“So he (Elijah) departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him.” 1st Kings 19:19
It was a significant day when I came to see that the New Testament is enfolded in the Old Testament, and the Old Testament is unfolded in the New Testament! As the Lord has progressively revealed His Truth with the passage of time, it becomes apparent that the doctrines of Truth clearly revealed in the New Testament are illustrated in the times, the people, the places and the events of the Old Testament. Such is the case with resurrection power! Easter Sunday is one of the most important dates on the calendar of a Christian. On that day we celebrate the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead. We say to one another, “He is risen!” The response is, “He is risen indeed!” Most sermons are focused on Christ’s victory over death, hell and the grave in our behalf (what He has done for us), but there is a deeper truth that is sometimes missed. That truth is what the Lord wants to do in and through us! Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). Paul wrote, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and do of His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13). The Life of Christ working in and through us in resurrection power is clearly stated in the New Testament and illustrated in numerous people in the Old Testament. One example is the prophet Elisha.
Perhaps the most amazing example was after Elisha’s death, when he was in his grave. “And Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year. And as they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha. And when the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood up on his feet.” (2nd Kings 13:20-21). Now, I would say that is resurrection power! If nothing else, that is worth looking at the call of Elisha to powerful service. The casting of a prophet’s mantle (upper body shawl) on a man in the Old Testament was the sign of calling to ministry (v 19). Three things should be noted about the preconditions for serving the Lord in resurrection power. 1) Elisha was already a member of the Lord’s Old Testament people. In New Testament terms Elisha was “saved”. 2) Not only was Elisha saved, but he had a servant’s spirit. He had been farming his parent’s land (v 19). 3) Finally, Elisha was already living a separated life! Many of Elisha’s contemporaries had rejected the faith of their elders and had adopted a lifestyle of idolatry. Yet, Elisha was true to God with all his heart (vv 20-21).
A recently widowed woman could not get gas from the pump into her car. She had the nozzle in the tank pulling the trigger, but did not have the pump “On”. The motor was not engaged to pull the gas from the underground tank through the hose into the car’s gas tank! Likewise, to serve the Lord powerfully, fruitfully one must serve in resurrection power, the power of the new Life in Christ, not the old life of self!
- S. Part Two will be coming soon…