“A cleft has opened in the pitiless walls of the world, and we are invited to follow our great Captain inside.” -C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”
Category Archives: The States of Christ
Modern Theories Are More Mythical Than the Old Ones…
“It will not do … to say that Jesus’ disciples were so stunned and shocked by his death, so unable to come to terms with it, that they projected their shattered hopes onto the screen of fantasy and invented the idea of Jesus’ ‘resurrection’ as a way of coping with a cruelly broken dream. That has an initial apparent psychological plausibility, but it won’t work as serious first-century history.
We know of lots of other messianic and similar movements in the Jewish world roughly contemporary with Jesus. In many cases the leader died a violent death at the hands of the authorities. In not one single case do we hear the slightest mention of the disappointed followers claiming that their hero had been raised from the dead. They knew better. ‘Resurrection’ was not a private event. It involved human bodies. There would have to be an empty tomb somewhere.
A Jewish revolutionary whose leader had been executed by the authorities, and who managed to escape arrest himself, had two options: give up the revolution, or find another leader. We have evidence of people doing both.
Claiming that the original leader was alive again was simply not an option.
Unless, of course, he was.” -N.T. Wright, Who Was Jesus?
What the Resurrection of Jesus Tells Us about The End
“When the barman rings the bell and calls ‘Time!’ it means that closing up has started. Any remaining business needs to be done now. Very soon it will be too late. In the resurrection of Jesus, God has called ‘Time!’ on the world. The end-time judgment has begun: a man has been raised from the dead. Now is the time to do business with God, to get in the right with him. Soon it will be too late.” -Sam Allberry, Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life, pg. 129
Epochal Elucidations: Once More, What is Pentecost?
“The controlling point in the position taken here is that Pentecost is to be understood first of all as part of the once-for-all accomplishment of redemption (historia salutis) rather than as a part of its ongoing, continual application (ordo salutis). Obviously the two are intimately related and inseparable, but they must not be confused. To do so necessarily jeopardizes the absolute sufficiency and finality of Christ’s work. As I have already tried to show, the baptism with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is a unique event of epochal significance in the history of redemption. Therefore it is no more capable of being repeated or serving as a model for individual Christian experience than are the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, with which it is so integrally conjoined as part of a single complex of events (see again Acts 2:32f.).” Richard Gaffin, Perspectives on Pentecost: The New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, pg. 22.
Does Jesus’ (Continuing) Heavenly Intercession Matter for Our Justification?
Yes. Yes, it does. Here are some helpful thoughts from Richard Gaffin:
“But here Paul does not stop with his death. In the matter of Christ’s work that is pertinent to our justification, he does not punctuate his reference to Christ’s death with a period. ‘More than that…’ he continues [Romans 8:34]. Is more than Christ’s death, past and definitive as it is, integral to our justification and even necessary for it? ‘Yes’ is Paul’s apparent answer, for he goes on to speak of his resurrection with its enduring consequences. He points his readers to what is presently the case, and in this passage at least that is where his emphasis lies: on the continuing intercessory presence of the resurrected Christ at God’s right hand ‘for us.’
For Paul, justification is bound up with this ongoing intercessory presence, in the sense that our remaining, infallibly, in ‘the state of justification’-our not being separated from the love of God in CHrist, not even by death or whatever the future brings (vv.38-39)–depends upon this continuing and unfailing intercession. Christ, exalted to God’s right hand, is the exhibition of that finished and perfect righteousness that is ours as it is reckoned as ours. So, his presence in that place of ultimate and final judgment, as the righteousness which he ‘became for us…from God’ (1 Cor. 1:30), is the permanently effective answer to any charge brought against already justified believers–that ‘answer,’ it should not be missed, that is provided by God the Father out of his great love for the elect.”
Richard Gaffin, By Faith, Not by Sight, pg. 122
Jesus’ Resurrection as His Justification
“In the light of the immediate and broader context of Paul’s teaching, that connection [between Jesus’ justification and his resurrection] is best understood as follows. As the representative sin bearer and righteous substitute (Rom. 3:25; 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21), in his full obedience culminating in his death (Phil. 2:8), Christ’s resurrection is his own justification in the sense that the resurrection is God’s de facto declarative recognition, on the ground of that obedience, of his righteousness (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30). As an event, his resurrection ‘speaks,’ and it does so judicially, in a legal manner. For Christians, then, Christ’s justification, given with his resurrection, becomes theirs. When they are united to the resurrected and justified by faith, his righteousness is reckoned as theirs, or imputed to them.” Richard Gaffin, By Faith, Not By Sight, pg. 97
Illustrations: The Resurrection of Christ
“The resurrection of Jesus is the guarantee and demonstration of what is to come for those who trust in him. Someone once said it was like watching slow-motion footage of a dam bursting. At first there is only a slight bulge in the dam wall as the water presses against a weakness in the structure. Then a crack appears, followed quickly by a small spurt of water. The spurt becomes a jet and before long the entire section of dam gives way and the whole lake empties through it. It started with just one small spurt. But in a way that small spurt guaranteed that the rest was to come. Where it went, the rest was sure to follow. The same is true of Christ and those united to him: where he goes we will follow. In his resurrection he is the first of many.” -Sam Allberry, Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life, pg. 92