08 April 2012

"...he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures..."

by Dan Phillips

(continued from here)

...how could the observers on earth know that this sacrifice had been accepted by the Father? How can you and I know that our sins are finally and fully dealt with by Christ‘s Cross? How do we know that the eternal plan worked?

Our answer comes with the aftermath.

Jesus Accomplished His Work by His Bodily Resurrection 


"Resurrection" doesn‘t mean anything unless it is a bodily resurrection. The Greek word very literally means to "stand back up." What is it that stands back up if not the body that had lain down in death?

So it was in Jesus‘ case. His body was nailed to the cross. His body died. His body was pierced with a spear, and shed blood and water (John 19:34). His body was taken down from the cross, wrapped in linen, and laid in a tomb (Mark 15:46).

If Jesus did not rise bodily, He did not rise in any meaningful sense of the word.

Ah, but what did the women come seeking on that Sunday morning? They sought His body for further burial treatment. And what did they not find? His body (Luke 24:3).

The body was missing, though the grave clothes were left behind (John 20:6–7).

And what was it they encountered that convinced them of Jesus‘ victory over death? The living, resurrected, glorified body of the Lord Jesus. In fact, though cults and false teachers have sought out ways to deny it, the historical narratives go to great pains to stress the physical, material reality of Jesus‘ resurrected body. He still bears the trophies of His contest (Luke 24:40; John 20:27), He can be touched (Matt. 28:9), He eats (Luke 24:41–43)—He has flesh and bones (Luke 24:39). Though His glorified body could be called a "spiritual body" (cf. 1 Cor. 15:44), it is a body, nonetheless.

But why was it important for Jesus to rise from the dead in a material body?

First, this is what Jesus predicted. At the very outset of His public ministry, Jesus announced that He would raise up the "temple" that the Jews tore down (John 2:19). Though His hearers thought He spoke of the physical temple building, He was speaking of the temple of His body (John 2:21). That body would be torn down; and that same body would be raised up. The same body that was whipped, beaten, and mortally
crucified, would rise (Matt. 20:18–19). If that did not happen, Jesus‘ prediction was false, and His whole case is undone.

Second, Jesus‘ bodily resurrection would prove to be the ultimate divine validation of Jesus‘ person and work (Rom. 1:4). Think it through. What would God have had to do to the dead body of Jesus in order to invalidate everything He said? The answer? Nothing! Simply let Jesus‘ corpse lie there dead, as corpses have characteristically done since Adam, and the entire structure of Jesus‘ claims would collapse with a horrendous crash. Jesus‘ resurrection is His Father‘s seal of approval on everything He said and did.

Third (and central for our purpose here), His resurrection shows that His sacrifice for us was accepted. As Paul puts it, Jesus "was delivered on account of our trespasses, and was raised on account of our justification‖ (Rom. 4:25 DJP ). "On account of"—in other words, the resurrection of Jesus attests the fact that God had declared His people righteous because of Jesus‘ sacrifice. We are not justified by His resurrection; His
resurrection proves that we are justified by His death.

Unless Satan can get Jesus back in the tomb—and I don‘t see that happening—I know that God sees me as righteous for Jesus' sake.

(from The World-Tilting Gospel, 128-130)

Dan Phillips's signature

5 comments:

dac said...

He is risen!

Bill Honsberger said...

My hope is built on nothing less!

Mike Westfall said...

He is risen indeed! Blessed Easter to all.

Rick Koenig said...

I never get tired of hearing this good news. Thank you, Dan.

Ryan Copeland said...

We must remember that it was Jesus Himself that died, not just his body. And yes, his body was raised, but it was changed as well, just as He promises us when we are raised. His 'new' body was a spiritual body that could appear as flesh and bone. He appears in the deciples midst and then disappears many times, so it is most certainly a 'different' body. I want to stress what I said at the beginning though. It was not just His body that died, It was He Himself. Some might disagree with this statement, but think about it. If his 'soul' or 'spirit' or whatever you want to call it did not die on the cross, than did He really die? If it was just his 'body' that died, than he didn't really die, did he? So, we can praise God because He and only He can raise the dead and He raised our Lord Jesus from the dead and will do the same to his followers when He returns! God bless