Friday, February 24, 2012

The Resurrection: Vindication of the Son

Another excerpt from Michael Green's, Evangelism in the Early Church:

"When he (Jesus) died in agony, shame, and apparent failure on the cross, his disciples must have thought they had been mistaken, and that he was a fraud. The resurrection came to them as God's vindication of the claims Jesus had made. They saw the he was the 'designated Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead'. And they proceeded to announce these joyful tidings with tireless zeal and boundless enthusiasm. It spread like wildfire precisely because the first hearers well understood that this was the Messianic salvation which was at issue. It was not merely a matter of the atoning death of a great man: since the days of the Maccabees they had understood that the death of a hero for his people might have expiatory significance. Nor was resurrection, by itself, the fundamental thing. John the Baptist was rumored to have risen from the dead; Jesus himself had on occasion, it appears, raised folk from the dead without anyone supposing that there was anything Messianic about them. But when Jesus, Jesus who had claimed to bring in the eschatological salvation, rose from the tomb, that was a different matter. It was, as they put it, seen to be 'according with the Scriptures'. It was the vindication of the Suffering Servant, the ascension in glory of the Son of Man, the fulfillment of the prophecy to David through Nathan long ago that 'He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish his kingdom forever. I will be his father and he shall be my son.' And that was something to shout about. That was good news."

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