What does the resurrection of Jesus prove?

If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  — I Corintians 15:17 
In Fifty Ways Jesus Came to Die,  John Piper says that Jesus’ resurrection didn’t merely follow His death, it was the seal of God’s approval:

 Now what is the relationship between this shedding of Jesus’ blood and the resurrection? The Bible says he was raised not just after the blood-shedding, but by it. This means that what the death of Christ accomplished was so full and so perfect that the resurrection was the reward and vindication of Christ’s achievement in death.

Jesus’ death so satisfied God’s wrath that his resurrection was not the final payment but the reward for and vindication of that death. We can rest assured knowing that the shedding of Jesus’ blood fully covers our sins and that now he lives forever on our behalf.

  
  

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A meditation: The utter helplessness and hopefulness of death

I awake, and I am still with you. — Psalm 139:18b

I can’t do any better than this post from Tyler Kenney at the wonderful Fighter Verses blog. I share it in full here, but I would hope that you visit there, bookmark it, subscribe to it and learn to love the Word of God:

David’s words about waking up to God remind us of that day when we, like all flesh, will be tucked one last time into our earthly beds, returned to rest in the dust from which we came until the day of resurrection.

In his poem, “The Naked Seed,” C. S. Lewis considers our utter helplessness in death but also the hope that waits for those who have God’s Spirit:

My heart is empty. All the fountains that should run
With longing, are in me
Dried up. In all my countryside there is not one
That drips to find the sea.
I have no care for anything thy love can grant
Except the moment’s vain
And hardly noticed filling of the moment’s want
And to be free from pain.
Oh, thou that art unwearying, that dost neither sleep
Nor slumber, who didst take
All care for Lazarus in the careless tomb, oh keep
Watch for me till I wake.
If thou think for me what I cannot think, if thou
Desire for me what I
Cannot desire, my soul’s interior Form, though now
Deep-buried, will not die,
— No more than the insensible dropp’d seed which grows
Through winter ripe for birth
Because, while it forgets, the heaven remembering throws
Sweet influence still on earth,
— Because the heaven, moved moth-like by thy beauty, goes
Still turning round the earth.

Don’t be cowards: Christ rose so we could get on mission

Matt Chandler, who pastors at The Village Church in Texas, gave this admonition to his congregation on Easter Sunday as part of his message entitled “The Call to Mission.” He wanted them to think about what the resurrection of Jesus means in how they live their lives. In other words, since Jesus didn’t just die for our sins but rose, what does it mean? It is a sharp but helpful point he drives home:

Ladies, how many Bible studies are we going to do, I am just saying, can we maybe run some of the plays instead of just studying them? Men, how many Bible studies we gonna do, how much you going to study before you start to play? I mean that’s what makes the thing so stupid down here. Everybody can talk it, nobody wants to engage anybody with it. Or at least very few of us do. 

Why? ‘Well, cause I have a lust issue.’ Well OK, submit to Christ, get in recovery, and live on mission, it will reveal all that stuff, it will be horrible, God will just rip it out of you and replace it with His grace and mercy, it will be awesome in the end. I mean if you’re waiting till you’re perfect to live life on mission you’re going to die without much mission. 

It’s coming! Do you get this? Do you get that 2000 years ago, in fact farther back than than He told Abram, “This is how it’s going down.” and it has stayed true to the line right up till now where a massive portion of Africa has become believers, a massive portion of China has become believers, South America blowing up with the gospel. 

The gospel is penetrating the world, do you know how this ends? With you and me in front of Him with the Kingdom of God, new heaven, new earth coming down, no more injustice, no more pain, no more sorrow, God’s redeemed, God’s elect, God’s Kingdom, Kingdom of God, established! Now do you think anybody is going to give a trash how much money you have right now? How much comfort you have right now? Who’s cool and who’s not? Who drove what and who didn’t? Who was well liked in the neighborhood and who wasn’t? You think ANY of that is going to matter? No one will care! But a lot of people will be embarrassed.

Chandler points to the book “Total Church”  where Steve Timmis and Tim Chester encourage people to imagine that they are a part of a church planting team in a cross-cultural situation in some other part of the world and answer the following questions:

  • What criteria would you use to decide where to live?
  • How would you approach secular employment?
  • What standard of living would you expect as a pioneer missionary?
  • What would you spend your time doing?
  • What opportunities to share the gospel would you be looking for?
  • What would your prayers be like?
  • What would you be trying to do with your new friends?
  • What kind of team would you want around you?
  • How would you conduct your meetings together?

Chandler says their point is that we tend to think of missional living as something that just missionaries in foreign countries do instead of what we should all be doing. That is the challenge for all of us.

‘I Have Seen The Lord.’ Do you see?

The resurrection of Jesus is viewed skeptically outside the church and, sadly, even within it in some corners. The resurrection of Jesus matters today because it means everything about who we are and where we are going. From the Easter message delivered this past Sunday by John Piper at Bethlehem Baptist Church:

(I)t was God’s intentional design not for the risen Christ to be seen by everyone—not even in the day when it happened. And not today, as much as we might wish we could! His intentional design is: He appeared repeatedly and with many proofs (Acts 1:3) to a limited group of people whose job it was to bear witness in what they said and what they wrote so that everyone who hears or reads this witness will be able know the assurance that God provides for the world about the resurrection of his Son. That’s the way God designed for us to know.

If you think this does not matter to you, remember, those who are in Christ—that is, who believe on him, and belong to him, and receive forgiveness and reconciliation from him—will be raised with him. And Paul says in Philippians 3:21 that Jesus “will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” This is not a UFO, or irrelevant life on another galaxy. This is what will happen when God judges the world by a man, Jesus Christ.

If you belong to him by faith in him, you will receive a body like his, which will be suited to see him and enjoy him and enter finally into the new heavens and the new earth where you will spend eternity admiring God in all that he has made. And this world that we love so much, compared to that one, will be like a candle compared to the sun.

Here’s the issue: Do you see? In verse 8 it says, “Then the other disciple [John], who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed” (John 20:8). What did he see? What did he believe? Jesus wasn’t there—just some cloths that he left behind.

Compare this to Mary in verse 18: She has met Jesus in the garden and spoken to him. She returns to the disciples and says, “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:18). We don’t have Mary’s direct evidence. We are more like John in the tomb—there is evidence, and either we see through it or we don’t. The issue is: Do you see?

i-have-seen-the-lord