By his death sin was taken away, by his resurrection righteousness was renewed and restored. For how could he by dying have freed us from death, if he had yielded to its power? How could he have obtained the victory for us, if he had fallen in the contest? Our salvation may be thus divided between the death and the resurrection of Christ: by the former sin was abolished and death annihilated; by the latter righteousness was restored and life revived, the power and efficacy of the former being still bestowed upon us by means of the latter. — John Calvin, quoted by Adrian Warnock in Raised with Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 118 (HT: Of First Importance)
G.K. Chesterton: They took the body down from the cross and one of the few rich men among the first Christians obtained permission to bury it in a rock tomb in his garden; the Romans setting a military guard lest there should be some riot and attempt to recover the body. There was once more a natural symbolism in these natural proceedings; it was well that the tomb should be sealed with all the secrecy of ancient eastern sepulture [burial] and guarded by the authority of the Caesars. For in that second cavern the whole of that great and glorious humanity which we call antiquity was gathered up and covered over; and in that place it was buried. It was the end of a very great thing called human history; the history that was merely human. The mythologies and the philosophies were buried there, the gods and the heroes and the sages. In the great Roman phrase, they had lived.
John Bloom: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25–26) A few days ago we laid the body of my wife’s grandfather in the ground outside the little brick church in the cornfields where he attended all 97 years of his life. I was given the profound honor of preaching at his funeral. And the words of John 11:25–26 were my text. I chose them because Jesus said them to Martha when Lazarus lay dead in his tomb. And I was to stand behind the old pulpit in front of a full casket. A corpse is a fierce reality. It demands that we explain these claims of Jesus — perhaps the most incredible ever spoken by a credible human being in all of history. What does Jesus mean that he is “the resurrection and the life”?
Richard Gaffin: What characterizes the redemption of Christ holds true for the redemption of the believer. As the justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification of the former take place by and at his resurrection, so the justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification of the latter take place in his having been raised with Christ, that is, in his having been united to Christ as resurrected. This means, then, that despite a surface appearance to the contrary, Paul does not view the justification, adoption, sanctification, and glorification of the believer as separate, distinct acts but as different facets or aspects of the one act of incorporation with the resurrected Christ. –Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Resurrection and Redemption: A Study in Paul’s Soteriology (P&R, 1987), 130-31 (HT: Dane Ortlund)
Get a free download of this new poster (PDF) from John Piper’s article on ten results of the resurrection: A saviour who can never die again. “For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again.” Romans 6:9 Repentance. “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel.” Acts 5:31 New birth. “By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 Forgiveness of sin. “If Christ has not been raised, your hope is futile and you are still in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:17 The Holy Spirit. “This Jesus God raised up, and of that we are all 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 which you see and hear.” Acts 2:32–33 No condemnation for the elect. “Who is
By Matthew Barrett: Too often in our churches the resurrection of Christ is a doctrine of secondary importance. It is neglected and forgotten until Easter comes around each year. The same disregard for the resurrection is seen in how we share the gospel. Christians tend to share the gospel as if Jesus died on the cross and that is the end of the story. We make a zip line from the crucifixion to “repent and believe,” contrary to the example Peter sets for us in Acts 2:22-24 and 4:26. The cross is central to our salvation, but what God accomplished there is incomplete unless the tomb is empty on Sunday morning. Therefore, the resurrection of Christ is vital “for us and our salvation” (to borrow from the Nicene Creed). But how exactly? Our Regeneration Is Grounded in the Resurrection of Christ Have you ever read the resurrection narratives and said, “Praise God! Because Christ has risen I am born again!” I know I
(HT: Justin Taylor)
At its core, the gospel is Jesus as the substitute for sinners. We could summarize the whole by saying that in his life Jesus lives in perfect submission to the will of God and he fulfills his righteous standard (the law). In his death on the cross he quenches God’s wrath against sin, satisfying the sovereign demand for justice. In his resurrection he is victorious over sin and death. All of this is done on behalf of sinners in need of redemption and offered to all who believe. This is therefore very ‘good news.’ Jesus’ life is good news, for his obedience to the Father and fulfillment of the law is for us. While we as sinners fail to keep the law, Jesus was perfectly faithful. Jesus’ death is good news because his death was a payment for our sin, and by it we are cleansed from our guilt and released from condemnation. Jesus’ resurrection is good news because his victory
The following excerpt is from: Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ by Russell Moore (Crossway, 2011). The quote is worthy of a slow and careful read (from pages 124-125). My thanks to Tony Reinke for this: Part of the curse Jesus would bear for us on Golgotha was the taunting and testing by God’s enemies. As he drowned in his own blood, the spectators yelled words quite similar to those of Satan in the desert: “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe” (Mark 15:32). But he didn’t jump down. He didn’t ascend to the skies. He just writhed there. And, after it all, the bloated corpse of Jesus hit the ground as he was pulled off the stake, spattering warm blood and water on the faces of the crowd. That night the religious leaders probably read Deuteronomy 21 to their families, warning them about the curse of
From Herman Ridderbos’s classic book Paul: An Outline of His Theology, page 57: Paul’s kerygma [message] of the great time of salvation that has dawned in Christ is above all determined by Christ’s death and resurrection. It is in them that the present aeon has lost its power and hold on the children of Adam and that the new things have come. For this reason, too, the entire unfolding of the salvation that has dawned with Christ again and again harks back to his death and resurrection, because all the facets in which this salvation appears and all the names by which it is described are ultimately nothing other than the unfolding of what this all-important breakthrough of life in death, of the kingdom of God in this present world, contains within itself. Here all lines come together, and from hence the whole Pauline proclamation of redemption can be described in its unity and coherence. Paul’s preaching, so we have seen,
“If Jesus had not been raised, none of the following things, listed in order of their appearance in Acts, would have been possible: The sending of the Spirit (Acts 2:33) Physical healings (Acts 3:15–16) The conversion of sinners (Acts 3:26) Salvation by union with Jesus (Acts 4:11–12) Jesus’ role as the leader of his church (Acts 5:30–31; 9) Forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:30–31) Comfort for the dying (Acts 7) The commissioning of gospel messengers (Acts 9; 10:42) Freedom from the penalty and power of sin (Acts 13:37–39) Assurance that the gospel is true (Acts 17:31) Our own resurrection (Acts 17:31) Jesus’ future judgment of this world (Acts 17:31) In summary, because of his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has brought God close to us.” — Adrian Warnock Raised with Christ (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 114 (HT: Of First Importance)
[T]he resurrection of Christ represents the justification and vindication of believers. Since Christ bore the consequences of sin on behalf of his people on the cross, his resurrection was God’s declaration of both his and his people’s righteousness. The great and complex event of Christ’s death and resurrection constitutes the basis for the positive verdict of justification for all who are in union with him through faith. In the death of Christ, the trespasses of his people were punished; in the resurrection of Christ, the justification of his people was declared. The justification of believers occurs by virtue of their participation in the reality of Christ’s death and resurrection on their behalf. –Cornelis Venema, The Gospel of Free Acceptance in Christ: An Assessment of the Reformation and New Perspectives on Paul (Banner of Truth 2006), 44 (HT: Dane Ortlund)
For Mel and James.
“In order to grow in Christlikeness, we’ve got to intentionally apply the gospel to everything we are and everything we long to do. We’re not to sever our obedience from [Christ’s] perfect sinlessness nor disconnect our mortal life from his resurrected life. We’ve got to understand ourselves in the light of our new identity, seeing ourselves as we truly are: sinful and flawed, loved and welcomed. Only these gospel realities have enough power to engender faith, kill idolatry, produce character change, and motivate faithful obedience.” – Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me (HT: Todd Pruitt)
“The atoning death of Christ, and that alone, has presented sinners as righteous in God’s sight; the Lord Jesus has paid the full penalty of their sins, and clothed them with His perfect righteousness before the judgment seat of God. But Christ has done for Christians even far more than that. He has given to them not only a new and right relation to God, but a new life in God’s presence for evermore. He has saved them from the power as well as from the guilt of sin. The New Testament does not end with the death of Christ; it does not end with the triumphant words of Jesus on the Cross, “It is finished.” The death was followed by the resurrection, and the resurrection like the death was for our sakes. Jesus rose from the dead into a new life of glory and power, and into that life He brings those for whom He died. The Christian, on
“In our vision of ultimate reality, who is occupying the throne today? Are we authentic New Testament Christians, whose vision is filled with Christ crucified, risen and reigning? Is guilt still reigning, and death? Or is grace reigning, and life? To be sure, sin and Satan may seem to be reigning still, since many continue to bow down to them. But their reign is an illusion, a bluff. For at the cross they were decisively defeated, dethroned and disarmed. Now Christ reigns, exalted to the Father’s right hand, with all things under his feet, welcoming the nations, and waiting for his remaining enemies to be made his footstool.” —John Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 162 (HT: Of First Importance)
“By contrast, the first two greatest commands—to love God with heart and soul and mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves—do not constitute the gospel, or any part of it. We may well argue that when the gospel is faithfully declared and rightly received, it will result in human beings more closely aligned to these two commands. But they are not the gospel. Similarly, the gospel is not receiving Christ or believing in him, or being converted, or joining a church; it is not the practice of discipleship. Once again, the gospel faithfully declared and rightly received will result in people receiving Christ, believing in Christ, being converted, and joining a local church; but such steps are not the gospel. The Bible can exhort those who trust the living God to be concerned with issues of social justice (Isa 2; Amos); it can tell new covenant believers to do good to all human beings, especially to those of the
This is excellent from Ray Ortlund: Some Christians seem “all certainty.” Maybe it makes them feel heroic, standing against the tide. They see too few gray areas. Everything is a federal case. They have a fundamentalist mindset. Other Christians seem “all openness.” Maybe it makes them feel humble and cool. They see too few black-and-white areas. They’re giving away the store. They have a liberal mindset — though they may demonstrate a surprising certainty against certainty. The Bible is our authority as we sort out what deserves certainty and what deserves openness. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the gospel of Christ crucified for our sins, Christ buried and Christ risen again on the third day, according to the Scriptures, as “of first importance.” Here is the center of our certainty. From that “of first importance” theological address, we move out toward the whole range of theological and practical questions asking for our attention. The more clearly our logic connects with that
The BBC has produced an excellent documentary about Michael Ward’s discovery of a ‘secret code’ hidden beneath the narrative of the Narnia Chronicles by CS Lewis. Ward’s book is called, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis. The documentary is a fascinating story about Lewis’ love and expertise of medieval cosmology and Ward’s tying this to the ultimate reason behind the Chronicles. The result is a God-glorifying testimony to the order and grandeur of creation. Lewis’ aim! There are some great interviews at the end with Christian scientists, and a wonderful conclusion centred on the resurrection of Jesus as the beginning of the new creation. You can watch the BBC program here on BBCi, available for one week.