Friday, March 25

What the Resurrection Proves to the World

This is a reworking of something I posted last year during the Easter season.

He is risen!
He is risen indeed!

While Christ's resurrection has special significance for those who believe in him--those who are united to the resurrected Christ through faith--it also carries a message about Christ for everyone, believer and unbeliever alike.

  • During Jesus' earthly ministry and obedience to death, people had seen his humility, his weakness, but with the resurrection a new phase of Christ's human existence has dawned. With the resurrection, Jesus is shown to be the Son-of-God-in-power. Paul tells us that Christ was
    ...descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord... (Romans 1:3,4 ESV)

  • The resurrection is proof that Jesus is the fulfillment of David's prophesy of the resurrection of the Messiah--that he is the long awaited Promised One. It is because Christ was raised that we can "know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ". From Peter at Pentecost:
    Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says,
    "The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."
    Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. (Acts 2: 29-36 ESV)

  • Christ's resurrection is evidence to all people everywhere that he is the one whom God has appointed as Judge-of-all. We know he will judge us because he has been raised, and the proper response to the surety of this promise of judgment is repentance. As Paul says to the people of Athens:
    The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead. (Acts 17:30,31 ESV)

    The resurrected Christ who stands before us is not just another prophet or teacher, and not just a humble servant, but the one whom God has shown to be the very Lord of All--the Son-of-God-in-power--by his resurrection from the dead. He can stand in judgment over every single person because he has a right to judge, for he has been appointed to this role by the Father, who proved to all the rightness of Christ's judgment by raising him from the dead.

    The resurrection calls all people to respond by turning from rebellion against Christ to confession of the truth of the resurrection: that He has been made Ruler of All and is declared before all as worthy of worship. It is confirmation to all people that "God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:9-11 ESV)

    [Part 2 is What the Resurrection Means for Believers.]
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