In today’s study we look at prophecies Hosea gave in the plural tense meaning they were to be interpreted for all who believe. For those who follow on, or pursue, the knowledge of God, there is identification with the resurrection and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
It’s good to be with you again as we continue with our theme for this week: Resurrection. I believe that this theme contains the only hope for a confused and despairing world.
In my previous talks this week I’ve shared how at times the Holy Spirit inspired the Old Testament prophets with the Spirit of Christ, the Messiah, and how at such times they spoke in the first person describing experiences which never happened to them but which did subsequently happen to Jesus.
In my talk yesterday we looked at two such examples from the Psalms of David and I’ll just briefly glance at them again today. The first was in Psalm 16, verses 9 through 11, where David says:
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will you allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your Presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (NKJ)
There’s a whole series of successive statements there made by David in the first person which were not fulfilled in him, but which were fulfilled in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. I’ll just briefly go through those statements. “My flesh also will rest in hope;” that is, Jesus was buried, but buried in hope of resurrection. “You will not leave my soul in Sheol or in Hades;” Jesus’ soul descended into Sheol but was not left there, “Nor will You allow your Holy One to see corruption,” the body of Jesus did not suffer corruption in the tomb. “You will show me the path of life;” that’s resurrection out of the grave and out of death. “In Your presence is fullness of joy;” Jesus was restored to the presence of God the Father. “At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore;” He took His place at God’s right hand on the throne.
The second passage in the Book of Psalms is Psalm 71, verses 20 through 21, where the Psalmist David says:
“You have shown me great and severe troubles, but You shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, And comfort me on every side.” (NKJ)
Notice again the series of statements that apply to Jesus though they did not apply in the same degree to David. First of all, “Great and severe troubles, but after the great and severe troubles You will revive me or bring me back to life again; You will bring me up again from the depths of the earth, [that’s resurrection from the dead]. You shall increase my greatness, [He was restored to the position of Supreme Authority at God’s right hand] And comfort me on every side.” He received comfort after all His sufferings from His restoration to the bosom of the Father.
In my talk today we’re going to look at another prediction of Christ’s resurrection, this time found in the Prophet Hosea. But this passage in Hosea has one unique feature which I wish to emphasize, and that is, it’s in the first person plural, not singular. Hosea uses the word, we, not I.
First of all I want to turn back briefly, as a basis, to 1 Corinthians 15, verses 3 and 4, and read those two verses again where Paul says:
“For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (NKJ)
Notice the closing phrase there, “He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” Paul emphasizes two things, first of all he rose on the third day, and secondly, that His rising on the third day was a fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures. Now a very important question is, which Old Testament Scripture was fulfilled by His rising on the third day? I want to suggest to you that Paul is referring to Hosea, chapter 6, verses 1 and 2 which I will now read. This is what Hosea says:
“Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. [Ultimately this is a promise of healing and restoration. Then he goes on] After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight.” (NKJ)
Notice the clear emphasis there, “After two days He will revive us; [bring us back to life] on the third day He will raise us up.” Now, that was exactly fulfilled in Jesus after two days. God revived Him on the third day; He raised Him up from the tomb. But, the significant feature there is that Hosea speaks about us, not just about me. In other words, though it refers to Jesus, it is not limited to Jesus. You see, there’s a principle there that I want to bring out.
Old Testament prophesy not merely states facts, but it also reveals the inner spiritual significance of the facts which it states in which it predicts. This is particularly true in this prophesy of Hosea. Hosea is predicting, first of all, that the resurrection of Jesus will take place on the third day, but secondly, He goes beyond that and implies that Jesus’ resurrection, in some sense, will also be our resurrection, that we, Believers, are identified with Jesus in resurrection. Now this is clearly brought out and emphasized in the New Testament; our identification with Jesus. For instance, Paul says in Ephesians, chapter 2, verses 4 through 6:
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us. even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together...” (NKJ)
I want you to notice the word together which occurs three times in succession. There are three experiences which we share with Jesus. First of all, we are made alive, secondly, we are raised up, we are resurrected, and third, we are made to sit together. We are enthroned with Him. First of all, Jesus identified Himself with us in our sin and paid the penalty for our sin by his death. But after that, in all the subsequent experiences, burial, resurrection, and ascension, we are, by faith, to be identified with Jesus. This is the message of Hosea. Now the New Testament makes it clear and very specific that the outward act of our identification with Jesus is baptism. Paul says in Colossians 2:12:
“We are buried with Him in baptism, in which also you were raised with Him through the faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” (NKJ)
So first and foremost, we’re identified with Jesus in His burial by baptism, but being identified with Him in His burial, we are also identified with Him in His resurrection. And, the same principle again in Romans 6, verse 4:
“Therefore we are buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (NKJ)
So you see the principle. When we believe and when we are baptized, then we are identified with Jesus in burial, and being identified with Him in burial, we then go through with Him in every subsequent experience. We’re made alive, we’re resurrected, and we’re enthroned. Notice how significant and uniquely important that makes the ordinance of baptism.
Now I want to return again briefly to the prophesy of Hosea in Hosea, chapter 6, and I want to show you something that follows on the predictive passage that we’ve already looked at so I’m going to read Hosea 6:1 through 3:
“Come, and let us return to the Lord; For He has torn, but He will heal us; He has stricken, but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, That we may live in His sight.”
Now I’ve pointed out, that was fulfilled in the experience of Jesus, but that, by the Holy Spirit, Hosea foresees that we who believe will be identified with Jesus in that experience of resurrection on the third day. Then Hosea continues:
“Let us know, Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established as the morning; He will come to us like the rain, Like the latter and former rain to the earth.” (NKJ)
Now, Hosea gives a further revelation of what is to follow the resurrection of Jesus, but this revelation is only for those who follow on, who pursue the knowledge of God. You see, the interesting thing is, the earthly life of Jesus was witnessed by all alike, Believers and unbelievers, friends and enemies, but from the moment of His resurrection onwards, the revelation of His resurrection was only granted to those who followed on to know, who pursued the knowledge of God. But for those who follow on, who pursue the knowledge of God, two further statements are made. First, His going forth is established as the morning; that’s His going forth from the tomb, and it’s compared to the sunrise and that’s resurrection. But then after resurrection it says, “He will come to us like the rain, like the latter and former rain to the earth.” Now all through the Scriptures, particularly in the Prophet Joel, the one that follows Hosea, the coming of the rain to the earth is a picture of the coming down of the Holy Spirit upon the people of God. So, following resurrection, there’s to be a coming down of the Holy Spirit, like the rain. Of course that was fulfilled fifty days after resurrection, on the day of Pentecost. So you see how wonderfully accurate and how revelatory this prediction is. It predicts that Jesus will be raised up the third day. It predicts our identification with Jesus in His resurrection, then it predicts that his resurrection will be like a dawn, and of course it did happen just about the time of dawn, and it was a dawn after the long darkness of sin and death, and finally it predicts that He will come back to His people in the Holy Spirit, like the rain fulfilled on the day of Pentecost.
Well our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. Tomorrow I’ll be speaking about the second main confirmation of Christ’s resurrection: the witnesses who saw Him alive after His resurrection.