Saturday, April 21, 2007

Don't Forget The Resurrection!

I was extremely encouraged to read this post from this SGM writer Mark Lauterbach(HT: Pete Day). I've shared Ern Baxter's concern that the Resurrection is frequently neglected in evangelical emphases for that of the Cross. While I've never denied the vital importance of the Cross I have tried to explore the practical implications of a sole Cross-emphasis actually writing about this last on Easter Day. Here's a few key quotes from Mark Lauterbach's original post entitled "Cross-centered? or Resurrection Centered?":

"Richard Gaffin says that the Christian life is a resurrection life. That the cross includes the resurrection. I know one of the movements of our day is a call to be Gospel centered and cross-centered. I am part of that and agree with it! There is no doubt that the NT makes much of the fact that Jesus died on a cross and we are to preach Christ crucified. But as I read I remembered a conversation with a brother just a few days before, in which he asked me -- do we sometimes leave out the resurrection in our focus on the cross?

I think Wright clearly shows that neither the death on the cross nor the resurrection are good news in themselves . . . but they are inseparable, as they explain each other. Without the resurrection, the entire Christian movement would not have started ... Without the cross, the resurrection would have simply been a wonder, as someone emerges from the grave. But together they are the Gospel -- the One who was cruelly and unjustly murdered in the most humiliating way imaginable has been raised".

I love this point particularly;

"This means that the resurrection calls us to live life now, and all of life, for the glory of God. It is not a call to withdraw from this world. I simply do not get how radical this is . . . I domesticate this agenda, literally. I think I can hear the last words of the risen Christ as "Go ye, therefore, and build strong families and make local churches." But it is more than that -- it is making disciples of all nations, and teaching them to follow Jesus in all of life. And someday Jesus will be praised in every tongue and vocation in which he was cursed -- and all of life will be for his glory".

It reminds me of Stuart Townend's awesome hymn, "The Power of the Cross" and the line; "Death is crushed to death, mine is life to live". Why should we need as alleged lovers of the Word of God to seperate out the different aspects of Christ's ministry as of different value? Ern Baxter said that Christ lived an impeccable life, He died a decisive death, He rose victoriously, He ascended gloriously and now reigns supremely and pours out the Holy Spirit - His coronation oil - again and again. Let me close with a quote from Pete Day who sums it up excellently:

"In fact every part of the ministry of Christ is vital. The Incarnate One, the True Man who alone could stand in our place (and who is our example in life), became the Man upon the Cross - the Redeemer, who triumphed over sin, death, satan and hell and rose from the grave, to ascend (going before us to prepare a place for us, to intercede for us), to reign in glorious splendour, to pour out His Holy Spirit (His coronation anointing oil - Ps 45v7) upon His church, to govern the church as her exalted Head, and to return for a radiant church when His enemies are made His footstool".

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