2 Timothy 2:8 – Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
The resurrection of Christ is a truth that is based both upon faith and history. The historical events that led to the crucifixion of Jesus, His subsequent entombment and bodily resurrection the third day are supported by occurrences that have been factually documented, and while the spiritual efficacy of what Christ purchased is only received and applied by faith, it nevertheless stands that Christianity is predicated upon historical reality and not philosophical meanderings. Take away the truth of the historical events of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and the Christian faith is left with no leg to stand on. Truly if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
Through the centuries, the historicity of the gospel accounts has been long scrutinized, critiqued and even outright denied by those that were the enemies of Christ. Many still dispute and argue against those things recorded by the gospel writers, seeking desperately to find contradictions or some point of weakness whereby they might cast doubt upon the reality of the gospels’ claims. This futile striving of a heart of stone endeavors to undo the hammer which is ready to come down upon it and dash the rock in pieces, yet the personal accountability to Him that is ready to judge both quick and dead is sealed and sure by virtue of His resurrection (He is Faithful and True). Yet to this day, there has never been a single argument against the resurrection of Jesus that has been able to put Him back into the tomb where He was laid by Joseph and Nicodemus. Guards were paid to propagate the lie that His body was stolen, religious men circulated it until it was a common tale among the people, and even Christ’s own disciples didn’t believe the morning the resurrection occurred. Nevertheless, the Christ lives both in the reality of His resurrected body and in the pages of history as a fact that the world is made to deal with in one way or another.
While the historicity of Jesus alone will not apply the saving blood to the sinner’s account, the fact of it is inextricably tied into the fabric of the human story. Entire dating systems converge with Him and the world we live in cannot ignore the impact of this Jesus whom we preach. He lives, and those that be of faith are blessed with the life that flows from Him! While the imaginative creators of the variety of gods worshipped among our Gentile relatives have found their resting place in the dirt, the Son of God Jesus Christ has conqueror death, stripped it of all its dominion, and ascended far above all principalities and powers to sit in heavenly places as the heir of all things.
Based upon these real and potent events that are identifiable in time, we have been given the spiritual verities of the wisdom and power of God through the divine revelation that has been perfectly worked out in Him. From start to finish, Jesus’ life perfected that which God spoke by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. In Him we have the divine Son of God meeting with the humanity of Adam to become the Son of man, and resident within that fashionable and manly tabernacle, the grace and truth of Jehovah filled David’s flesh to make an house and sit upon His throne. Rejected He was as Israel’s king, slain by wicked hands and blasphemed as an intruder, nevertheless, God raised Him up to sit on David’s throne and into His hand all power was given that He might subdue the nations under His sovereign rule.
The enactment of His adoption right as the Son of God with power has been declared by the Father in His resurrection, all angels in the heavenly host worship Him, and they are ever ready to be sent forth as His ministers, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God.
Yet in the secret counsels of the Godhead and unveiled in due time was the mystery of God’s grace in Christ for a purpose in longsuffering. In great mercy, He showed and shows His kindness toward us by the dispensing of His grace. As He reveals from heaven His wrath against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, He offers the free pardon of sin by the interposition of His own blood for our offences and declares that He was raised again for our justification. With it comes access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and the hope of the glory of God that seals to us exceeding riches of glory, and an inheritance with the saints in light. In this, we learn that we have a calling and conversation in heaven from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. We are seated together with him in heavenly places, and our labor in the word and doctrine gives us the vocational training that is well suited to the Father’s eternal purpose in Christ.
As He has taken His seat yet again in the heavenlies for the outworking of the Father’s will, we have made known to us the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles and the mystery of the Father’s will to reconcile all things in His Son. The pleasure of our Father is to give His Son the preeminence in all things, whether in earth or in heaven, and for this reason He waits patiently as that exceeding and eternal weight glory is worked.
Nevertheless, the day of grace will one day come to an end and the world will be made know to Him in His power and great glory. The Lamb that was slain will return as the Lion to slay, and His vesture will be dipped in the blood of His enemies as He treads the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. At that day all questions concerning His resurrection power will be quieted, and He will manifest Himself as both the King and Lord of glory.
The question then is, Have you placed faith in this Jesus who died, was buried and rose again for your sins? Have you trusted this Savior who offers His grace so freely? Have you come to rest your hope upon Christ crucified for your sins and raised again for your justification? The gospel, while historical, is also spiritual and vested with the power of God unto salvation. Its benefits are freely given to all that believe, and Christ’s work is counted to us for righteousness when we trust the gospel. It is not enough to realize that the historical Jesus died, or simply that He rose again—the matter is, Do you believe that He did that for you?
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 – For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 4:5 – But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.