Home > Encouragement > The Resurrection and the Inauguration of God’s Kingdom 4-17-14
Jesus said on His way to Lazarus’ tomb, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.”
(John 11:25-26, NASB)
Paul wrote to the Romans, “…do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore, we have been buried with him through baptism into death so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His Resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin, for he who has died is freed from sin.” (Romans 6:3-7, NASB)
Jesus’ Resurrection has been a pivot-point throughout history.  Author and Christian apologist Tim Keller, discusses the pivot in this way:  “If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that He said; if He didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what He said?  The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like His teaching, but whether or not He rose from the dead.” Timothy Keller*2, quoted from his book “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism”

 Oswald Chambers (1874-1917, author of “My Utmost for His Highest”) wrote, “”All of heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, hell afraid of it, while men are the only ones to ignore its meaning.” *3

 Present-day British Bible scholar and apologist N.T. Wright shares two thoughts that apply to the “meaning” that is often “ignored by men”:  “The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom.  It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven.”  N. T. Wright*1

And, “Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven.  That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.” N.T. Wright  *2

With this statement, Wright has drawn a proverbial “line in the sand” regarding whether “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” is a prayer for the here-and-now, with us – you and me – releasing the indwelling Christ through our mortal tents and thus touching the earth with the Hand of the Eternal Father…or not, as we continue to petition God for a future “coming-and-done-ing” in our lives, in the lives and world around us.

At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus stated, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.  I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.” (John 11:41-42, NASB)

Jesus was, of course, “connected” to the Father, being the very Incarnation and embodiment of “God with us,” Immanuel.  We arealso “connected” to the Father, as Jesus promised, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth…you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans…in that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you…” (John 14:16-18, 20, NASB)

Writer and theologian Dr. C. Baxter Kruger explains the final outcome of Jesus’ promise to not leave us “as orphans,” and the reality of “I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you”, this way:  “The ascension means that now and forever a human being, a Jew, a son of Adam, is face to face with the Father.  Now and forever, one from the foreign world of Adam lives in fellowship, indeed in utter union, with God the Father, sharing all things with the Father in the unrestrained fellowship of the Spirit….The ascension preaches to us that here in Jesus Christ the incarnate Son of God, the Fall of Adam and Eve has been undone,  Adamic existence has been thoroughly converted to God,  fundamentally reordered into right relationship with God…Fellowship, not contradiction or conflict, now fills the covenant… Truth, not the illusion of the evil one, now dominates the relationship between God and human existence in Jesus Christ.  The Christian church has always confessed that Jesus Christ is God come in the flesh, fully divine and fully human, God of God and man of man.  It is in thinking these two truths together that we come to the heart of the work of Jesus Christ.  The sum and substance of the work of Christ is that the eternal Son of God became human and lived out his divine sonship inside our fallen Adamic existence, and in so doing not only converted fallen Adamic existence, but also forged a real and abiding relationship, a union, between God the Father and fallen humanity.” *4  (italics added)

The Resurrection.  The Ascension.  Crucified with Christ.  “…it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”  (Galatians 2:20, NASB)

Selah.

*1 www.latintimes.com/resurrection-jesus-quotes-7