Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven
where moth and rust cannot destroy and thieves cannot break in and steal

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Rolling Stone

There are many weird things about Christianity and the Bible and all that stuff. Two that stand out for me today are these.

At Jesus’ resurrection, we read that the “Stone had been rolled away from the tomb.” In reality, the Greek for the word we translate as “rolled” means “Blown away,” “Cast out,” “Thrown away from.” Jesus didn’t just get up Sunday morning, yawn, stretch and cause the stone to grind its way backward in the trench. Jesus’ tomb was blown open so that witnesses could see in, observe the empty grave clothes still wrapped in cocoon fashion and know personally that Christ had risen. His was a victory appearance, victory over sin and death. Jesus rose from the dead in a manner that humans could see and verify the evidence for themselves.

Which makes the next point all the more strange. Why do Christians wear the symbol of the cross? Yes Jesus’ death is significant, but it was His resurrection that brought us into forgiveness as well as proving that one day He can and will provide for our own resurrection. In fact, the cross wasn’t even recognised as significant until almost 45 years after Jesus’ death. Until that time it was the RESURRECTION that held people’s attention.

“A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with him. Some of them asked, What is this babbler trying to say? Others remarked, He seems to be advocating foreign gods. They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.” Acts 17:18

“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:33

“The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead.” Acts 4:1-2

To stop talking about someone coming alive after having been crucified is one of those things that is a lot easier said than done. I understand completely why they were not willing to stop. It was THE event that divided history into before Jesus the Christ and after Jesus the Christ.

Fifteen years after Jesus’ murder, Paul wrote, “I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scriptures said and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive though some have passed away. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles and last of all He appeared to me.”
1st Corinthians 15:3-7.

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