This is part 8 of an ongoing study of the Holy Spirit. For previous parts, click here.
During the time of Israel’s rebellion, the prophets looked forward to a future age, when the Messianic king would set all things right, sins would be forgiven, and the exile would be over. This would be accomplished by God’s Spirit (see Part 5).
In all four accounts of the gospel, the Holy Spirit is emphasized as playing a major role in the life of Jesus (see Parts 6 and 7). Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Mt. 1:18), declared to the be the Son of God when the Spirit descended on him like a dove (Lk. 3:21-22), was led by the Spirit (Lk. 4:1; 14-15), attributed his ministry to the Spirit (Lk. 4:17-21), and spoke God’s words by the Spirit (Jn. 3:34). The gospel accounts thus portray all of Jesus’ life, leading up to and culminating in his death on the cross, as the work of the Spirit.
It should be no surprise when we see that the Holy Spirit is said to be the one who raised Jesus from the dead.
God Raised Jesus from the Dead
After Jesus rose from the dead, the disciples quite naturally attributed this to the work of God.
God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.Acts 2:24
This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all witnesses.Acts 2:32
God raised him on the third day and made him appear.Acts 10:10
But God raised him from the dead.Acts 13:30
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into dead, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.Romans 6:4
Paul, an apostle – not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.Galatians 1:1
God is the one who created life. The only way a dead body can be resurrected to life is by the creative act of God. Without God, there is no life, and there is no resurrection from the dead.
God Raised Jesus From the Dead By the Holy Spirit
As noted in part 2 of this study, God created life by his Spirit. In Ezekiel’s vision of the valley of dry bones, it was God’s Spirit that resurrected the dead bones into living bodies. Since resurrection was an act of the Spirit, we can see how the disciples concluded that Jesus was raided from the dead by the Holy Spirit.
For Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the Spirit.1 Peter 1:18
He was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 1:4
Jesus was raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit and Our Resurrection
Not only is the Holy Spirit the one who raised Jesus from the dead, but our resurrection will also be the act of the Holy Spirit.
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.Romans 8:11
In order for us to be raised from the dead like Jesus was, we must have the Spirit dwelling in us like Jesus did. Without the Spirit in us to give us life, there is no hope for the resurrection. This raises the question of how Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to his disciples, and what does it mean for us to have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. These are the questions we will consider in the upcoming parts of this study.