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Buried and Resurrected

A portrait of Derek Prince in black and white
Part 11 of 20: Identification

By Derek Prince

You're listening to a Derek Prince Legacy Radio podcast.


The absolute heart of the gospel is this: First, Christ died; second, He was buried; and third, He was raised on the third day. There is one outward act required by God that enables us to be identified with Jesus in these three phases: the act of baptism in water. Have you been baptized?



It’s good to be with you again at the beginning of a new week, sharing with you Keys to Successful Living, which God has placed in my hand through many years of personal experience and Christian ministry.

This week I’ll be continuing with our special theme for this Easter season: Identification.

But first, let me say thank you to those of you who’ve been writing to me. Before I finish this talk, we’ll be giving you a mailing address to which you may write. It means a great deal to me to hear how this radio ministry of mine has been helping you and blessing you. So please take the time to write, even if it’s only a brief personal note.

Now back to our theme: identification. This word identification is the one that I’ve chosen to describe as simply as possible and as comprehensively as possible, all that Jesus did through His death on the cross. To identify, means to make yourself one with someone else. And on the cross, for the sake of our deliverance, for delivering us from all the consequences of sin, Jesus made Himself one with us. With every one of us individually, with our whole fallen human race collectively, He was the last Adam. In Him was poured out and summed up all the evil inheritance that sin had brought upon an entire Adamic race. It was consummated, it came to its conclusion, it was exhausted in Jesus. When He died that was the end of that whole inheritance that had come out of the sin of Adam, compounded by the sin of each descendant of Adam.

So that was the identification of Jesus with us in our sin, in our desperate need. He was made one with us. In Isaiah 53:6 it says, “The Lord made to meet together upon Him the iniquity, the rebellion of us all, and all the evil consequences of rebellion.” There was a divinely appointed exchange. Jesus took all the evil that was due by justice to us, that in return we might be able to enter in to all the good that was due to Him by eternal rights. This exchange has many difference aspects.

In my talks over the last two weeks I dealt with various specific aspects of the exchange. First, Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven. Second, Jesus was made sin that we might have His righteousness. Third, He was made a curse that we might receive the blessing. Fourth, He was wounded that we might be healed. Fifth, He became poor that we might be rich. Sixth, He was rejected that we might be accepted. Seventh, He tasted death that we might have life.

In my talks this week I’m going to deal with the opposite side of the coin, the other half of identification, our identification with Jesus in all that followed His death.

I’m going to go first of all to the summation of the gospel which is given very briefly, very comprehensively by Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 15:1-4.

“Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. [Now Paul sums up the gospel.] For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...” (NIV)

That’s the essence of the gospel. It centers all in Christ and what He did and it contains three successive statements about Christ. First of all Christ died; second he was buried; third He was raised on the third day. That is the absolute heart and essence of the gospel. Let me repeat again, it centers in Christ and in what He did. It does not depend on human contributions.

It says of the third statement, “He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” In Paul’s time and context, “according to the Scriptures” meant “according to the Old Testament.” We may ask ourselves, “Where does it say in the Old Testament that Jesus would be raised on the third day?” I wonder if you have ever considered that question. It puzzled me for many years, but God, I believe, showed me the answer.

First of all, Jesus said that He would be like Jonah. And as Jonah was three days in the belly of the fish, so He would be three days in the belly of the earth. That’s a kind of pictorial presentation of the truth that Jesus would be raise on the third day. But the only place I know in the Old Testament where it’s specifically stated, is in the prophet Hosea chapter 6, verses 1 and 2, this is what it says:

“Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him.” (NASB)

There’s a very clear statement. What has been killed will be revived, will be brought back to life and it will happen after two days, it will happen on the third day. But you see the very significant thing that I want to emphasize is that all of it is applied to us, not just to Him. It doesn’t say that He will raise Him up, but that He will raise us up. Do you get the point? It’s identification. Jesus was identified with us in our sin and in His death for our sin. As we accept that identification and we identify ourselves with Him in death and we say like Paul, “I am crucified with Christ,” then the way is open for us to be identified with Jesus in all that follows. In His burial, his resurrection and even in His ascension.

In the next verse of Hosea, that’s chapter 6 verse 3, the prophet goes on:

“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” (NASB)

You see, the revelation of this is only granted to those who press on to know the Lord. Those who stay content with mere outward appearance do not see this truth. It’s a truth that’s reserved for those who press on to know the Lord.

And then there’s a further picture of the resurrection of Jesus. “His going forth is as certain as the dawn.” The resurrection was like the dawn after the long dark night. And then it says, “He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.” The spring rain and the rain coming down on the earth is a picture of the coming down of the Holy Spirit used many times in the Bible.

So we get here a preview, not merely of the resurrection, but of that which took place 50 days after the resurrection, the coming of the Holy Spirit. So this scripture in Hosea shows us that Jesus was to die, was to be buried, was to be raised the third, but that we were to be identified with Him in death, in burial and in resurrection from the dead, and that as we followed on to know we would not only know the dawn of His resurrection but we would know the rain of the coming of the Holy Spirit. So there is the essence of the New Testament message contained in those three verses in Hosea chapter 6.

There is one specific act by which God requires us and enables us to be identified with Jesus in death, in burial and resurrection. This outward act of identification is the act of baptism. Listen to what Paul says in Romans 6:3-5:

“Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.”

Being baptized is being buried with Christ. It’s being united with Him in His death and the scriptures gives us the guarantee, if we are united with Him in burial, then we will also follow through with Him into resurrection, into a new life. The same is stated in Colossians 2:12 briefly:

“Having been buried with him [Christ] in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.”

So we’re identified with Jesus, first in His burial and then in His resurrection. We go down into the water for burial. We come up out of the water for resurrection. We are symbolically united with Jesus in burial and in resurrection.

I was in a big hotel once, some years back, and I got a very vivid picture of this that I want to share with you. I was in an elevator and I was looking at all the buttons on the elevator and I was on the first floor and I saw “1.” And then above one I saw “M” for mezzanine and then “2” and “3” and all the way up to “15.” And I thought to myself, that’s like being in Christ. When we get into the elevator we go wherever the elevator takes us. We’re not dependent on our own effort or power. We’re dependent on the elevator. And then I looked again at the buttons and I saw that below “1” was another button with the letter “B” on it. And I said to myself, “What does B stand for?” And just at that moment it was like the Holy Spirit said to me, “B stands for basement, baptism and burial.” And I saw so clearly that if we come into Christ, first of all we go down into the basement where we are buried with Him and then we just go to whatever button we press. We’re in Christ and wherever the elevator goes, we’re going to go with Him.

Well, our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. I’ll be opening up for you all that follows from our identification with Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection.

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