As we joyfully prepare to celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ in a few days, it is exciting to see the Lord confirming this glorious truth to the world in an amazing way. The Lord Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd Day, as He promised during His public ministry in Matthew 16:21. However, many have missed the Resurrection of Israel as THE greatest modern witness to our Lord's victory over sin, death and Hell since the apostolic age.
When the modern State of Israel came into being as a renewed nation on May 14, 1948, very few people saw any connection to the Empty Tomb of the Lord Jesus. And yet, the parallels were striking. The Lord Jesus Christ rose on the 3rd Day after 3 days in the grave, following the Cross and His suffering. In a similar way, the Jewish people rose again from the dead after their suffering and Holocaust. At the end of World War II, the Jewish people were virtually dead as a nation in Europe. The Allies were shocked and horrified as they liberated the death camps of Europe to find piles of dead bodies and a level of horror and suffering unseen in human history.
So at the end of World War II, the Jews had seemingly died as a people and were buried. It would take 3 years, not three days, from the time of the end of Holocaust in 1945 before the State of Israel was granted permission to live again by the nations in 1948. Few realized that the Jews were walking in the footsteps of Her Messiah that had gone ahead of her almost 1900 years earlier. Few realize now that the millions of Jews alive in Israel today are a modern confirmation that the Lord Jesus Christ is alive and the Christian belief in His Resurrection is true.
How strange it is then that the Christian Easter celebration is not an issue for most Israelis today, even though their very existence is a powerful confirmation of it. Over 2500 years ago the Prophet Ezekiel said that Israel would live again after being dead among the nations. In Ezekiel 37:13-14, the Lord Jesus Christ said through the Prophet,
"Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord."
The Lord Jesus Christ raised the Nation of Israel from the dead in 1948 in the same way He raised Lazarus in John 11. Our Lord, as the Word of God, spoke a word and the dead were raised, both in His day AND over 1900 years later. When you begin to see that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Word of God and the Bible in Ezekiel or John reflects that truth, things change. Our Lord is no longer seen as just a teaching rabbi from Nazareth. When we properly see the Lord Jesus for Who He is, we begin to gloriously realize that He is the Resurrection and the Life as He said in John 11:25. Our Lord raised Himself as well as all the nations, starting with Israel. How can any of us ever be the same when we start to grasp these incredible truths of life and prophetic history?
This Easter or Resurrection season gives us all an opportunity to see the Hand of the Lord at work all around us. The Lord Jesus' Resurrection is NOT just a private celebration for a few Christians around the world, but a gloriously established truth that is seen in every story of life today. The fact that the modern nation of Israel is in the news every day and at the center of world politics is the Lord's way to get everyone's attention about the Resurrection. The Lord doesn't care about politics, but He does care about people and their salvation and future. As a result, the affairs of the day are trivial compared to the Resurrection of the world. The Lord wants His message of the Empty Tomb and the Resurrection of Israel to be a glorious witness to Himself and His love for the world.
When the State of Israel came back into existence in 1948, many started to sing a popular song called, "Am Yisrael Chai." That title in English means, "The people of Israel live." The Jews started to sing that song as a witness to the fact that you can't kill the Jews or the people of Israel. What the song really says is that the Israelis live, they are resurrected. That song was sung by Israel today because the Church had first sung another song, "Christ, the Lord is Risen Today," long before. The two songs have been separated in the thinking of many, but the story line is the SAME. That story line is the Good News of life. It is the story that because Jesus is alive, so are His people as well. Jesus conquered the grave and so shall we as His people. Christ is Risen, He is Risen indeed!
May the glory of our Lord and His purposes in this season of Resurrection burst into every life this Easter. May all of us be a part of spreading the wonderful news of our Lord's victory over death through the Empty Tomb to every open heart.