The Resurrection and the Eschaton

20120408-093102.jpg

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Rom 8:19-23).

Today is the day we gather and celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God. He who went willingly to Calvary for the sin of His elect, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame”, this one rose from the grave, because God “would not allow his Holy One to see decay [οὐ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν] (Acts 13:35; cf. 2:27). There is no greater hope for the follower of Christ than in the resurrection of his Lord.

While we often think of the resurrection as bringing a future hope—the hope of heaven, eternity with Christ, etc.—we must not forgot what the resurrection brought to our world. What do I mean by this? Well, we live in tension, the tension between the already and the not yet. On the one hand the kingdom of heaven is here now. Eternity—resurrection life—is ours presently as followers of Christ. When Christ came out of that tomb he brought with him enteral life and a foretaste of what this will look like at the end of time. For example, Paul states: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Cor 5:17). This is not wishful thinking, this is reality! Because of the resurrection of Christ, the new life—resurrection life—has invaded our world of sin, death, and decay. What we long for, what we yearn for—”the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:23)—began at our regeneration. Paul makes this point when he proclaims:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:4-7).

All of this to say, the resurrection is more than heaven. It is more than the sweet by-and-by. It is the story of God redeeming his creation and making all things new! So, as we think about the resurrection of Christ, remember that you have been raised with Christ now! The same God who raised Jesus from the grave has also raised us from the grave, and one day we will see the completion of this amazing truth in all its glory and splendor. One day, the not yet will become the now, and the already we long for will be here! So we cry out “μαράνα θά!”

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!

15 Γνωρίζω δὲ ὑμῖν, ἀδελφοί, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ὃ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν, ὃ καὶ παρελάβετε, ἐν ᾧ καὶ ἑστήκατε, 2 διʼ οὗ καὶ σῴζεσθε, τίνι λόγῳ εὐηγγελισάμην ὑμῖν εἰ κατέχετε, ἐκτὸς εἰ μὴ εἰκῇ ἐπιστεύσατε. 3 παρέδωκα γὰρ ὑμῖν ἐν πρώτοις, ὃ καὶ παρέλαβον, ὅτι Χριστὸς ἀπέθανεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ἡμῶν κατὰ τὰς γραφὰς 4 καὶ ὅτι ἐτάφη καὶ ὅτι ἐγήγερται τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τῇ τρίτῃ κατὰ τὰς γραφὰς 5 καὶ ὅτι ὤφθη Κηφᾷ εἶτα τοῖς δώδεκα· 6 ἔπειτα ὤφθη ἐπάνω πεντακοσίοις ἀδελφοῖς ἐφάπαξ, ἐξ ὧν οἱ πλείονες μένουσιν ἕως ἄρτι, τινὲς δὲ ἐκοιμήθησαν· 7 ἔπειτα ὤφθη Ἰακώβῳ εἶτα τοῖς ἀποστόλοις πᾶσιν· 8 ἔσχατον δὲ πάντων ὡσπερεὶ τῷ ἐκτρώματι ὤφθη κἀμοί. 9 Ἐγὼ γάρ εἰμι ὁ ἐλάχιστος τῶν ἀποστόλων ὃς οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς καλεῖσθαι ἀπόστολος, διότι ἐδίωξα τὴν ἐκκλησίαν τοῦ θεοῦ· 10 χάριτι δὲ θεοῦ εἰμι ὅ εἰμι, καὶ ἡ χάρις αὐτοῦ ἡ εἰς ἐμὲ οὐ κενὴ ἐγενήθη, ἀλλὰ περισσότερον αὐτῶν πάντων ἐκοπίασα, οὐκ ἐγὼ δὲ ἀλλʼ ἡ χάρις τοῦ θεοῦ [ἡ] σὺν ἐμοί. 11 εἴτε οὖν ἐγὼ εἴτε ἐκεῖνοι, οὕτως κηρύσσομεν καὶ οὕτως ἐπιστεύσατε.
12 Εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς κηρύσσεται ὅτι ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγήγερται, πῶς λέγουσιν ἐν ὑμῖν τινες ὅτι ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν οὐκ ἔστιν; 13 εἰ δὲ ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν οὐκ ἔστιν, οὐδὲ Χριστὸς ἐγήγερται· 14 εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς οὐκ ἐγήγερται, κενὸν ἄρα [καὶ] τὸ κήρυγμα ἡμῶν, κενὴ καὶ ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν· 15 εὑρισκόμεθα δὲ καὶ ψευδομάρτυρες τοῦ θεοῦ, ὅτι ἐμαρτυρήσαμεν κατὰ τοῦ θεοῦ ὅτι ἤγειρεν τὸν Χριστόν, ὃν οὐκ ἤγειρεν εἴπερ ἄρα νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται. 16 εἰ γὰρ νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται, οὐδὲ Χριστὸς ἐγήγερται· 17 εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς οὐκ ἐγήγερται, ματαία ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν , ἔτι ἐστὲ ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν, 18 ἄρα καὶ οἱ κοιμηθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ ἀπώλοντο. 19 εἰ ἐν τῇ ζωῇ ταύτῃ ἐν Χριστῷ ἠλπικότες ἐσμὲν μόνον, ἐλεεινότεροι πάντων ἀνθρώπων ἐσμέν.
1 Corinthians 15.1-19

Sunday Thoughts on the #Resurrection

It is the resurrection that gives us hope that not only was Jesus victorious at the cross, but also of the new creation that was inaugurated in Christ! The cross is our entrance into this new creation; while we never forget the price paid, we are far too busy marveling at what is already, but not yet!

Verse of the Day: Philippians 3:20-21

20 ἡμῶν γὰρ τὸ πολίτευμα ἐν οὐρανοῖς ὑπάρχει, ἐξ οὗ καὶ σωτῆρα ἀπεκδεχόμεθα κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, 21 ὃς μετασχηματίσει τὸ σῶμα τῆς ταπεινώσεως ἡμῶν σύμμορφον τῷ σώματι τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ κατὰ τὴν ἐνέργειαν τοῦ δύνασθαι αὐτὸν καὶ ὑποτάξαι αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα.

The Beginning of the End: The Resurrection of Christ and the Eschaton

I wrote this post last Easter and repost it here again.

20120408-093102.jpg

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (Rom 8:19-23).

Today is the day we gather and celebrate the resurrection of the Son of God. He who went willingly to Calvary for the sin of His elect, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame”, this one rose from the grave, because God “would not allow his Holy One to see decay [οὐ δώσεις τὸν ὅσιόν σου ἰδεῖν διαφθοράν] (Acts 13:35; cf. 2:27). There is no greater hope for the follower of Christ than in the resurrection of his Lord.

While we often think of the resurrection as bringing a future hope—the hope of heaven, eternity with Christ, etc.—we must not forgot what the resurrection brought to our world. What do I mean by this? Well, we live in tension, the tension between the already and the not yet. On the one hand the kingdom of heaven is here now. Eternity resurrection life is ours presently as followers of Christ. When Christ came out of that tomb he brought with him enteral life and a foretaste of what this will look like at the end of time. For example, Paul states: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come (2 Cor 5:17). This is not wishful thinking, this is reality! Because of the resurrection of Christ, the new life—resurrection life—has invaded our world of sin, death, and decay. What we long for, what we yearn for—”the redemption of our bodies” (Rom 8:23)—began at our regeneration. Paul makes this point when he proclaims:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:4-7).

All of this to say, the resurrection is more than heaven. It is more than the sweet by-and-by. It is the story of God redeeming his creation and making all things new! So, as we think about the resurrection of Christ, remember that you have been raised with Christ now! The same God who raised Jesus from the grave as also raised us from the grave, and one day we will see the completion of this amazing truth in all its glory and splendor. One day, the not yet become the now, and the already will long for will be here! So we cry out “μαράνα θά!”