Today's Foundations Devotional: The Psalms: David prophesies about the Messiah

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Memory verse:

After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that

we may live in His sight.

(Hosea 6:2)

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This week we will go on to show that the divine promise of the resurrection runs as one continuous thread throughout the whole Bible, both Old and New Testament alike. In 1 Corinthians 15:4 Paul makes the following statement concerning the burial and resurrection of Christ.

That He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

Bear in mind that during the period in which Paul wrote these words the only complete, acknowledged Scriptures were those of the Old Testament. Consequently, when Paul says here that Christ rose again the third day “according to the Scriptures,” he means that the resurrection of Christ was a fulfilment of the Old Testament Scriptures.

Furthermore, Paul refers to the Old Testament Scriptures as being the first and basic authority for the doctrine of the resurrection. In the coming days we will consider some of the main passages in the Old Testament which foretell the resurrection.

Last week we have already shown that there is a clear promise of the burial and resurrection of Christ in Psalm 16:8-11. We pointed out that, although these verses were spoken in the first person by David, they do not actually apply to David himself but rather to David’s promised seed, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. They are also applied to Christ in the New Testament both by Peter and by Paul. In Psalm 71:20-21 a similar passage foretells the resurrection of Christ. David is here speaking directly to God, and he says:

You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side.

This passage is another example of messianic prophecy. That is to say, the words are spoken in the first person by David; yet they do not apply primarily to David but to David’s promised seed, the Messiah, Jesus. Understood in this way, this passage prophetically setsforth five successive stages that Christ was to pass through in making atonement for man’s sin. These may be summarised as follows.

1. Great and severe troubles – the rejection, suffering and crucifixion of Christ.

2. Christ was to descend into the depths of the earth – into Sheol or Hades, the place of departed spirits.

3. Christ was to be revived – made alive again.

4. Christ was to be brought up again from Sheol – that is, the resurrection of Christ.

5. After the resurrection of Christ, He was to be increased in greatness and comforted – that is, restored once again to His place of fellowship and supreme authority at the right hand of God His Father.

Time and space are not sufficient to quote the many passages in the New Testament which confirm that this prophecy was completely fulfilled in the experience of Christ.

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Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the great miracle that You, who are the

God of heaven and Earth, have descended into the realm of the dead,

and so took away the power of death. As a result, no one who entrusts

his life to You needs to be more afraid of death. Hallelujah! Amen.

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