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July 31, 2012

GREEK WORD STUDY – ANISTEMI – Literally anistemi means to stand again, to rise again or to get up. Most of the 108 NT uses refer to literal rising from a seated or recumbent position, but 30 passages describe rising from the dead, especially Jesus rising from the dead. And so we read that Jesus “began to teach (His disciples) that the Son of Man must suffer many things & be rejected by the elders & the chief priests & the scribes & be killed & after three days RISE AGAIN (ANISTEMI).” (Mk 8:31) In Peter’s first sermon, he used ANISTEMI to teach that “God RAISED (ANISTEMI) Him (Jesus) up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.” (Acts 2:24) In a very real sense “death died when Christ arose!” Indeed, “the best news the world has ever heard has come from a graveyard!” Paul also used ANISTEMI as he taught in the Jewish Synagogue in Thessalonica “explaining & giving evidence that the Christ (Messiah) had to suffer & RISE AGAIN (ANISTEMI) from the dead (His “evidence” was the OT) & saying, “This Jesus Whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ (Messiah).” (Acts 17:3) As R A Torrey aptly put it “The resurrection of Jesus is the Gibraltar of the Christian faith & the Waterloo of infidelity & rationalism.” John Boys quipped that “The resurrection of Christ is the ‘Amen‘ of all His promises.” Although Paul used another verb (egeiro) more often to describe resurrection, he did choose ANISTEMI in the famous prophecy in First Thessalonians 4:13-18 (v13-14 note, v15-16 note, v17-18 note) -“But we do not want you to be uninformed brethren about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as do the rest who have NO HOPE. For if we believe that Jesus died & ROSE AGAIN (ANISTEMI), even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus (A beautiful picture of a believer’s passing from this life into His presence). For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive & remain until the Coming of the Lord shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel & with the trumpet of God & the dead in Christ SHALL RISE (ANISTEMI) first. Then we who are alive & remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air & thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore COMFORT one another with these words.” Indeed as Puritan Thomas Watson said “We are more sure to arise out of our graves than out of our beds.”
Father thank You that we have not a “hope so”, but “an anchor of the soul, a HOPE both sure and steadfast,” a confident expectation affirmed by Your Spirit that one day when our Resurrected Lord returns, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is. Amen (Hebrews 6:19-note, 1Jn 3:2-note, 1Jn 3:3-note)
As you listen to the great modern worship song “I CAN ONLY IMAGINE”, meditate on the truth that because of the Reality of the Resurrection “when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.”In Depth Word Study on ANISTEMI
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