Let me start by saying this, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is still the most significant event in human history. As an aside, in recent times there has been a push to replace the B.C and A.D. labels with B.C.E. and C.E. meaning “before common era” and “common era” respectively. The change is simply one of semantics-that is AD 100 is the same as 100 CE; all that changes is the label. The advocates of the switch from BC/AD to BCE/CE say that the newer designations are devoid of religious connotations and thus prevent offending other cultures and religions who may not see Jesus as “Lord.” The irony, of course, is that what distinguishes BCE from CE is still the life and times of Jesus Christ.
As N.T. Wright says, Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That after all is what the Lord’s prayer is about. Watchman Nee on the resurrection; our old history ends with the cross and our new history begins with the resurrection.
Let’s get Paul’s take on the cross and resurrection. In I Cor. 1:17-18 Paul writes; Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would be made void. For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I have a new appreciation for the cross as I know that that’s where the power is located. Jesus gave his life for the world and rose from the dead three days later. That’s the power source right there. All my focus and energy in doing the ministry stuff comes from that place. Romans chapter 6 tells me that when He died on the cross I died with Him and that I am now walking in newness of life and that sin should not reign in me. When we completely grasp that reality we are changed. We have an abundance of ‘clever’ speakers in this day but I’ll take the man or women that knows where their strength lies and where there power source originates. And although it looks and sounds different from in Jesus’ day it’s the power (our word dynamite) that sets the captives free. Gal 6:14; but may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world. The cross is and always has been the great separator. I have been separated from the world’s thinking and can totally accept that any thoughts other than God thoughts don’t interest me in the slightest. I can truthfully boast and brag on His goodness and continued love and care for me. He is a good God all the time.
Let’s get Peter’s take on the cross and the resurrection. I Peter 1:3-4b ‘to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away reserved in heaven for you.’ Jesus’ resurrection gives us a hope of a future inheritance but more importantly a present day hope for total breakthrough in every area of our lives. Just to get you thinking some, our inheritance is reserved in heaven and as Paul says in Eph. 2:6; that Jesus has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus. I’m just sitting together with him as Rev. 3-21 says ‘in his throne.’
Finally, let’s get Jesus’ take on the cross and resurrection. Luke 9:23-26; If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. Sounds harsh doesn’t it, but in reality weren’t our lives lost when we said yes to Jesus? My thoughts of doubt, insufficiency, fear, and the whole host of others were lost and not found as I live daily for his sake or cause. And what is that cause you may ask, well the answer is somewhat lengthy but it’s ok;
Eph. 3:14-21 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with might by his spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith that you being rooted and grounded in love may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the width, length, depth, and height and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages world without end. Amen. Selah.