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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

4/14/10 Isaiah and the resurrection Isaiah 25,26

7 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations;8 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove his people's disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 25:7,8)

19 But your dead will live, LORD; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy—
your dew is like the dew of the morning; you will make it fall on the spirits of the dead. (Isaiah 26:19)

(Isaiah and the scroll- by Raphael)

Isaiah prophecied the destruction of the nation for turning away from God.  But he also prophecied hope even after the nation was reduced to ruins.  God will destroy the "shroud that enfolds all peoples"- that is the burial cloth that wraps up the dead.  He will "swallow up death forever"-- like God comes and eats death up.  Paul quotes this as a testimony to the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15:54.  Once I had a dog who gave birth to puppies outside in a shed.  A few days later I awoke and found a dead snake right outside her little birthplace.  The mother dog had killed it.  I didn't have time to bury it that morning, but when I came back that afternoon the mother dog had eaten the snake whole.  That is the kind of image Isaiah gives here.  God will eat up death- swallowing it so it will not harm us anymore.  The context indicates that He does this not for everyone, but only for "those who trust in Him."  It is "His dead" that will live.  Just as God allowed Israel- who was as good as dead- come back from exile, captivity, and destruction- He will bring those who are his back to life. 

Prayer- Thank you Lord, that death has lost its sting because of what you have done.  Thank you that when it is my turn to die, I can rest assured that there is more beyond because you have killed my death on the cross. You will raise me up as Christ was raised up.

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