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Alive Willy-Nilly In Jesus (via Robert Farrar Capon)

When Jesus brings the dead back to life in the Bible the events are not resurrections. All those returned to life eventually went to a grave.
But the power of life that Jesus exercised demonstrates the completeness of human need and the presence of a life in him that can meet all that need.

Jesus came to raise the dead: not to idle those who were half-immortal anyway into some other slightly improved life but to take those who had completely lost their grip and give them back every last one of the days that he, as their resurrection and their life, had always held for them. He never met a corpse that didn’t sit right up then and there because, although it may have been dead as a doornail on its own terms, it was alive willy-nilly in him and just couldn’t help showing it.
When Jesus came to raise Lazarus, the dead man’s sister Martha had her doubts. Like the rest of us she could imagine eternal life only as something out there – as a blessing to be achieved only after the protracted clanking of some religious or philosophical contraption. And therefore when Jesus told her her brother would rise again, the furthest think from her mind was that it would happen on the spot: “I know,” she said; “he’ll make it at the last day.” But what Jesus in effect said to her was: “Wrong! He’s made it now. I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, even though he’s dead, will still live. And whoever lives and believes in me can’t possibly die in eternity – because in eternity is exactly where I’ve got him for good.” Lazarus, in short, might lose his own grip on his life but he could never shake loose of Jesus’. Ergo forth he comes when the Word who holds him speaks his name.

Robert Farrar Capon, The Youngest Day, Mockingbird, 2019, pg 47-48.


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The Resurrection Verifies The Centrality Of The Cross (via Fleming Rutledge)

The resurrection life is central to Christian experience, but the resurrection life derives its meaning in the completed work of the cross.
From Fleming Rutledge:

What then is the resurrection? It is the vindication of the crucified One. The resurrection doesn’t cancel out the crucifixion as if it were only a passing episode to be noted briefly (or not) on the way to Easter. You here today are blessed because you know, or you have suspected, that Good Friday is not optional. You understand, or you are on your way to understanding that the Day of Resurrection finds its meaning from the cross. The resurrection does not reverse the crucifixion. The resurrection vindicates the crucifixion (vindicate, meaning to verify, confirm, authenticate). The work of Jesus is brought to completion on the cross. That’s what “it is finished” means. The Father and the Son together, in the power of the Spirit, are saying to us, the work that the Father gave the Son to accomplish is consummated, completed, finished as he dies. The saying is just one word in Greek: tetelestai. The Latin is particularly good: consummatum est. So you see, the resurrection does not cancel out the cross. It verifies and confirms that the cross was the main event.

Fleming Rutledge, Three Hours, Eerdmans, 2019, pgs 67-68.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 22

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 22

57.
Q. What comfort does “the resurrection of the body” give you?
A. That after this life my soul shall be immediately taken up to Christ, its Head, and that this flesh of mine, raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and be conformed to the glorious body of Christ.

58.
Q. What comfort does the article concerning “the life everlasting” give you?
A. That, since I now feel in my heart the beginning of eternal joy, I shall possess, after this life, perfect blessedness, which no eye has seen nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, and thereby praise God forever.


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On Needing Resurrection Power To Endure Suffering

In John 13 Jesus tells Peter “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
Jesus is speaking of his death on the cross and the resurrection life that will be shared as a result.
Peter will learn that his own suffering would consume him without resurrection life within him.

Paul speaks of this in Philippians 3 when he writes in verse 10 “that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death”.
Jesus suffers, and is resurrected.
Because of his suffering and resurrection, for Jesus’ disciples the order is reversed.
We know the power of his resurrection, and because of that we are able to endure the sufferings that follow.

We could not endure going where he went, until he had first gone there alone.
Having gone and triumphed, we can now go there in his power.


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Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 17

Heidelberg Catechism – Lord’s Day 17

45.
Q. What benefit do we receive from “the resurrection” of Christ?
A. First, by his resurrection he has overcome death that he might make us share in the righteousness which he has obtained for us through his death. Second, we too are now raised by his power to a new life. Third, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge to us of our blessed resurrection.


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Jesus And The Easter Effect (via Bryan Jarrell at Mockingbird)

An article at Mockingbird that reflects on the point that Jesus’ resurrection has a far more profound impact than someone simply coming back from the dead:

Reading the resurrection stories in the gospels, there are plenty of themes that the four authors want to emphasize. One among them is that the resurrection was a bodily resurrection—scars were preserved, fish was digested, hands were placed in wounds. Another is that the resurrection was an embarrassment to worldly powers, with heavy stones moved, Roman soldiers terrified, and religious authorities spreading cover-up propaganda. Equally as important to the story, however, is that The Resurrection is an act of divine love to the undeserved. Jesus appears to weeping women, terrified men, doubters, runaways, people who don’t know their bibles, and disciples who quit the business and went back to their day jobs. It’s almost as if a qualification for meeting with the resurrected Jesus is being a really bad disciple of Jesus.
Which is to say, The Resurrection isn’t just that someone rose from the dead. The reanimation of Lazarus didn’t inspire a women’s rights movement, nor did the resuscitation of the Rabbi’s daughter inspire a generation of self-emptying plague doctors. The good news is that the one who rose from the dead is, specifically and uniquely, Jesus of Nazareth, friend of sinners, love incarnate, son of God, and full of grace. It’s this particular Jesus that caused the disciples to reconsider time and space and Sabbath, and also, love and forgiveness and the entire nature of the divine. Replace this Jesus with anyone else, and the whole movement falls flat.

Read the whole post at Mockingbird.


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His Heart Beats by Andrew Peterson

His Heart Beats by Andrew Peterson.
The opening track of Resurrection Letters Volume 1.
It’s the Saturday after Good Friday, but Sunday’s coming…