Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
The Many Triumphs of Christ’s Resurrection
A Conclusion without an End
A Conclusion without an End
However, God's fullness of blessing toward man stopped when Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of the Garden of Eden. When man adopts a sinful orientation toward God, not honoring God as God, in the things he does and what he does towards others, breaking God's laws of life, he puts himself under God's judgment (Rom. 1:21, 22). The farther the person walks away from God, the further a person departs from God's blessing and nears God's judgments: until a man repents, his sins bar God's blessings: "…your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that He will not hear" (Isa. 59:2).
Once a person truly becomes Christ’s disciple, the sin barrier is removed and that one comes into the place of blessing: “…God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities” (Acts 3:26). “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31, 32). “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death…That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Rom. 8:2, 4)
Because Christ’s resurrection is the climatic work of the Gospel, i.e., the work of paying for man’s sin on the cross and putting his sin in Christ’s tomb, the place of God’s forgetfulness, the way is clear through these triumphs of His resurrection. God can once again pour out blessing of eternal value according to the believer’s stewardship. “…without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he i rewards them that diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6) “Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward” (1 Cor. 3:13, 14). The Lord Jesus shall say to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:23)
Mankind needs triumph over sin and death. We have no hope “…without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). While each part of the Gospel of Christ's reconciling work has its place and function, Christ's resurrection is the climax of his redemptive work on Earth! As important as the cross work of Christ is, without His resurrection, it cannot save! The cross work would not be able to accomplish forgiveness of sins. In the New Testament, Christ's resurrection appears nearly twice as much as His cross. Christ's work on the cross is the payment for sins, but His resurrection is His triumph! It accomplishes much more than simply forgiveness! Indeed, without his resurrection, His death on the cross and burial accomplish nothing.
"And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished" (1 Cor. 15:17, 18). When fully considered, the triumphs of Christ's resurrection hold fabulously more benefits than His cross work and His burial, as blessed as there are. While His cross work pays for sin, it does not give new life as His resurrection does. Without the resurrection of Christ, sins cannot be forgiven, for His death in payment for sin’s sting would not have been completed! Further, the conquering of the human sinful nature would not have transpired (Rom. 8:2-4) for without Christ’s resurrection, sinner’s nature could be transformed. In the Old Testament, there is an unending report where men find forgiveness, but their sinful natural nature leads him to sin again and again. In which case, they must offer another sacrifice for forgiveness. If their basic attitude of life is not righteous, they become as those who have no righteousness before God!
"When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousness shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it" (Ezek 33:13). After Israel, their kings, priests, and people kept falling away from God and sinning, again and again, even after asking and receiving forgiveness, but not repenting permanently, they have broken His covenant received through Moses. God’s solution: He promised a new covenant: “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, says the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33)
Because the Jews/Israel as a nation, from Jerusalem to Rome, rejected Christ (John 1:11; Acts 28:17-28), all who receive the New Covenant (Testament), Gentiles and Jew, become a new people (Eph. 2:19, 20) for they have been grafted into the salvation promised through (Isa. 53; Rom. 11:19-32) Jesus, the Messiah, who lives triumphantly forever!
Related reading: The First Triumph; The Second Triumph; The Third Triumph; The Fourth Triumph; The Fifth Triumph; The Sixth Triumph; The Seventh Triumph; The Eight Triumph