To me it is the final fulfillment of the Old Testament. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament by turning into a way of life instead of a set of rules to follow. For example the commandments were combined into two great commandments:
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Deut 6:5) This is the first and great commandment. And the second islike it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Lev 19:18) On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
Here is the another incident:
Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:11-19
That was the custom in the Old Testament especially in the book of Leviticus. In the same way, the resurrection was a fulfillment of the Old Testament, not necessarily prophetically though that is true, but rather through the role that it played in the Old Testament.
I’m very certain so many people call Jesus the “Lamb of God” but don’t really know why He is called that! To completely understand the resurrection you need to look at what portion of the Old Testament Jesus fulfilled, the Passover. It is also known as the feast of Unleavened Bread. It is generally called the Passover because it commemorates the freedom of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. The Israelites were instructed to mark the doorposts of their homes with the blood of a spring lamb and, upon seeing this, the spirit of the Lord knew to pass over the first-borns in these homes, hence the name of the holiday. When the Pharaoh freed the Israelites, it is said that they left in such a hurry that they could not wait for bread dough to rise (leaven). In commemoration, for the duration of Passover no leavened bread is eaten, for which reason it is called “The Festival of the Unleavened Bread.”
Here is basically how the process went:
Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or cooked in water, but roast it over the fire–head, legs and inner parts. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn–both men and animals–and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.
So that means that:
· The Passover Lamb was to be a male without defect.
· All of the people must slaughter the Passover Lamb.
· There is deliverance for those people who are covered by the Blood of the Passover Lamb.
· Nothing of the Passover Lamb was to be left till morning.
Then in Numbers 9:1-14 we read:
The LORD spoke to Moses in the Desert of Sinai in the first month of the second year after they came out of Egypt. He said, 2 “Have the Israelites celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. 3 Celebrate it at the appointed time, at twilight on the fourteenth day of this month, in accordance with all its rules and regulations.” 4 So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover, 5 and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the LORD commanded Moses. 6 But some of them could not celebrate the Passover on that day because they were ceremonially unclean on account of a dead body. So they came to Moses and Aaron that same day 7 and said to Moses, “We have become unclean because of a dead body, but why should we be kept from presenting the Lord’s offering with the other Israelites at the appointed time?” 8 Moses answered them, “Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you.” 9 Then the LORD said to Moses, 10 “Tell the Israelites: ‘When any of you or your descendants are unclean because of a dead body or are away on a journey, they may still celebrate the Lord’s Passover. 11 They are to celebrate it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations. 13 But if a man who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, that person must be cut off from his people because he did not present the Lord’s offering at the appointed time. That man will bear the consequences of his sin. 14 “‘An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the Lord’s Passover must do so in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for the alien and the native-born.'”
· The Passover Lamb was to have no broken bones.
· The same regulations apply to alien and native born (Gentiles and Jewish people).
· The Passover Lamb was to be observed from the 10th day until the 14th day of Abib (which is somewhere around March in the Jewish calendar).
This next point is key. Let’s look at Exodus 12:3-6:
Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight
Now Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem on the 8th day of the Passover because he has 3 days before His passion and then 3 days before His crucifixion (Mark 11:1-11). So on the 11th day of the Passover Jesus is on trial and on the 14th day He becomes the sacrificial Passover Lamb.
What then does this have to do with the resurrection?
It plays a huge role in the resurrection! Like I said for me the resurrection represents the victory over death on the Cross. Now that death means freedom for all of us because the lamb, being purest of all animals, had to be sacrificed so that every single person can be cleansed of all their sins. So Christ’s role as the Lamb, not only frees us but also indicates Jesus’ victory over death. After all, you can’t resurrect without conquering death can you?
Colossians 2:15 and Revelations 1:18 to me sum up every aspect of what the resurrection is all about:
Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.
So I leave you with this question: What does the resurrection mean to you?