Week_3_The_Nature_of_the_Resurrection - D. THE NATURE OF...

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D. T HE N ATURE OF THE R ESURRECTION When the women arrived at the tomb on Easter morning, they discovered that the body of Jesus was missing. They expected to find His body and were discussing the problem of rolling away the stone. Obviously, the disciples now fully understood what had happened. Only a complete examination of the Scriptures will reveal what really happened. The physical body that had died was given life. The body and spirit that separated at death once again were reunited. Jesus had subjected the powers of death to Himself and made eternal life possible to all who would believe. Before His death, He was subjected to the limitation of humanity ( kenosis ), but in His resurrected body He once again enjoyed His previous privileges. In addition to a physical renewal, there was a quickening of His spirit, and all who believe in Him enjoy a new spiritual position. Finally, Christ received His glorified body at the resurrection; the glory that He had in eternity past (John 17:5) was now added to His physical body. Concerning Christ’s restoration to life, Berkhof states, The resurrection of Christ did not consist in the mere fact that He came to life again, and that body and soul were re-united. If this were all that it involved, He could not be called “the first-fruits of them that slept,” 1 Cor. 15:20, nor “the firstborn of the dead,” Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5, since others were restored to life before Him. It consisted rather in this that in Him human nature, both body and soul, was restored to its pristine strength and perfection and even raised to a higher level, while body and soul were re-united in a living organism. From the analogy of the change which, according to Scripture, takes place in the body of believers in the general resurrection, we may gather something as to the transformation that must have occurred in Christ. i 1 . Resurrection—renewed life. There can be no denying that Jesus died physically on the cross. The Romans were professionals; they understood when a man was dead. When they came to break the legs of those on the cross, they realized that Jesus was already dead: “When they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs” (John 19:33). Later when they pierced the side of Jesus, the blood and water had began to separate, indicating approaching death (John 19:34). There is not doubt concerning the physical death of Christ. Jesus had predicted, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (John 2:19). By this prophecy, He was predicting both his resurrection and attributing its source to Himself. Jesus was responsible for raising Himself from the dead, but it was not His power alone. At Pentecost, Peter reminded his listeners that God the Father was also responsible, “Whom God both raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be holden of it” (Acts 2:24; cf. 13:30). Finally, the Scriptures also teach that the Holy Spirit was responsible for the resurrection. “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the
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Week_3_The_Nature_of_the_Resurrection - D. THE NATURE OF...

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