The Bible has a lot to say about the Resurrection from the dead—both Yeshua’s and ours at the end of the age. To bring the dead to life in full glory is something the whole creation is yearning for (Rom 8:18-23). We will be raised in a resurrection body that is as different from this one as the fully mature wheat plant is so much more “glorious” than a simple grain of wheat. This new, heavenly body is imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual. Yeshua himself is the resurrection, He is God’s “firstfruits of the harvest from the dead.” (Jn 11:25; 1 Cor 15:23-44).
What could possibly be compared to this incredible hope, this awesome power that is at the core of our faith? What would it mean to say that something is actually like the resurrection from the dead? Actually, there is one place in Scripture where such a comparison is made, as it describes the restoration of Gospel faith among the Jewish people in Romans 11:15: “what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?”
Life From The Dead
In Romans 11:12 and 11:15 the Apostle Paul essentially says the same thing two different ways: the majority rejection of Yeshua by the Jewish people in the 1st century is described as “transgression,” “failure,” and “rejection.” But in the mystery of God’s plan, because of His covenant faithfulness, even this terrible hardening and judgement of Israel results in amazing “riches” and “reconciliation” for the nations (gentiles). And then, as Paul looks into a prophetic time tunnel toward the end of the age, foreseeing the time of Israel’s restoration and “acceptance,” he declares that this can only signal a “how much more” period of riches and reconciliation for the world that is–in its awesome power and drama–akin to “life from the dead,” a kind of resurrection!
Beloved, this is exactly what we have been experiencing. As Israel—the Jewish nation—has been gradually restored over the last 130 years, both physically and spiritually through the Gospel of Yeshua, we have witnessed the greatest expansion of worldwide Christianity since the 1st century. Missions, church growth, Bible translations and various prayer movements have been expanding at an exponential rate. All of this is the how much more of verses 12 & 15.
We are Living in an Amazing time of the Restoration!
Over the last several years in the Gathering movement, we have been experiencing this special grace for “the reconciliation of the world.” As Asher Intrater has written over the last two weeks (Part 1, Part 2), this has even come to touch very deep issues in the 4000 year old relational dynamics within the Abrahamic family in the Middle East. Last week he and I and several others from Israel went to London, UK to spend three days in worship, prayer, and fellowship with many leaders, especially from Egypt. Our focus was not on reconciliation, but on coming together to worship the King. But as we did so, the Spirit moved powerfully, especially among the youth, to bring us to yet a deeper place of reconciliation, unity, and a sense of shared destiny (Ep 3:6).
Just a few years ago, if you had told me that we would have such meetings with so many Egyptian leaders, and that together the Holy Spirit would lead us into prophetically removing strongholds that have plagued our peoples and region for thousands of years, even from the time of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, and Isaac–well…I would have said you were crazy! But it is happening! We are living in this amazing time of the restoration (and reconciliation!) of all things spoken about by the holy prophets (Acts 3:21), like Isaiah’s promise for Egypt, Assyria, and Israel, as it begins to be fulfilled through a remnant from each nation (Isaiah 19:23-25).
Ariel grew up in a Reform Jewish home. He was searching for meaning in life in Zen Buddhism after college, when he was born again at a church in downtown Tokyo. He made Aliyah in 1998 and co-leads Ahavat Yeshua Congregation in Jerusalem.
He is the author of ‘One New Man—Reconciling Jew & Gentile in One Body of Christ’, and teaches the Bible in English, Hebrew, Japanese and Chinese.
Ariel and his wife Vered have 4 children, and live in downtown Jerusalem.