HOW WAS JESUS CHRIST “RAISED AGAIN?” WHY “AGAIN?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
The Scriptures tell us nearly two-dozen times that the Lord Jesus “rose again” or was “raised again.” Some people are puzzled by this, especially the adverb “again.” Is the Bible saying there were two resurrections of Jesus? We will take some time here to “de-mystify” this issue.
As noted earlier, the Bible says numerous times that Jesus was “raised again” or that He “rose again.” Notice how this is repeated again and again:
- Matthew 16:21: “From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.”
- Matthew 17:9: “And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.”
- Matthew 17:23: “And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.”
- Matthew 20:19: “And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
- Matthew 26:32: “But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.”
- Matthew 27:63: “Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.”
- Mark 8:31: “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”
- Mark 10:34: “And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.”
- Luke 18:33: “And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.”
- Luke 24:7: “Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”
- John 20:9: “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.”
- Acts 13:33: “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.”
- Acts 13:37: “But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.”
- Acts 17:3: “Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.”
- Romans 4:25: “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”
- Romans 8:34: “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”
- Romans 10:7: “Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)”
- 1 Corinthians 15:4: “And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
- 2 Corinthians 5:15: “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:14: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”
- Hebrews 13:20: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,”
“Again” can be used in a variety of senses. According to The Oxford American English Dictionary, the primary usage is “once more; another time; anew; in addition.” (As in, “Will you spell your name again, please?”) Another way is “in an additional case or instance; moreover; besides; furthermore.” It can also be used in the sense of “on the other hand.” (As in, “It might happen, and again it might not.”) Yet another way it can be used is “back; in return; in reply.” (As in, “to answer again.”) Finally, “again” can be used to mean “to the same place or person.” (As in, “to return again.”) This last definition is how we should view Jesus Christ being “raised again.”
Notice what the Lord Himself said in John 10:18: “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” When He resurrected, He took something back that was His—yea, He took back His life!
Consider these other related ideas in the Bible record:
- John 6:39: “And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.” (Jesus Christ speaking of Him resurrecting His Israeli believers, yet future from us.)
- John 11:23: “Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.” (He is saying that Lazarus will live again.)
- John 11:24: “Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (See note at John 11:23 above.)
- Luke 8:55: “And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.” (The little girl had life, she died, and Jesus gave her life again by raising her from the dead.)
- Luke 9:8: “And of some, that Elias had appeared; and of others, that one of the old prophets was risen again.” (The “Old Testament” prophets were once living on Earth, and one of them was assumed to be living again on Earth and functioning as Jesus Christ. This, of course, was spiritual ignorance.)
- Luke 9:19: “They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.” (See note on Luke 9:8 above.)
- Luke 15:24: “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” (The father-son relationship was “dead,” non-functional, and then it resumed when the son returned to the father.)
- Luke 15:32: “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.” (The brother was “dead” to the family in that he abandoned them. However, when he came back, the relationship continued as it did before.)
- Hebrews 11:35: “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:” (The children of these women died physically, and then they were brought back to life. They resumed living as they had lived before.)
How did the Lord Jesus “rise again?” How was He “raised again?” The issue is not that He was resurrected twice (as some erroneously conclude) but rather that He lived twice—those two lives were separated by a resurrection. He lived once, and then He was killed and buried. He resurrected and then He lived again. His life was restored to Him. “Raised again” encompasses both the resurrection itself and the beginning of the new life that follows it. It is life resumed, or life as though death never occurred.
» Where was Jesus during those three days?
» Could you describe Jesus’ resurrected body?
» Why did Jesus weep when Lazarus died?