harvest of that farmer and it is all dedicated to the Lord. In the same way Yeshua. The first one that rises from the dead, just like the earth was dead, Yeshua is the first one to rise from the dead. He's the first sheaf. And then He ascends to the Father on our behalf. And as a result of the Father accepting Jesus Yeshua's whole harvest, that's all of us that have been united with Him by grace through faith, all of us now we're accepted because that first sheaf is accepted.
You see, our entire faith, beloved one, rests on the Hebrew Bible as its foundation. This is why Jesus spoke to His disciples about everything that had been written about Him in the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. So today we're celebrating the resurrection of Jesus which was foretold in the Hebrew Bible and then brought to pass during the time of the New Testament. I want to focus today on what the resurrection of Yeshua means to you and I as it relates to our destiny. So we're going to go back now to the 15th chapter of the book of Corinthians where Paul dedicates this entire chapter to the resurrection of Yeshua. And if you didn't watch last time broadcast on this subject, I really would encourage you to watch it. It's a great foundation for everything that we're sharing today.
So I'm picking up now in Hear the word of God. Paul is writing, "But someone will say, 'Are the dead raised?'" People are still asking questions in Paul's day. And he says, "And with what kind of body do they come"? So people are asking, "Are the dead going to be raised? Help me to understand what's going on here? And if the dead are raised, what are they gonna look like? What type of body will they have? Will they look like they do now? Help me to understand". So Paul was answering this question. He starts off with two strong words. He says, "You fool"! He's talking to those that are asking these questions. "You fool"! he says, "That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies; and that what you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or something else". What Paul is gonna tell us here is he's speaking to those that think that when people rise from the dead they're going to rise from the dead in exactly the same form that they had when they were on the earth before they die.
And so Paul says, "You fool! It's not going to look like that". He said, "Consider even in agriculture. You sow a little seed, a little seed of a corn or a grain, and you put the seed in the ground. But when that seed rises, the seed dies and then rises, right, because the husk of the seed has to break, it has to die for the new life to come forth". And Paul says, "When that seed springs and comes forth after the outer shell has died, it doesn't look the same as the original seed". In other words, a stalk of corn doesn't look the same as the seed of corn that was planted. The full stalk looks completely different. And if you plant a tree, the little seed that you planted when you planted the tree doesn't look at all like what the tree looks like when it's now coming out of the ground in a new form.
So Paul says, "You fool! It's not going to be what it was before it died. Even in the natural you can see that". So Paul says, "That which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be". In other words, you don't take a stalk of corn and then put the whole stalk of corn in the ground, right? You just take a seed. If you're gonna produce a watermelon, you don't take a big, huge watermelon and put the whole watermelon in the ground. That's what Paul was saying. It's two different things. The raised body, the body that you and I are going to have, beloved ones, when we're raised from the dead is going to look completely different, Paul is sharing, "than the body that you and I have now. That which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each one of the seeds a body of its own". In other words, the seed is gonna have a different type of body. "All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of mankind".
So he's basically just saying, you know, you have a seed of corn, it's gonna look like a stalk of corn. You've got a seed of a watermelon, gonna look like a watermelon. All these different seeds are different types in the final form. And so it is, Paul said, with you and I. We have a very unique body that we're gonna have that's different from everything else when we're raised from the dead. Paul continues in verse 40. "There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly one and the glory of the earthly one are different from one another". Let me read it from the New American Standard. "They are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another". And then I'm skipping a verse here to verse 42. "So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body".
So Paul is helping us to truly grasp this as fact. We are going to be risen from the dead. We are gonna die and be raised from the dead unless Yeshua comes forth, unless Yeshua comes first. And the type of body that we're gonna have, beloved one, when we're raised is going to look very much different than this mortal body of flesh because flesh and blood cannot enter the kingdom of God. So Paul is trying to use all these earthly examples to help you and I understand that yes, number one, we will be raised from the dead. And when we're raised from the dead, we're going to be raised not in the natural, but we're going to have an imperishable spiritual body. Let's read again. "It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is, therefore, a natural body, there is also a spiritual body". This is kind of like comprehending this reality.
If you are a fact right now, in other words, if you could pinch yourself, if you really exist, as surely as you exist right now in your physical form, it's just assure of a fact that you're going to exist in spiritual form after your physical form is buried and laid to rest. It's a fact. It is a reality. It's a scientific reality. People that don't have a grasp of the supernatural, people whose mind has been dulled and therefore cannot perceive spiritual reality, this is just foolishness to them. Paul said, "The Gospel is foolishness to those that are perishing". But for those of us whom the grace of God has been poured out on so that we're able to understand that that which has been made was made out of that which cannot be seen, when we understand that there's a greater reality that is a fact, that's the spiritual reality, that there is an invisible God that created the spiritual world that we live in, we can easily fathom that when we die we will be raised in spiritual form.
And this is what Paul is alluding to. In fact, this is so much a part of the gospel, that unless we maintain this and grasp this and sees this and affirm it, and believe it, we're not living with a Biblical faith. Because resurrection is key to the Christian faith and to the gospel that Jesus and the apostles gave us. Paul continues on here in verse number 46, "the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. The first man," he's speaking of Adam now, "is from the earth, the second man is from heaven". So Jesus was the second Adam. He's from heaven. And when we are raised, we're going to be raised with Him in spiritual form. Verse 48, "As is the earthly, so also are those who are earthly; as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly". Finally, we say here, "Just as we have borne the image of the earthly". Let me say it again. "Just as we have borne the image of the earthly, we will also bear the image of the heavenly".
So we have a destiny. We have a future. I mean, this is exciting. The older we get, the more we see how transitory life is. The grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of God abides forever. We see our friends passing away. My dad is 94 years old. There's none of his friends that are left anymore. He realizes, Gosh, none of these things that I thought were real are so important, are as real or as important, or as lasting as they seemed like they were going to be at the time. And that's true for all of us. When we're young, it feels like we're just going to go on forever and everything is going to go on forever. But the older we get, we realize, no, it's not that way. Life is transitory. The grass withers and the flowers do fade. And so is everything in the material world. But Jesus came and gave us hope for the future. Because when you when I die, those of us that die in Jesus, life's not over and we're not going down into the darkness of the pit. Rather, we're going to be raised in Yeshua, glorified, and rewarded.
This is why Paul concludes his message in 1 Corinthians "Therefore given the fact that all these things about the resurrection are true," he said, "a bound in the work of the Lord because you are going to be rewarded in the world to come". Jesus said that every man will be rewarded according to what he's done. So beloved, don't just live for the now. Let's live for the world to come as well. Let's live with an eternal mindset. Let's recognize that this life that we're living right now on the earth is going to be over fast. And that when it's over, we're going to meet Jesus. We will be with Him immediately in paradise as the thief in the cross, and then we will physically be raised from the dead at a second coming in a glorified body, rewarded for everything that we've done on the earth for Him. This concept of eternal reward, beloved, I want to note is taught in the Hebrew Bible as well.
So today as we are closing out the program, I hope that I've given you hope for your future. And I want to leave with this thought. Right before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Mary said to Him, and Martha too, they said, "I know if You would have been here, my brother Lazarus would not have died". And Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life". Yeshua was bringing the eternal into the earth in the here and now. Yeshua was teaching, not only is there a resurrection of the dead at the end of the age, but even beyond that, Yeshua said, "I am here with you right now as the resurrection and the life". What this means is that you and I, beloved ones, are living in an atmosphere where we can live in the supernatural power of the resurrection of Jesus.
Yeshua is the resurrection. And when you and I are receiving from Him, when our life is being derived from Him, as we're clinging to Him and receiving Him moment by moment, we are literally being imparted with resurrection, supernatural life. This is why the Bible says, "He that's born of God overcomes the world". Because the supernatural resurrection life of Yeshua is being imparted to all those that are His, the scriptures can say that we are more than conquerors and that we overwhelmingly triumph in life, no matter what life brings us, because we have a power that we're living by that is so strong, that it broke the curse of death raising Jesus above everything that's named, sat Him at the right hand of God. And beloved, you and I are seated with Jesus, even now, in the heavenly places.