Types of the Resurrection
November 24th, 1957 @ 8:15 AM
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
TYPES OF THE RESURRECTION
Dr. W. A. Criswell
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
11-24-57 8:15 a.m.
You are sharing with us the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. This is the pastor bringing the early morning message entitled, “He was raised from the dead the third day according to the Scriptures”; the Types of the Resurrection of our Lord; He was raised according to the Scriptures. These early morning services have been dedicated to a using of the Bible, a preaching of the Word of God, a presentation of the gospel message of Christ as the Lord Himself did it and as the apostles did it. For example, the last Sunday or two, in beginning the service I have read out of the twenty-fourth chapter of the Gospel of Luke, where the Lord takes the Old Testament Scriptures and He shows unto His disciples how that in the Law, and in the Prophets, and in the Writings, the three groupings of the Old Testament Scriptures in the Hebrew Bible, it was shown that He should die, that He should be raised, that He should enter into glory [Luke 24:26]. The Lord did that in all of the sections of the Bible. He found Himself, and He showed that revelation to the disciples. “Beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures, all the Scriptures” [Luke 24:27], not just a little text here or a little passage there, or a little favorite paragraph yonder, but, “in all of the Scriptures He expounded unto them the things concerning Himself, saying, Ought not the Christ to have suffered, and to enter into glory?” [Luke 24:26]. Then in the same chapter it repeats the same thing; this time to His disciples, that before to the two at Emmaus, “And in the Law, and in the Prophets, and in the Writings, in the Psalms, He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures” [Luke 24:44-45].
Now, that has been the basis of the persuasion that you hear in this pulpit: the writings of the Old Testament are not just the historical record of an ancient small tribal people called the Hebrews, nor are they merely subjects for the study of Oriental mysticism; but they are in truth, in reality, the words and the revelation of Almighty God. And if I would know the Lord, and if I would know His way and will, then I can find that in the Holy Bible: these are God’s words; these are the revelations of God. And if I am of the persuasion that Paul had, these things that are written in the Old Testament are examples, they are ensamples, for us, upon whom the ends of the world have come [1 Corinthians 10:11]; and in them we find the revelation of the truth of God.
Back here in the Old Testament in a sign, in a symbol, in a ceremony, in a rite, in a picture, in a figure, in a color, in an incident, in a historical occurrence, in a character, in a personage, in a building, here in the Old Testament we have the truth by sign, by figure—we use the word by “type”—typical; then in the New Testament we have the same thing, not a new thing, not another thing, but you have the same thing except in the New Testament it’s by reality, it’s by full revelation. The bud is here, the flower and fruit are here. So I say we have come, we have, others may not, but we have come to believe that the whole Book is the inspired Word of God [2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21], and that all of it tells the same story, is a revelation of the same gospel message. Whether it is there that I open the Book, at the first, or in the middle, or toward the back, all of it will be the same revelation of the glory of God in Christ Jesus.
Now I’m going to take a text, just to start off with. You don’t need to turn to this. I want you to start turning in your Bible in a minute; you can follow this through easily. But I’m going to turn to a text. In the fifteenth chapter of the first Corinthian letter, Paul reveals how he preaches, and he does it the same way that Jesus did. He says in the Corinthian letter:
My brethren, I declare unto you, I now repeat unto you, the gospel which I preached unto you, wherein ye stand, the message ye received,
By which ye are saved . . .
For I delivered unto you first of all—emphatic—that which also I received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;
[1 Corinthians 15:1-3]
Then he would prove that. He’d go back. The only Bible he had was the Old Testament Scriptures. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” [1 Corinthians 15:3]; then Paul would open the Book, and from place to place show how that Christ’s death was foretold in the Bible. “That He was buried, that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” [1 Corinthians 15:4].
Now, you’ve forgotten it, but about three or four months ago, I told you I was going to prepare a message at this morning hour on what Paul meant by that: “That He rose again,” Christ rose again, “the third day according to the Scriptures” [1 Corinthians 15:4] I told you then that the utmost that I could find in the Bible, the Bible Paul had, the Old Testament, that Christ was to rise again the third day according to the Scriptures, the utmost that I could find was one or two little references, by actual word: one in Psalms and one in Hosea and maybe one in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah. That was about all. So when Paul says that he’s taking this Bible and he is showing that Christ should rise again the third day according to the Scriptures—plural—well, when you look at that, you say, “Well Paul, you sure didn’t have very much to use; for when you pore over those Old Testament Scriptures to find where it says that Christ is to rise again the third day according to those Scriptures, it is poor pickings, very little said.” And all that I could find, I said, were those three little brief references; and two of them are very indirect.
Well! I have come to see and to realize that when Jesus took the Old Testament and when Paul held those same Scriptures in his hand and preached to the people the great truths and revelations of Jesus Christ, I have found that they did it by type! The thing they were referring to was not a sentence in the Old Testament where it says, “And Christ shall rise again the third day.” You don’t find that. That’s not the way God did it. But God did it by symbol, by sign, by figure; these things referred to these things. What was concealed back there, the great truth of God in the Old Testament Scriptures, is now revealed in these New Scriptures, these new covenants, this New Testament; the old latent here and the new patent there.
So if I do like Paul does and if I do like Jesus does, I’ll take that Book in my hand, and here, there is the resurrection of our Lord, here, there is the resurrection of our Lord. Now I picked out seven. I presume you could pick out fourteen, you could pick out twenty-one; I do not know how many you could pick out, but I have picked out seven this morning. When Paul says, “Christ rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” [1 Corinthians 15:4], he was speaking as our Lord was: mostly by the types back there in the Old Testament; the symbols and figures that portrayed and adumbrated this great spiritual revelation.
Now may I pause here to say a word about the importance of the subject? Whether a man is saved or not lies in his acceptance of a living Lord. “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” [Romans 10:9]. To worship a dead Christ, to worship one on a crucifix, to worship one who is of history, in the past, is to be lost. We worship a living Lord, present here this morning, looking down upon these services today, standing by us here in this pulpit, and knocking at the door of your heart. That’s what it is to be a Christian: a living Lord, we believe that He listens, that He hears, that He bends His ear when His children bow the knee, that He looks upon us from heaven, that He is our Savior, that He sees us through in the dark of the night, in the dawn of the morning, in the feeble of age, into the long eternity that is to come. That’s what it is to be a Christian. So when we turn to this subject this morning, I repeat, it is a heavily laden subject, it is at the heart of our faith.
Now, “He died . . . He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures” [1 Corinthians 15:3-4]. Now we’re going to start at the front of it and just go clear through this Old Testament: the Law of Moses; and the Writings, as it is arranged in our Book, the Psalms; and the Prophets, seeing there the types of the resurrection of our Lord.
All right, now the first one: I’m going to start with one that the author of the Hebrews points out [Hebrews 11:17-19]. I want you to turn—now we’re just going to turn to the Bible, you don’t have time to tarry—just turn to the twenty-second of Genesis; that will be the first one. That will be the first one, the twenty-second of Genesis, the twenty-second chapter of the Book of Genesis. You have there the story of the offering up of Isaac on Mount Moriah; the twenty-second chapter of the Book of Genesis [Genesis 22:1-14]. All right, I shall interpret that out of the Word of the New Testament. In the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews, the author says:
By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son—
That sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
. . . his only begotten son,
Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
And that’s what we’re talking about; in a type, in a simile.
There in the twenty-second chapter of the Book of Genesis, you have Abraham the father, laying his only begotten son upon the altar [Genesis 22:9]. And the Book of Hebrews says that when Abraham lifted up that knife to all intent and purpose, he slew his son, he intended to do it, “Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead,” then he adds the type, “from whence also he received him in a figure” [Hebrews 11:19]; that is, the author says that that scene on the top of Mount Moriah was a figure of the resurrection from the dead. In type, Abraham slew him, and in type God raised him up from the dead, his only begotten son. That is a type of the resurrection of our Lord. Isaac the only begotten son [Genesis 21:12; Hebrews 11:17], Jesus the Lord God’s only begotten Son [John 3:16], slain on an altar of sacrifice, crucified for our sins, and raised from the dead [Acts 2:24], by which type the author says Abraham received his son back and alive again [Hebrews 11:19]. All right, that’s the first one.
Now the second one you will find in the—that is the second that I picked out of seven—in the fourteenth chapter of Leviticus, now we shall take just a moment for this, because I have already spoken of it. You see, in the fourteenth chapter of the Book of Leviticus, you have a double type; and I have spoken of the first of the double type. This is a type of the death of our Lord and of the resurrection and ascension of our Lord. In the fourteenth chapter of Leviticus is the rite, the ritual of the slaying of the two live birds. They are to take—this is for the cleansing of the leper—they are to take two birds, and the first bird they slay, they kill over running water, and the blood caught in an earthen vessel [Leviticus 14:4-5]. Isn’t that a strange, strange rite? Every syllable of that has God-inspired meaning. Take the first bird and slay it over running water [Exodus 14:5;]. His blood washes our sins away [1 John 1:7; Revelation 1:5]. And catch it in an earthen vessel [Leviticus 14:5]: our Lord was made in our frame, in our dust, a man, in an earthen vessel [Philippians 2:7]. But I haven’t time for that. I’ve already spoken of that.
Now we come to the second bird, which is the type of the resurrection of our Lord. And then they were commanded to take the living bird and to dip its wings, to dip the living bird in the blood of the first bird that was killed over running water [Leviticus 14:6]. And then the living bird is to be let loose into the heavens; and it flies upward toward God [Leviticus 14:7]. That’s a type of the resurrection of our Lord. It took two birds to make the figure complete; but, thank the Lord, it is a complete picture. Not just one that died [Leviticus 14:5], but one also dipped in the blood of the first, rising up to God in heaven [Leviticus 14:7]. “By His own blood,” says the author of Hebrews, “did He enter into the Holy Place, there to make atonement for our sins” [Hebrews 9:12]. This is a type of the death of our Lord, the first bird [Leviticus 14:5]; and of the resurrection of our Lord, flying up to heaven, rising up to God, with blood on its wings [Leviticus 14:7].
Man never thought of that. That’s not just an unusual thing that somebody put down there in the Bible; God wrote that in the Book. That’s a part of the Law of Moses. And God did that with a purpose and with a meaning; and when you find the ultimate meaning and the ultimate purpose, it pointed to the death of our Lord [Matthew 27:32-50; Luke 24:25-27], the cleansing of our sins [Hebrews 9:28; 1 Peter 2:24], the resurrection of our Savior [Matthew 28:5-7], and His entering into the Holy of Holies in God’s sanctuary with blood of expiation and atonement [Hebrews 9:7]. That’s God. That’s the Book. And when you preach this way, you’re preaching in the exact way that our Lord preached, and you’re preaching in the exact way that the apostles preached. This is the Word and the revelation of the Lord. Now we must hasten.
Now the third one: turn to the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus; the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus. Now here is another type that Paul refers to. In the same chapter, the first Corinthian letter and the fifteenth chapter, Paul refers to this type as a type of the resurrection of our Lord. He says here in the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every one in his own order, in his own time: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming” [1 Corinthians 15:22-23]. Now he refers back here to the waving of the sheaf of the firstfruits, in the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, after the Passover [Leviticus 23:5-6, 10-11]. All right, now let’s look at that. You’re going to find in this type, you will find the exact day upon which our Lord is to rise, and you will find the exact Sabbath and the day after which the Lord is to be raised from the dead. All right, now let’s start.
In the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus, starts off there in the fifth verse, “In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s Passover,” sacrifice, the Passover [Leviticus 23:5]. “Now on the next day, on the fifteenth day is the Feast of Unleavened Bread: and seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread” [Leviticus 23:6]. All right, now look at the tenth verse: now here is that firstfruits that he is talking about, now look at it:
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I have given unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest:
Now look at the next verse—
He shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you: on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Now let me put it together in my language: “When you have the Passover,” and the Passover is Easter time, it’s in the spring, in the early harvest there in Palestine. “When you have the Passover, on the morrow after the Sabbath,” the Passover Sabbath, on the first day of the week after that Saturday, “you are to take a sheaf, the firstfruits,” just beginning the ingathering, “you are to take that sheaf, and you are to bring it before the Lord, and you are to wave it before the Lord” [Leviticus 23:5-6, 10-11]. This is the corn of wheat that fell into the ground and died [John 12:24]. This is the first harvest of that resurrection [Acts 26:23]. That is, it is the harbinger, the guarantee, the earnest of all of the rest of the harvest [John 14:19].
Christ the firstfruits, He is the first One to rise from the dead and to ascend into heaven; and afterward we at His coming, in our order [1 Corinthians 15:23]: He first, the guarantee of all the rest of the harvest [John 14:9]. See, God uses the figure that when we are buried in the earth we are plantings of the Lord [John 12:24]. And God uses the figure that our resurrection from the dead is a harvest unto God, a rising in life unto the Lord [1 Corinthians 15:23]. So that figure there says that our Lord is to rise from the dead the first day of the week, the firstfruits on the morrow after the Sabbath [Leviticus 23:10-11], on the day after Saturday. And it says that that day is to be at the Passover time, that Sabbath is to be a Passover Sabbath [Exodus 12:16]. That’s in the type. That’s in the figure. That’s the meaning of this ritual, of this ceremony that God gave unto Moses.
Now we must hasten, here is the fourth one: in the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Numbers, the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Numbers—I’m going to have to just, instead of reading in the Scriptures here, point them out to you, and then summarize it in my own words—in the seventeenth chapter of the Book of Numbers is the story of Aaron’s rod that budded [Numbers 17:1-13]. Now the thing came about by this: there was a great murmuring concerning the designation of Aaron. So the Lord said, “Take twelve rods, dead rods, sticks, no life in them, and each rod is to represent all of the people. And write the name of the tribe on the rod” [Numbers 17:1-3]. So they took twelve rods, dead rods, dead, dry sticks, and Moses took those twelve rods which represented all of the people, and he laid them up before the Lord in the tabernacle. He laid them up before the Lord. And God said, in the historical happening there, that the rod that budded, that was to be the tribe of the priesthood, and the one whose name was on it was to be the high priest. So that was Aaron and the Levitical tribe. So those twelve dead rods were laid up before the Lord, hidden away [Numbers 17:4-7]. And the next morning when Moses came to look, Aaron’s rod, in that eighth verse of the seventeenth chapter, “Aaron’s rod brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” Hidden away, and the morning came and the rod had blossomed and fruited unto the Lord [Numbers 17:8]. And Moses brought out the rods from before the Lord unto all the children of Israel, and they looked upon it. Now what does that mean to you? All of these dead rods, all of these dry, lifeless sticks, and one of them, one of them, hidden away, one of them is touched by the hand of God, and it blooms, and it flowers, and it blossoms, and it yields fruit [Numbers 17:6-8]. And it is brought forth before the people, and they look upon it [Numbers 17:9]. That reminds you, doesn’t it, of the Savior. All the sepulchers of this earth, God’s people in the dust of the ground, and one of them is brought forth to bud and to bloom and to yield fruit: Aaron, as the Bible says, is a type of Christ [Hebrews 5:4-6]; and when his rod budded and bloomed and flowered and yielded fruit [Numbers 17:8], it was a type of the resurrection of our Lord. And it was brought forth [Numbers 17:9-10]: and Jesus showed Himself unto the people; and they rejoiced and were glad, looking upon their risen Savior [John 20:19-20]. And then it says, “God said to Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again to be kept for a token, there in the Holiest Place [Numbers 17:10], and the author of Hebrews says it was placed in the ark of the covenant [Hebrews 9:4]. And there you find Jesus today, taken and raised up with God in the Holy of Holies [Hebrews 8:1], someday to come again to be our King and Lord [Revelation 19:16]—a type of the resurrection of our Savior [Matthew 28:5-7].
Now we continue, hurriedly; here is another one: in the fourth chapter of the Book of Joshua, in the fourth chapter of the Book of Joshua, we have the story in the fourth chapter of the Book of Joshua of the passage of the children of Israel through the Jordan and into the Promised Land [Joshua 4:1-11]. The waters of the Jordan lie between Israel and Canaan’s fair and happy land. How many times do we sing about it?
On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand, and cast a wistful eye
To Canaan’s fair and happy land, where my possessions lie
O who will come and go with me?
[“On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand”; Samuel Stennett]
The Jordan, the chilly waters of death; and on the other side, the Promised Land. Now in the fourth chapter of the Book of Joshua, the ark of the Lord is taken into the waters, and the waters divide. And the ark is placed in the center of the cold waters of the Jordan River until all the people are passed over. Then the ark is carried over [Joshua 4:10-11]. That is a picture of the waters of death. And the ark of God goes first, a type of our Savior; and He opens the way for all of God’s children to pass over [Acts 23:26]. Our High Priest, our forerunner has entered into the veil [Hebrews 6:20]; and through the rending of His flesh, through the dividing of the Jordan, He has made an opening for us also to enter in [Hebrews 10:19-20]. When you see these things in the light of the true purpose and revelation of God, every syllable of it has a precious and wonderful meaning. He first, and then after Him, His children passing over [1 Corinthians 15:23], passing over; one by one, two by two, our people passing over, whither He Himself our forerunner has gone [Hebrews 6:20], through the waters of the Jordan into the Promised Land; the picture of the resurrection and life of our Lord.
Now another one, of an altogether different type: in the eleventh chapter of the Book of 2 Kings, 2 Kings the eleventh chapter—this is the sixth one—the eleventh chapter of 2 Kings: Athaliah, who is Jezebel’s daughter—and you’ll find over there in the Revelation how they are identified with Satan, and death, and sin, and evil, and iniquity, and all that hurts and destroys [Revelation 2:20-24]—well, it’s Athaliah, Jezebel’s daughter, slew all of the seed royal [2 Kings 11:1]. Oh, what a bloody woman! Just as dark in her heart and evil in her counsels as Satan himself. Athaliah, Jezebel’s daughter, destroys all of the seed royal. But, Jehosheba stole Joash from among the slain and hid him [2 Kings 11:2]. Now look at this fourth verse: “And Jehoiada sent and fetched the rulers, and showed them the king’s son” [2 Kings 11:4] Now look at the twelfth verse: “And he brought forth…And Jehoiada the high priest brought forth the king’s son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king” [2 Kings 11:12]. There again is a picture of the resurrection of our Lord from among the slain [1 Peter 1:3, 21]. All the seed royal dead, from among the slain this one kept away, hidden away; and then revealed to the people. “And when they saw him, they clapped their hands, and said, God save the king [2 Kings 11:12]…And when they saw Him, they believed not for joy that it was the Lord Himself” [Luke 24:41]. And someday we shall clap our hands and cry, “Here comes the King!” a picture of the resurrection of our Lord from among the slain [1 Peter 1:3, 21].
Now the last: and I have just a moment to refer to it; but I need not, just the reference is enough. You know I said the Lord showed these great truths from the Book of Moses, from the Writings, and from the Prophets [Luke 24:44-48]. “Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the depths of the sea, For Thou hast cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas, and the floods compass me about; all Thy billows and Thy waves passed over me. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul” [Jonah 2:1-5]. But the third day he was alive and in the service and work of our Lord, bringing fruit unto heaven [Jonah 1:17, 2:10]. “As Jonah was in the heart of the earth and the depths of the sea, and in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so shall the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth.” “But the third day He shall rise again” [Matthew 20:19], a picture, Jesus says, a type, the Lord says, of the resurrection of our Savior.
Well, the Lord bless us as we begin to understand the whole revelation of God, all of it, the inspired Word of our Savior, all of it revealing the wonderful truth of heaven. Now as we sing our song, somebody you to give his heart to the Lord, somebody you to put his life in the church, a family you, or one, while we sing this stanza, down these stairwells, into this aisle, down to the front, would you give me your hand? “Pastor, I’ve given my heart to God; here I am, and here I come,” while we stand and while we sing.
gospel how the Lord Himself presented it (Luke
Old Testament Scriptures – the Law, the Prophets, the Writings
of the Old Testament are not just historical record of an ancient people, but
are in truth the words and revelation of God
1. Paul writes that
these things are examples for us (1 Corinthians
the Old Testament we have signs, symbols, figures – the New Testament we have
its full revelation
used Old Testament to show how Christ’s death was foretold (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Only few brief references
Mostly used types
importance of the subject (Romans 10:9)
II. Types of the resurrection
offered up Isaac(Hebrews 11:17-19, Genesis 22)
slaying of the two live birds(Leviticus 14:5, 7,
Exodus 14:6, Hebrews 9:12)
of the sheaf of the firstfruits(1 Corinthians
15:22-23, Leviticus 23:5, 10-11)
rod that budded(Numbers 17:1-10, Hebrews 5:4-6,
of Israel passing through the Jordan into the Promised Land(Joshua 4:10-11)
and Joash(2 Kings 11:4, 12)