April 1, 2018 • Download this article (PDF)
Who raised Jesus from the dead? Is it God? Is it the Holy Spirit? Is it Jesus himself? The Bible answers, “All of the above,” though majority of Biblical texts say God raised Jesus from the dead. The Father, the Son himself, and the Holy Spirit together raised Jesus to new life after the crucifixion.
God the Father:
Acts 2:24: God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.
Romans 6:4: Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father.
1 Corinthians 6:14: And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.
Galatians 1:1: Paul, an apostle . . . through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.
Colossians 2:12: you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.
1 Peter 1:21: who through [Christ] are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
See also Acts 2:32; 3:15, 26; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30-37; Romans 4:24; 10:9; Ephesians 1:20.
God the Son:
John 2:19: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”
John 10:17–18, “I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”
God the Holy Spirit:
Romans 1:4 [Jesus] was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead”
Romans 8:11: 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.
1 Peter 3:18: “For Christ also 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.” This verse is not clear, but one interpretation is that Christ died physically, but was raised by the Spirit.
Ezekiel 37:14: “And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.” Ezekiel 37 tells us of the vision of valley of dry bones. Through the Holy Spirit (“breath”), Ezekiel commanded the dry bones to be reconstituted as human bodies and to live again with the breath of life from the “Breath.”
Therefore, the act of raising Jesus from the dead was not the operation merely of one Person in the Trinity but was a cooperative act of the Trinitarian Godhead. In all of God’s works – election, creation, redemption, and final glorification – the Father, Son and Spirit act in harmony as one. God is one, and therefore, each Person of the Trinity is involved in all that God does. No one Person in the Trinity acts alone outside of the will of the other two Persons. This is another evidence of the truth of the Trinity. And this also teaches us that Jesus is of the same substance as God himself.