Precious Jesus

"Afresh, precious, precious Jesus, I resign this body to You, for doing or suffering, for living or dying. Will You accept it? Will You use me for Your glory more than heretofore, that You may have some little return for all the benefits You have done to me? Oh, do grant this request; my heart longs for it, my spirit pleads for it; and "if You will, You can." You know the hot temptation of which I am the subject. Bring Your glory out of it, and keep me from the evil, and it shall be well." - Ruth Bryan

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Perhaps the most neglected and even maligned doctrine of recent years is the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Can anyone remember a clear, cogent, and powerful message on this doctrine? Having tasted many of the 'flavors' of Christianity offered in His Name today it is safe to say that never once did anyone give more than a passing mention of His resurrection. Even the fabled "Easter" sermons could hardly be given more than a D- (most a clear F) because they reduced this greatest of events in earth's history to a 'ho-hum' necessity of the day, rather than present it as it truly is: the very power of God, the defeat of all His enemies, and especially the demise of death itself. Much ado is made of the crucifixion and rightfully so, but to exclude the resurrection (whether through ignorance or on purpose) is eternally dangerous. Any presentation of the Gospel that fails to trumpet the resurrection is at best incomplete, and boils down to 'another gospel' that was not birthed in the mind and heart of God. Romans 10:8-10 speaks plainly enough of the requirement of the belief that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead in order for salvation to be authentic, but how will anyone know this if he has not been told (Rom. 10:14)?

There are many things that set the Gospel far and above all of man's idolatrous religions. The Virgin birth, the fact that God (Jesus Christ) took on human flesh, the miracles, the unassailable wisdom of Christ, the sinless life of the Savior, and on it goes. But the one thing that sets Jesus Christ far above all of His would-be imitators is the fact of His resurrection. Many may have died for their 'cause' but none claim, nor could they show any proof, that they were raised from the dead---but Christ did, Acts 1:3; John 20 &21. The resurrection is essential because without it there is no Gospel. His death by crucifixion, the shedding of His precious blood, even His burial would become meaningless if He did not triumph over these events by His resurrection. Paul makes this crystal clear in 1 Cor. 15:12-17. Everything, no, EVERYTHING hinges upon the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rev. 13:8 states that the Lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world. Before creation, in the mind and heart of the Trinity, the Lamb of God would die and be raised again for the salvation of His people (see also 1 Peter 1:20). [One of the finest examples of predestination to be found in Scripture.] Rom. 1:4 says that Christ "was declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." Acts 2: 23 & 24 tells us of the death of Christ that He was "...delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up having loosed the pains of death, BECAUSE IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE SHOULD BE HELD BY IT." 2 Cor. 13:4 "For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God." The resurrection, the power of God, definitely synonyms, one does exist without the other, and both are indispensable to the Gospel.

So who raised Christ from the dead? The Father (Acts 2:24, 1 Peter 1:21, Rom. 8:11, 1Cor. 6:14 and many others); the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 3:18) and by the Lord Jesus Himself (John 10:18, & 2:19). Nothing is ever done by just one person of the Trinity. They always work in total concert with each other, always in agreement, never is there a change of plan.

Also, of the many times that Jesus told His disciples of His impending death He always told them that He would be raised from the dead, too. Although they never understood what He was saying, they did remember later of His promise to be raised from the dead. In the Book of Acts all the 'sermons' where the crucifixion is mentioned, the resurrection follows quickly, mostly in the same sentence. Why we have allowed this doctrine to slip away from us and not make it the focal point of our speech is beyond comprehension. The resurrection IS the power of God and without it all else is meaningless. May the Lord direct our mind, heart and pen to please Him in all matters.

One more thing not to be neglected: Col. 2:11-15 speaks of our newly found life in Christ that He accomplished by His death and resurrection. These verses also speak of the 'disarming' of the principalities and powers (Satan, the wick one) in which Christ made a "public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it." This He did when He rose from the dead, not while on the cross. On the Cross the Lord Jesus was somewhat the public spectacle, but for all eternity the resurrection will remind the enemies of God and His Christ that they are doomed.

The resurrection of Christ was a source of great joy to His disciples, I wonder how much joy it brings to our hearts today

1 comment:

lyn said...

Well written post brother. It seems Christ's resurrection is only thought of on 'Easter', and then it's overshadowed by bunnies and colored eggs. Thank you for focusing attention on this essential doctrine that has been buried along with many other essential doctrines.