Posts Tagged Resurrection

The Foundation of our Faith

Yesterday we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have noticed, however, in my own life and in the church a great lack of emphasis on the resurrection. It is in fact the very foundation of our faith. Just listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:

“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (Emphasis Added)”

Not only there, but all across scripture you find the significance of the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ; they are not mutually exclusive. What the first accomplished, the other proved.

So I want to expound upon a few of the incredible things the resurrection of Jesus Christ achieved. This is by no means a comprehensive list and for brevity’s sake has been shortened from my original study; but I hope it will bless you as it did me when I studied it.

1.       It proved He was who He said He was. “…declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead…” (Rom. 1:4)

When Jesus walked this earth, He claimed to be the Son of God. It was for this (supposed) blasphemy that He was slain. Those watching mocked Him, saying, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” Yet Jesus didn’t answer His accusers with a word; He answered them with the undeniable testimony of the resurrection, appearing to the disciples and 500 after. The Roman centurion said at His death, “Surely this was the Son of God”; how much more would he have said that if he had seen the resurrection? Jesus was no mere man, no mere teacher; He was everything He claimed to be: the Son of God, the Messiah, sent from heaven to save His people from their sins.

2.       It proved His defeat over sin, leaving it in the tomb, and won life abundant now for those who believe. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Paul expounds upon the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ throughout Romans 6. I am struck by the profound depth of the simple act of baptism. It’s not just being submerged under water; it’s being submerged in Christ. As Christ went to death, He slew sin in us, our old man, the flesh. And in the tomb it has stayed. When He returned to life, He brought us with Him so that we might live in new and true life. As the well known verse states, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, no longer must we walk according to our old patterns of life trapped in sin. On top of that, we can have life, peace, and joy in Him. He doesn’t just remove the old; He replaces it with something new, something radiant and beautiful.

3.       It proved that Christ has the power over death, that death shall one day ultimately be undone, and that we shall enjoy life everlasting with Him forever.  “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:53-55)

I agree with Charles Spurgeon when he said that 1 Corinthians 15 was perhaps the most eloquent chapter in the Bible. It is a chapter of the hope of resurrection life with Christ for all eternity. It is the chapter that details the ultimate destruction of Death itself. How great this hope we have is. 1 Peter 1:3-4 says, “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you…” It is this inheritance that we shall one day be brought to through the gates of death. For those who believe, death is not the end; it is merely the beginning into something far greater and far more wonderful than anything this life can hold. This is the hope of Christianity, and it is not some vain hope. It is not like the farmer’s hope for rain or my hope I’ll get the things I want. Those hopes might not be realized; our hope in Christ is rock solid. Nothing can shake it or move it. It is a hope based on a fact.

Do you have this hope? Do you want this hope? Do you want joy and peace and life in Christ, here and now? He is who He said He was: the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior. If you turn to Him with your whole heart, you shall not be disappointed.

Yesterday we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have noticed, however, in my own life and in the church a great lack of emphasis on the resurrection. It is in fact the very foundation of our faith. Just listen to what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:

“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. (Emphasis Added)”

Not only there, but all across scripture you find the significance of the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ; they are not mutually exclusive. What the first accomplished, the other proved.

So I want to expound upon a few of the incredible things the resurrection of Jesus Christ achieved. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but I hope it will bless you as it did me when I studied it.

1.       It proved He was who He said He was. “…declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead…” (Rom. 1:4)

When Jesus walked this earth, He claimed to be the Son of God. It was for this (supposed) blasphemy that He was slain. Those watching mocked Him, saying, “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” Yet Jesus didn’t answer His accusers with a word; He answered them with the undeniable testimony of the resurrection, appearing to the disciples and 500 after. The Roman centurion said at His death, “Surely this was the Son of God”; how much more would he have said that if he had seen the resurrection? Jesus was no mere man, no mere teacher; He was everything He claimed to be: the Son of God, the Messiah, sent from heaven to save His people from their sins.

2.       It proved His defeat over sin, leaving it in the tomb, and won life abundant now for those who believe. “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)

Paul expounds upon the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ throughout Romans 6. I am struck by the profound depth of the simple act of baptism. It’s not just being submerged under water; it’s being submerged in Christ. As Christ went to death, He slew sin in us, our old man, the flesh. And in the tomb it has stayed. When He returned to life, He brought us with Him so that we might live in new and true life. As the well known verse states, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, no longer must we walk according to our old patterns of life trapped in sin. On top of that, we can have life, peace, and joy in Him. He doesn’t just remove the old; He replaces it with something new, something radiant and beautiful.

3.       It proved that Christ has the power over death, that death shall one day ultimately be undone, and that we shall enjoy life everlasting with Him forever.  “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:53-55)

I agree with Charles Spurgeon when he said that 1 Corinthians 15 was perhaps the most eloquent chapter in the Bible. It is a chapter of the hope of resurrection life with Christ for all eternity. It is the chapter that details the ultimate destruction of Death itself. How great this hope we have is. 1 Peter 1:3-4 says, “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you…” It is this inheritance that we shall one day be brought to through the gates of death. For those who believe, death is not the end; it is merely the beginning into something far greater and far more wonderful than anything this life can hold. This is the hope of Christianity, and it is not some vain hope. It is not like the farmer’s hope for rain or my hope I’ll get the things I want. Those hopes might not be realized; our hope in Christ is rock solid. Nothing can shake it or move it. It is a hope based on a fact.

Do you have this hope? Do you want this hope? Do you want joy and peace and life in Christ, here and now? He is who He said He was: the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior. If you turn to Him with your whole heart, you shall not be disappointed.

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Fantastic Friday’s Feature: Andrew Peterson

I’ve decided to start something new on my blog. There are many people, books, and the like that I want to share with you, dear reader, but feel it’s not appropriate for my usual Monday post. So in addition to the aforementioned postings, I want to start featuring the many things that have made an impact on me in some way, shape or form. Thus, the Fantastic Friday Feature is born. And who better to start us off than that “Fool With a Fancy Guitar” Andrew Peterson?

Andrew Peterson is perhaps my favorite Christian musician. He is a masterful lyricist, wrapping words together that tell grand stories and evoke powerful emotions, music and poetry flowing together. Unfortunately, he isn’t as well know as some of the other artists on the air; but somehow, I don’t think that bothers him. His purpose isn’t to please the petty people who run radio stations, but to glorify Jesus Christ, writing songs that lead listeners deeper into Him. No matter how much I listen to his music, I never get tired of it; every time it feels fresh, new, and just as enjoyable as it was at first; perhaps even more.

I own four of his albums, which are not all of the songs he has written. I can only tell you about these four, then, but I imagine all his songs are as good as these. Andrew Peterson has also written some books, known as the Wingfeather Saga, which I have not read. If I do, and they are as I would expect, you, dear reader, may expect them to be featured.

These are the four albums I own:

Behold the Lamb of God, Counting Stars, The Far Country, Resurrection Letters Vol. II

Behold the Lamb of God: The True Tall Tale of the Coming Christ – The title was inspired by C.S. Lewis, who called Christianity a “True Myth”; meaning that all the stories, legends and tales Lewis had read before contained shards of truth; but this one, though like the legends in its epic grandeur, was actually true – that makes it the best Tale of all. This album is basically a journey through the Old Testament, speaking – sometimes loudly, sometimes softly – of a coming Savior, leading up to its culmination in the birth of Christ, Emmanuel: God with us. One of the best (and most fun) songs from this album is “Matthew’s Begats”, but this album truly needs to be listened from start to finish to truly appreciate it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3u18qNpEE7k

Counting Stars – The songs on this album are ballads, containing some of the most beautiful pieces. The digital booklet which came with the album when I bought it on iTunes closes with what has become one of my favorite quotes: “There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.” –J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings. This album also features the only song with a music video, “Dancing in the Minefields”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gs3fg_WsEg&ob=av2e  (Apologies for the channel this appears on; it’s the only version on Youtube, though)

Also, two more of my favorites, “In the Night” and “The Reckoning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ynV2Fm9Qpc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYyuD0EMqsA

The Far Country – The easiest way to describe this album is by saying it is the grander themes of Narnia and Middle-Earth put into song. My favorite songs on this album are “The Far Country” and “Little Boy Heart Alive”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcfj8A2-0g8

I cannot find a sample of “Little Boy Heart Alive”, which is most unfortunate for you, dear reader, for I own it and can enjoy it as much as I want. You’ll just have to trust me on it, or find it yourself.

Resurrection Letters, Vol II – He explains this album the best himself: “These songs are bound together by the theme of resurrection in our lives and in the world around us. It wasn’t until we were recording the album that I knew I wanted to tell a bigger story, and that this would be part two. Part one is Christ’s resurrection, which made a way for ours; it was the turning point in the Great Story. I’m currently working on the songs that will comprise Resurrection Letters, Vol. I. These many years of waiting will only be a sentence in the story. This long day will come to an end, and I believe it will end in glory, when we will shine like suns and stride the green hills with those we love and the One who loves. We will look with our new eyes and speak with our new tongues and turn to each other and say, “Do you remember the waiting? The long years, the bitter pain, the gnawing doubt, the relentless ache?” And like Mary at the tomb, we will say: “I remember only the light, and the voice calling my name, and the overwhelming joy that the waiting was finally over.”

“All Things New”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tnsby_4kk

“Hosea”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBYw3-1KSoc

That’s Andrew Peterson. Ever since I discovered his music a year ago, I have enjoyed it thoroughly. I hope you shall as well.

Blessings.

 

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