As we have shown, Jesus could not completely fulfill the Messianic prophecies in his physical ministry. He could not be a priest, therefore he could not be a king on earth. But was Jesus born again into a realm/sphere where he could fulfill those prophecies? The answer is “yes.”
In Acts 13:27f Paul preached about Jesus and his resurrection. In that resurrection, the apostle said, “God hath fulfilled this for us their children, in that he has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are my Son, Today I have begotten You.’” You will note that the Father, speaking of the Son’s resurrection says, “This Day’ I have begotten You.” The resurrection of Jesus was his second birth! In Romans 1:3-4 Paul contrasts the “births” of Jesus. He was “born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (my emphasis) Clearly, Jesus’ resurrection was another “birth;” a birth directly contrasted with his physical birth into the Old Covenant World of Israel. Let us note two things especially noteworthy about this “birth.”
The prophecy cited by Paul in Acts and Hebrews is Psalms 2:7. That prophecy chronicles man’s attempts to thwart God’s plan to enthrone the Messiah as King. Psalms 2:1-3 speaks of the rejection of Messiah. In Acts 4:25f Peter applies those verses to Jesus’ death at the hands of, “Herod and Pilate.” Jehovah’s response to these actions was to laugh at man’s rebellion–God would not be thwarted!This effectively falsifies the dispensational view that the rejection of Jesus led the postponement of the kingdom! See my Seal Up Vision and Prophecy book for a complete discussion of the postponement doctrine, and refutation.
In Psalms 2:6 He said, “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion;” (v.7) then declares, “I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’” The “second birth” of Jesus is inextricably linked with his enthronement on the holy hill Zion. (Needless to say, Jesus was not enthroned on the literal Mt. Zion!) This comports perfectly with what the Hebrew writer says also about the priesthood of Jesus.
In Hebrews 5:5f the writer cites Psalms 2:7 in regard to Christ’s entry into the priesthood. Just as Psalms 2 depicted the enthronement of Messiah after his rejection, and since that enthronement is linked by Paul with the resurrection, it follows that Christ’s priesthood is also so linked. Just as Christ’s physical birth placed him in the Old Covenant World where he could not serve as Priest and King his second birth placed him in a New Covenant World where he could, (and does!), serve as High Priest!
The Hebrew writer tells us, “Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us” (Hebrews 9:24). Christ’s resurrection unto enthronement and priesthood was a birth into the heavenly realm where he can serve as king and priest. The Mosaic limitation of Christ’s physical birth is not applicable in the heavenly realm.
Jesus was “put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,” (NASV, I Peter 3:18). As William Bell observes “in the flesh” and “in the spirit” of I Pet. 3:18 are both locatives and, “refer to the realm or sphere in which the actions ‘put to death’ and ‘made alive’ occurred.” Michaels concurs insisting that Christ resurrected “not as a spirit,” but in a new sphere in which the Spirit and power of God are displayed without hindrance or human limitation. …Jesus is set free to complete a mission of utmost importance for the readers of the epistle.” (J. Ramsey Michaels, Word Biblical Commentary, (Waco, Texas, Word Publishers, 1988) 205).
Jesus’ resurrection situated him in a new realm of existence–his world, the world above. What cannot be missed, but, lamentably is missed by our dispensational friends, is that Christ’s heavenly priesthood and kingship (thus his kingdom), was, all along, the goal and purpose of the O. T. prophecies. This is demonstrated by a couple of key texts in Hebrews. We will examine those in the next installment.