He conquered the grave: 2 Kings 4
By Dr Bob Bellinger
Today’s reading: 2 Kings 4-5.
On this resurrection Sunday our reading includes the account of Elisha raising someone from the dead. Elisha befriended a wealthy Shunammite woman who had no children. He revealed to her that she would have a son, but when the boy was older he became ill and died. The woman sent for Elisha, who prayed and brought him back to life.
He wasn’t the first Biblical character to perform this miracle; his mentor, Elijah, resurrected the life of the widow of Zarephath’s son. There are a number of other resurrection accounts in the Bible.
- the synagogue ruler’s daughter died and was raised to life by Jesus (Mark 5)
- Jesus resurrected the widow of Nain’s son as his family carried him to the grave (Luke 7)
- Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead after he had been in the tomb for four days (John 11)
- Tabitha, the seamstress, was resurrected by Peter (Acts 9)
- Paul raised the young man, Eutychus, who had fallen from a window and died (Acts 20)
All of these accounts, though miraculous, had a similar outcome – the resurrected person eventually died. Though given new life, they remained mortal, and time and the curse of sin continued to work in them. At some point each of these men and women ended up in the grave.
Jesus came to be our kinsman-redeemer, and in order to be our kin he became human. In order to buy us back when we had sold ourselves to sin, he died for us. But because he was also God, he rose from the dead and did not return to the grave. Jesus is alive. He is the first of those whom God is redeeming. His resurrection and eternal life is our hope on this resurrection day, for we know we shall be like him.
Hallelujah! He is risen. He is risen indeed!
In his life, Christ is an example, showing us how to live; in his death, he is a sacrifice, satisfying for our sins; in his resurrection, a conqueror; in his ascension, a king; in his intercession, a high priest. Martin Luther
The truth of the resurrection gives life to every other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without which none of the other truths would much matter. Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside all other human philosophy and religious speculation. John MacArthur
We live and die; Christ died and lived! John Stott
Image by Luz Adriana Villa on Flickr, CC by 2.0