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Who raised Jesus from the dead?

Father

Ephesians 1:20

which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms,

Jesus

John 2:19-21

19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." 20 “This temple took forty-six years to build,” the Jews replied, “and You are going to raise it up in three days?” 21 But He was speaking concerning the temple of His body.

Spirit

Romans 8:11

And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you.

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  • 2
    Remove the added capitalization and personification of the word "spirit", and the Romans verse simply confirms that it was the Father that raised Jesus. Jul 3, 2023 at 15:12
  • 5
    Romans 8:11 does not say the Spirit raised Jesus. It's not "the Spirit...who raised Jesus from the dead". Rather, it's the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead" (i.e., the Spirit of the Father; cf. Matt. 10:20). Jul 3, 2023 at 15:17
  • Who brought Israelites out of Egypt? Moses or God? Jul 3, 2023 at 20:21
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    You have answered your own question. God raised Jesus from the dead : God, in Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 3, 2023 at 20:26
  • Is there a reason you left God out? Sep 27, 2023 at 1:02

7 Answers 7

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God; God the Father; The Holy Spirit and The Son are all involved in raising Jesus. Each with a different emphasis in their involvement e.g.:

Acts 2:24 & 27

"God raised him up". "For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption."

A reason is given for God's involvement. He will not abandon Jesus' soul to Hades.

Romans 4:24-25

"[God] who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification."

God raised Jesus to deal with our sins. And 1 John 4:14 expresses the same thing in terms of the Father. Inorder for Christ to be victorious Saviour "the Father sent his Son" not just to die but also to be raised.

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."

Here the Spirit is involved. A parallel is drawn between the Spirit raising Jesus being the same Spirit that dwells in us. Acts 2:4: "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit."

John 10:17

"For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again."

Jesus lays down His life and takes it up as an action within the relationship He has with His Father.

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    Remove the added capitalization and personification of the word "spirit", and the Romans 8 verse simply confirms that it was the Father that raised Jesus. Jul 3, 2023 at 15:14
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    @Ray Butterworth Following your comment then we would have "the Father" dwells in us, not the Holy Spirit. Is that what you mean?
    – C. Stroud
    Jul 3, 2023 at 15:22
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    I'm saying that since this question wasn't restricted to a Trinitarian perspective, the third case of the "contradiction" can simply be ignored. If "his spirit" isn't a person, then "the spirit" is simply an immaterial substance lacking its own life or will, and is merely a tool or mechanism used by the Father to raise Jesus. Jul 3, 2023 at 16:14
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    Good answer. +1.
    – Dottard
    Jul 3, 2023 at 22:34
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    @C.Stroud "Jesus lays down His life and takes it up as an action within the relationship He has with His Father." Agreed. Because of that relationship, it is difficult to distinguish between the actions of the Father and the Son. "For whatever he (the Father) does, the Son also does in like manner” (Jn 5:19). As the Father raises, so the Son takes up his life again (Jn 10:18). Jesus’ words have a way of stirring up division, as much so now, I think, as they did then (Jn 10:19).
    – Nhi
    Jul 7, 2023 at 16:24
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Acts 13:30 answers this question definitively.

But God raised him from the dead: (Acts 13:30, KJV)

Digging deeper, the word "him" in this verse, Greek αὐτὸν/auton, clearly specifies a separate, i.e. distinct, person from that of the subject, grammatically. In other words, it cannot be translated as himself. It is not reflexive.

Conclusion

God (the Father) raised Jesus from the dead.

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    What manuscripts have "Father" or do you presume to add what Paul forgot to include? Jul 3, 2023 at 15:02
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    Jesus told us that the Father was God in many places. You are not ignorant of this, but for others who may not be as well versed, look up John 17:1-3; John 20:17; John 4:21-24; etc. And, as you also know, Paul told us that the Father was our only God: "But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. " (1 Corinthians 8:6, KJV)
    – Biblasia
    Jul 3, 2023 at 16:29
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    And yet in speaking to Gentiles who are ignorant of the Father, Paul misleads them? Or does he like Jesus in John 3:16, fail to state what you claim is obvious and His statement is exactly what must be said if He understands God as Father, Son, Spirit? Jul 3, 2023 at 18:03
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    Is the Son the Father? If not, "Father, Son, Spirit" cannot all be God. The Bible is too plain on this to be mistaken. The Father is "the only true God" (Jesus) and "there is but one God, the Father" (Paul). Furthermore, if Jesus were God, John 1:18 and 1 John 4:12 would both be false. I am unwilling to place my beliefs ahead of the truthfulness of God's Word. Let God be true and every man a liar.
    – Biblasia
    Jul 3, 2023 at 18:18
  • Short but sweet. + 1. Jul 3, 2023 at 19:53
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Here is a list of references about who raised Jesus from the dead.

  • Acts 2:24, 3:15, 4:10, 5:30, 10:40, 13:30, 17:31, Rom 4:24, 1 Cor 15:15, Col 2:20, Heb 13:20, 1 Peter 1:3, 1 Thess 1:10 simply say that “God” raised Jesus without specifying any specific member of the Godhead
  • Rom 6:4, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:17-20 say that the Father raised Jesus from the dead.
  • Rom 1:4 & 8:11 suggest that the Holy Spirit was involved in Jesus' resurrection.
  • John 2:19-21 and 10:17, 18 both say that Jesus resurrected Himself. Further, John 1:4 & 5:26 says that the Son has “life in Himself”, that is, is not dependent on the Father for His existence. Compare 1 John 5:11 & 1:1, 2.

Such a comparison shows the traps of proof-text theology and cafeteria theology. The safest conclusion here is that the entire Godhead acted to raise Jesus.

APPENDIX - Mysteries

As far as the Gospel accounts are concerned, none of the four tells us anything about the actual resurrection of Jesus, except to say that it happened. Here are some things that are NOT recorded:

  • We are not told who actually performed the miracle of raising Jesus. However, other NT accounts tell us something here - see appendix below.
  • We do not know the time of day, except that it was during the night
  • We are not told the sequence of events such as if Jesus was resurrected and then the angel(s) arrived or vise-versa
  • We are not told why the angel rolled the stone away - for Jesus' benefit or the disciples' benefit, or both
  • We are not told how the stone was secured, whether purely by wax seals or other mechanical means, or both, only that the tomb was sealed (Matt 27:66) - a verb most often implying a wax seal (compare Dan 6:17), but in this case it may have involved much more, but that is not recorded. The Greek suggests that the sealing of the stone may have actually been the guard itself (Sealing the stone, and setting a watch; μετὰ τῆς κουστωδίας, with the watch.)

There are many other questions. It is true that Jesus was quite capable of getting out of the tomb without the stone being rolled back because He later entered a locked room without the use of the open door; how He did this we are not told.

The point of all this is simple - the details of Jesus' resurrection are as important as the details of His incarnation - it is a mystery, unrevealed. The only important thing we need to know is that it happened. Where scripture is silent, so should we be silent.

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Because of the appalling arguments that arise with some regarding this topic, this answer will be kept very simple so that a basic, but profoundly important point will be established, followed by a simple point that should settle the debate.

The starting point for the answer comes from scriptures (more than just one or two) that repeat the simple fact that God raised Jesus from the dead. In the first verse, 'the Lord' is Jesus Christ:

"Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise us up by his own power" 1 Corinthians 6:13 & 14 A.V.

Ephesians 1:20 has already been quoted by the OP, confirming that God resurrected Christ. And there are seven verses in the book of Acts alone that also say God resurrected Christ. Those give examples a'plenty that the basic point is that God resurrected Christ. It's pleasing to see that nobody involved with this question disagrees with that fact.

Now, another fact that must not be shunted to the side is that the way Christ was raised will be the same experience of all believers who have "died in Christ".

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also [in the likeness of his] resurrection." Romans 6:3-5 A.V.

"Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present us with you." 2 Corinthians 4:14 A.V.

Oh! Spot that intriguing little phrase, "shall raise us up also by Jesus"? That makes sense given what Jesus told his disciples before his crucifixion, that it was the will of his Father that he, the Son, should raise up all who believe on him - "and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:39-40). This makes the simple point that should settle the debate - when we are resurrected, we will know who is raising us from the dead, for we will experience it just as Christ experienced it. We will hear the voice of command to arise. And with the power of God, in the Holy Spirit, we shall be raised with glorified resurrection bodies. As in the earthly creation the Holy Spirit was active, so in the new creation, the Holy Spirit will be active, and we will then know that.

Until then, we can only know by faith the promises of God in that matter. We will arise. But until that actually happens to us, the wonder of how it will all come to be must remain - of necessity, for the scriptures do not go into such details. Our resurrection will follow in the manner of Christ's resurrection and when it happens to us, then we will know. The scriptures speak of God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit all being involved, somehow, in the resurrection of Christ. We cannot say how. We wonder how. But who would think they had to have the theology all thrashed out to their complete satisfaction so that they could argue against others who had a different understanding? Where is the Spirit of Christ in that? Enigmatically, the scripture tells believers that the Spirit of God IS the Spirit of Christ, AND will raise us:

"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." Romans 8:9-11 A.V.

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Well I for one cannot ignore the words of Jesus Christ Himself at John 2:19, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews at vs20 respond, "The Jews therefore said, "It took forty-six year to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"

The Apostle John at vs21 clears up what Jesus meant, "But He was speaking of the temple of His body." One of the interesting things about this issue is brought out at the trial of Jesus at Matthew 26:61 three years later by false witnesses. "and they (the witnesses said) "This man stated, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days."

Obviously we know from what John wrote that Jesus was referring to the temple of His body. God only has to speak once for it to be the truth. Since Jesus Christ clearly stated He will raise His body and other verses (as pointed out) say the Father and/or the Holy Spirit raised Jesus what is the obvious and appropriate conclusion one can come to?

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    "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." (John 12:49). The Father told Jesus what to say--those were the Father's words.
    – Biblasia
    Jul 3, 2023 at 17:32
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    @Biblasia John 2:19-21 comes well before John 12:49. Also, John 7:16-18 comes before it as well and makes the following point of what Jesus meant. Vs16-18, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me, If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching whether it is of God or I speak FROM Myself. vs18, He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the one who sent Him, He is true and there is no unrighteousness in Him." Jesus was commissioned to reveal God. The Father has no separate manifestation from the Son. John 1:18, 10:30, Heb. 1:3.
    – Mr. Bond
    Jul 3, 2023 at 18:22
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    @Mr.Bond The word "wisdom" is as much metaphor as the "Prince of Tyrus" in Ezekiel 28--the Bible often teaches in this manner. The "Son of God" was not created upon Jesus' birth on earth: that was "the Son of Man." The Son of God has always been, as I understand, the image of the invisible God--the mediator between God and all of His creation. Prior to Jesus' incarnation, he was called "Michael the archangel." But at Jesus' birth, a new being, the son of man, was created--a being which was not God (God could never be created). Within this human body, the eternal Spirit of God dwelt.
    – Biblasia
    Jul 4, 2023 at 15:03
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    @Mr.Bond No, I'm not in the JW denomination--never have been. An angel is a messenger--why are you so dead set on Jesus never having been one? Michael is identified in Daniel, clearly being the Messiah. If Jesus is not your Messiah, you have greater issues than understanding the Bible. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and there are none so blind as they who will not see. The greatest deception that can come upon the human mind is a belief that one is right when one is all wrong. It behooves each of us to be careful to not turn away from truth even if it may seem disagreeable.
    – Biblasia
    Jul 4, 2023 at 21:45
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    @Mr.Bond Given your take on Thomas' words, you might also believe that Mary did not do what Jesus had told her just prior in the same chapter--or else that Thomas hadn't believed Mary. Your problem will be, however, with vs. 18. Either it is true, or the Bible has printed lies for us. Consider: "16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary.... 17 ...go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her." (John 20:16-18, KJV)
    – Biblasia
    Jul 6, 2023 at 15:39
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When preaching in the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia, Paul made these statements:

26 “Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. 27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him. 28 And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. 29 Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. 30 But God raised Him from the dead. (Acts 13:30 NKJV)

Quite plainly Paul states God raised Jesus from the dead. Equally clear Paul did not say the Spirit, or Jesus, or the Father, or even God the Father raised Him from the dead.

So in addition to Father, Jesus, and Spirit, Scripture also says God raised Jesus from the dead. How is it possible for all four to statements to be true and all Scripture to be true? The only answer is God is Father, and Jesus, and Spirit.

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    But that cannot be the answer if, as Jesus said, the Father is the only true God. If the Father is the only true God, then no other can be, including Jesus. Either we believe Jesus, or we make a mess of theology such that contradictions abound. If we start with the belief that Jesus always spoke the truth, and never lied, we can find a way to harmonize all of the statements. The one where Jesus said "...I will raise it up" is explained by Jesus' own testimony that he was speaking the Father's words, not his own. See John 8:28; 12:49; and 14:10.
    – Biblasia
    Jul 3, 2023 at 17:52
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    @Biblasia Only true God only fits your theological system if you narrowly understand μόνον to mean only as in exclusive, and ignore the meaning as alone as it is used throughout the Gospel. Once you accept both meanings are present, you recognize the Father is alone until Jesus returns. Jul 3, 2023 at 18:15
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    According to Psalm 139:7-11, there is no place where God is not present. Therefore, God cannot be "alone" when others are in the same universe. "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there." (Psalm 139:7-8, KJV)
    – Biblasia
    Jul 4, 2023 at 5:31
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    @RevelationLad. You are altering the Father's supremacy and imposing a biased interpretation. to make polytheism seem line monotheism. Jul 5, 2023 at 2:21
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    @AlexBalilo I’m simply reading what is written. The bias interpretation is on your point of view. You demand different words have the same meaning and you demand the right to substitute “Father” where it’s not written. Your position is not found in the Hebrew or Greek text. Jul 5, 2023 at 2:49
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Did Logos die with the biological death of the Logos’ human organism? Impossible! Father ontologically, or better, theologically cannot create without His Logos and His Spirit/Breath (Psalm 33:6); if so, then neither can He sustain the world without His Logos. Thus, had the Person of Logos died together with the body of Christ, then the world would cease to exist. Neither Father, nor Son, nor the Holy Ghost can die! Those Hypostases/Persons of the Godhead are co-eternal and co-unoriginated.

Now, what is the resurrection of a dead body, dead organism but exerting the same energy of creation upon it through which it initially came into existence and was being sustained in existence? And if the second - the initial creation - is and could only be done by all Three, then necessarily also the first - the resurrection - must have been done by all Three, as you, the author of the OP correctly intuited by adducing the relevant passages from the Holy Writing.

Everybody who says that Father alone took the labor of resurrecting the Logos’ body while Logos Himself and the Holy Ghost Himself were lying idly on a beach drinking piña coladas, is engaged in amusing myth-making which has as little to do with theology as soliloquy of Shakespeare’s Hamlet with honking of 🐧 in Antarctica.

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    Jesus died and the world did not cease to exist. Jul 5, 2023 at 10:09
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    @AlexBalilo Really? So what? You think you nailed it by this brilliant silver-bullet phrase? Sorry but it is laughable. Yes eternal Logos suffered death according to His human nature, to wit, biological body, that He assumed from the Virgin Mary. But did the eternal Hypostasis of Logos co-die with the body? Impossible! Father can create world but through Logos, and also sustain the world through Logos. If Logos (Impossible Hypothesis - IH) disappears from existence, then Father would not be able to sustain the world. And neither Logos alone will be able to do so of Father commits suicide (IH). Jul 5, 2023 at 16:21

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