By Julia Fernandes
“Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead,” Isaiah 26:19.
The above Biblical text is just one of the amazing passages that clearly and explicitly speaks of the resurrection of dead bodies. But just like the apostle in Acts 26:8 asks the people, “Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?” there are many who still doubt whether a dead body can actually come back to life!
We all bury our dead, and we know that it takes roughly around three years for a body to decompose. After that the remains (bones) are given to the deceased family, and are then preserved in a niche.
Bones do decompose, but at a very slow rate, say after spending around 80 to 100 years in a coffin. But, what is so special about bones? Why are they preserved? After all, Eve was also created from just one rib bone!
The answer lies in Ecclesiastes 11:5, “As you do not know how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”
The passage reveals that the spirit enters the bones in the womb of a foetus. Just like a spirit is indestructible, bones represent the same indestructible life force and according to Jewish tradition – it represents resurrection. Maybe, that’s why it was prophesized of Jesus that not one of his bones shall be broken. He was beaten, bruised, killed, but yet all his bones were intact.
How can a dead body rise after it has been decomposed?
This is a question many skeptics and those unconvinced of the practicality of the resurrection regularly ask. Yes, how can a dead body arise after it has got decomposed completely? The Bible has a fascinating answer to this question.
In Ezekiel chapter 37, the author was taken to a valley full of dry bones.
And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
So, I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.”
If God can give step-by-step instruction to the Biblical prophet to resurrect bodies of men in flesh from dry and scattered bones can He not resurrect our dead bodies likewise?
Is that not enough evidence and sufficient reason to believe that all those whom we have lost in the flesh, who have been buried many years back WILL COME BACK TO LIFE with their bodies risen again?
As our Almighty God declares, “And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land.”
All quotations are from English Standard Version