Resurrection in Zechariah 14| A Comparison with 1 Corinthians 15

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1 Corinthians 15 is the hub for any discussion of resurrection. What is sadly overlooked is its absolute reliance on the Old Testament. Amillennialists especially have the Old Testament in its entirety abrogated at the Cross. If this was true however, how could Paul, in his hope of the resurrection be anticipating the fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14?
Equally–if not more so–overlooked is that Zechariah 14 and 1 Corinthians 15 are parallel. To establish this we must demonstrate that Corinthians does speak of: 1.) the end of the Old Covenant Age, and; 2.) The full establishment of the Sovereignty of God.


Paul said the resurrection would be when Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14 would be finally fulfilled and when “the sting of death,” which is “sin,” and “the strength of sin,” which is “the law,” would be abolished (v.56).
If the resurrection is a yet future “end of time” event, what law is currently the strength of sin? Is it the gospel? It must be if the Old Law is abrogated and the resurrection still anticipates deliverance from some law that is the strength of sin. Does anyone really want to argue that the gospel is the strength of sin however?
The term “the Law” is used 117 times in the New Testament. Only 17 times does it not refer to the Mosaic Institutes. In the exceptions the context specifically identifies what law is under consideration. No other law is identified in Corinthians.
When Paul uses the term “the Law” without a qualifier, e.g. “the Law of Christ,” the reference is invariably to the Old Covenant. In 1 Corinthians 15:56 there is no such qualifier. This means that “the Law” that was the strength of sin was the Old Covenant Law of Moses. And what we should not miss is that in Zechariah 14 we have the depiction of the end of the age– the end of the age of the Law– at the parousia of Christ, just as in 1 Corinthians 15, we have the end of the Law at the parousia and resurrection.
Paul identified the Old Covenant as the Law that gave sin its strength. He said “by the Law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). He said: “I was alive without the law once but the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Romans 7:9). The Law made sin “exceedingly sinful” (Romans 7:13). It was the Old Law that Paul called the “ministration of death,” (2 Corinthians 3:6f) because it magnified the knowledge of sin, and the resulting death, yet gave no deliverance from it (Galatians 3:20-21).
The Old Covenant Law was the only Law that was the strength of sin.  Paul was still anticipating the abolishment of the “strength of sin.” Because the strength of sin was the Old Covenant Law, it therefore follows that Paul was still  anticipating the passing of the Old Covenant Law.
The coming of the Lord, verse 23, time of “the end,” verse 24, the resurrection, verses 54-56, would occur at the time of the passing of the Law that was the strength of sin. The Law that was the strength of sin was the Old Covenant of Israel. Therefore the time of the end, the coming of the Lord, and the resurrection would occur at the end of the Old Covenant World of Israel. This is “Covenant Eschatology.”
This firmly establishes the link between 1 Corinthians 15 and Zechariah 14 because Zechariah associated the coming of the Lord and the resurrection with the time of the Lord’s coming against Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:1-8.
The full end of the Old Covenant System would be the time of full salvation (Hebrews 9:6-10). This time of salvation is linked inextricably to the judgment on Israel (Luke 21:25-32).  And in Zechariah 14 we have the destruction of Jerusalem followed immediately by the River of Life flowing from the Throne of the Lord! The final link between Zechariah 14 and 1 Corinthians 15 is the full establishment of the Sovereignty of Jehovah. We will explore that in upcoming installments, so stay tuned!

Be sure to get a copy of my book, Who Is This Babylon? in which I demonstrate the powerful influence Zechariah had on the Apocalypse– and on NT eschatology. This is a great study!

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One Reply to “Resurrection in Zechariah 14| A Comparison with 1 Corinthians 15”

  1. Using Hos. 13:14 as a “proof text” of a corporate resurrection is actually theologically problematic. The prophecy in that chapter is actually against “Ephraim”, the ten tribes that had been cast out of the Old Covenant and cut off. They were considered “alive” while in the Old Covenant, but then “died” when they were cut off. Those that were still in the Old Covenant were still considered covenantally “alive”. So if you try to apply 13:14 covenantally, then the “resurrection” was from a state outside the covenant of God to one inside the covenant of God. There is nothing in this passage at all that deals with those that were still inside the Old Covenant, nor does it concern the Old Covenant system as “dead”, nor does it concern any Old Covenant “body” being raised to a New Covenant “body”. Certainly Hos. 13:14 can’t be taken to mean that there would be a resurrection from the Old Covenant system of death to the New Covenant system of life, as they (Ephraim) were no longer in the Old Covenant system, but were cut off. This promise can only be fulfilled when the faithful among the ten tribes could be redeemed from death itself.

    You also neglected to explain how Paul was ever “alive without the Law” in Rom. 7:9 when he was born in the Law! The Greed literally says that he “lived apart from the Law” – but this can’t mean simple covenantal status, because Paul was never apart from the Law. Many commentators relegate this to his mode of living “outside the rules” as a Pharisee prior to his conversion.

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