There are many instances in the Bible of resurrection from the dead. Jesus said that there was definitely life after death. At the resurrection of Lazarus, Jesus said to his sister Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die,” John 11:25-26.
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT:
- Jesus raised the widow of Nain’s son to life.
- Jesus raised Lazarus to life.
- Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter to life.
- Paul was stoned to death, and came back to life.
- Peter raised Dorcas to life.
- Paul raised Eutychus to life.
- At the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, many Old Testament saints were resurrected.
- Jesus Christ Himself was famously resurrected.
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT:
- Elijah raised a child to life.
- Elisha raised a child to life.
THE RAISING OF THE WIDOW OF NAIN’S SON BY JESUS
Jesus stopped a funeral procession, and raised a young man to life. This is described in Luke 7:11-17 TLB:
“Not long afterwards Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, with the usual great crowd at his heels. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The boy who had died was the only son of his widowed mother, and many mourners from the village were with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with sympathy. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Laddie,” he said, “come back to life again.” Then the boy sat up and began to talk to those around him! And Jesus gave him back to his mother. A great fear swept the crowd, and they exclaimed with praises to God, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and, “We have seen the hand of God at work today.” The report of what he did that day raced from end to end of Judea and even out across the borders.”
THE RAISING OF JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER BY JESUS
A 12 year old little girl died, and Jesus raised her back to life. This is described in Luke 8:41,42, 49-54 TLB: “A man named Jairus, a leader of a Jewish synagogue, came and fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come home with him, for his only child was dying, a little girl twelve years old. Jesus went with him, pushing through the crowds. A messenger arrived from the Jairus’ home with the news that the little girl was dead. “She’s gone,” he told her father; “there’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to the father, “Don’t be afraid! Just trust me, and she’ll be all right.” When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn’t let anyone into the room except Peter, James, John, and the little girl’s father and mother. The home was filled with mourning people, but he said, “Stop the weeping! She isn’t dead; she is only asleep!” This brought scoffing and laughter, for they all knew she was dead. Then he took her by the hand and called, “Get up, little girl!” And at that moment her life returned and she jumped up! “Give her something to eat!” he said. Her parents were overcome with happiness, but Jesus insisted that they did not tell anyone the details of what had happened.”
THE RAISING OF LAZARUS BY JESUS
The raising of Lazarus, after 4 days in the tomb, is perhaps one of Jesus’ most famous miracles, so we have reproduced the entire story, from John 11:17-46 TLB:
“When they arrived at Bethany, they were told that Lazarus had already been in his tomb for four days. Bethany was only a couple of miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish leaders had come to pay their respects and to console Martha and Mary on their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed at home. Martha said to Jesus, “Sir, if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died.
And even now it’s not too late, for I know that God will bring my brother back to life again, if you will only ask him to.” Jesus told her, “Your brother will come back to life again.” “Yes,” Martha said, “when everyone else does, on Resurrection Day.” Jesus told her, “I am the one who raises the dead and gives them life again. Anyone who believes in me, even though he dies like anyone else, shall live again. He is given eternal life for believing in me and shall never perish. Do you believe this, Martha?”
“Yes, Master,” she told him. “I believe you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one we have so long awaited.” Then she left him and returned to Mary and, calling her aside from the mourners, told her, “He is here and wants to see you.” So Mary went to him at once.
Now Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the Jewish leaders who were at the house trying to console Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’ tomb to weep; so they followed her.
When Mary arrived where Jesus was, she fell down at his feet, saying, “Sir, if you had been here, my brother would still be alive.” When Jesus saw her weeping and the Jewish leaders wailing with her, he was moved with indignation and deeply troubled. “Where is he buried?” he asked them. They told him, “Come and see.” Tears came. “They were close friends,” the Jewish leaders said. “See how much he loved him.”
But some said, “This fellow healed a blind man-why couldn’t he keep Lazarus from dying?”
And again Jesus was moved with deep anger. Then they came to the tomb. It was a cave with a heavy stone rolled across its door.
“Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them. But Martha, the dead man’s sister, said, “By now the smell will be terrible, for he has been dead four days.” “But didn’t I tell you that you will see a wonderful miracle from God if you believe?” Jesus asked her. So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to Heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. (You always hear me, of course, but I said it because of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.)” Then he shouted, “Lazarus, come out!”
And Lazarus came-bound up in the grave cloth, his face muffled in a head swath. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!” And so at last many of the Jewish leaders who were with Mary and saw it happen, finally believed on him. But some went away to the Pharisees and reported it to them.”
PETER RAISED DORCAS TO LIFE
Peter had been present when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter to life. After the Resurrection of Jesus, Peter did the same for Dorcas, a believer in Joppa. This is described in Acts 9:36-42 TLB: “In the city of Joppa there was a woman named Dorcas (“Gazelle”), a believer who was always doing kind things for others, especially for the poor. About this time she became ill and died. Her friends prepared her for burial and laid her in an upstairs room. But when they learned that Peter was nearby at Lydda, they sent two men to beg him to return with them to Joppa. This he did; as soon as he arrived, they took him upstairs where Dorcas lay. The room was filled with weeping widows who were showing one another the coats and other garments Dorcas had made for them. But Peter asked them all to leave the room; then he knelt and prayed. Turning to the body he said, “Get up, Dorcas,” and she opened her eyes! And when she saw Peter, she sat up! He gave her his hand and helped her up and called in the believers and widows, presenting her to them. The news raced through the town, and many believed in the Lord.”
PAUL RAISED EUTYCHUS TO LIFE
Eutychus fell to his death during a long sermon given by Paul. Paul promptly raised him back to life, and carried on preaching! This is described in Acts 20:7-10 TLB: “On Sunday we gathered for a Communion service, with Paul preaching. And since he was leaving the next day, he talked until midnight! The upstairs room where we met was lighted with many flickering lamps; and as Paul spoke on and on, a young man named Eutychus, sitting on the windowsill, went fast asleep and fell three stories to his death below. Paul went down and took him into his arms. “Don’t worry,” he said, “he’s all right!” And he was! What a wave of awesome joy swept through the crowd! They all went back upstairs and ate the Lord’s Supper together; then Paul preached another long sermon-so it was dawn when he finally left them!”
THE RESURRECTION OF OLD TESTAMENT SAINTS
After Jesus died, many Old Testament saints were resurrected, and later appeared to many people in Jerusalem. This is described in Matthew 27:50-53 TLB: “Then Jesus shouted out again, dismissed his spirit, and died. And look! The curtain secluding the Holiest Place in the Temple was split apart from top to bottom; and the Earth shook, and rocks broke, and tombs opened, and many godly men and women who had died came back to life again. After Jesus’ resurrection, they left the cemetery and went into Jerusalem, and appeared to many people there.”
ELIJAH RAISED A CHILD TO LIFE
Elijah had been staying in the home of the widow of Zarephath, and her son. There had been a famine, and God had provided food for them through the prophet Elijah. However, one day the son died, and Elijah raised him back to life. This is described in Kings 17:17-18:1 TLB:
“One day the woman’s son became sick and died. “Oh man of God,” she cried, “what have you done to me? Have you come here to punish my sins by killing my son?” “Give him to me,” Elijah replied. And he took the boy’s body from her and carried it upstairs to the guest room where he lived, and laid the body on his bed, and then cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, why have you killed the son of this widow with whom I am staying?” And he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s spirit return to him.” And the Lord heard Elijah’s prayer; and the spirit of the child returned, and he became alive again! Then Elijah took him downstairs and gave him to his mother. “See! He’s alive!” he beamed. “Now I know for sure that you are a prophet,” she told him afterward, “and that whatever you say is from the Lord!”
ELISHA RAISED A CHILD TO LIFE
Elisha raised a dead child aged 12 to life, after he had died in his mother’s arms, possibly of a brain haemorrhage. This is described in 2 Kings 4:31-37 TLB: “Gehazi went on ahead and laid the staff upon the child’s face, but nothing happened. There was no sign of life. He returned to meet Elisha and told him, “The child is still dead.” When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there upon the prophet’s bed. He went in and shut the door behind him and prayed to the Lord. Then he lay upon the child’s body, placing his mouth upon the child’s mouth, and his eyes upon the child’s eyes, and his hands upon the child’s hands. And the child’s body began to grow warm again! Then the prophet went down and walked back and forth in the house a few times; returning upstairs, he stretched himself again upon the child. This time the little boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes! Then the prophet summoned Gehazi. “Call her!” he said. And when she came in, he said, “Here’s your son!” She fell to the floor at his feet and then picked up her son and went out”.