Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Cross And The Resurrection

James McGrath has this quote in his recent post from Marcus Borg via John Shuck:
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Quote of the Day (John Shuck)
"The way of cross is more than the way of resisting social, economic, and political injustices. But...the way of the cross is not less than that. "

-- John Shuck, "The Executed God: A Sermon"
Posted by James F. McGrath at 5:23 PM
Labels: cross, economic, injustice, John Dominic Crossan, John Shuck, Marcus Borg, Palm Sunday, political, resistance, sermon, social, theology

See: Exploring Our Matrix: Quote of the Day (John Shuck) and Shuck and Jive: The Executed God: A Sermon. Another good quote from John Shuck's post is:
To quote James Baldwin (The Fire Next Time, quoted in The Executed God, pg. 1):
If the concept of God has any validity or any use, it can only be to make us larger, freer and more loving. If God cannot do this, then it is time we got rid of him.

Anyways I believe Borg's quote ties the crucifixion and resurrection neatly together. Here is another quote from Borg on the Way Of The Cross from Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary:
"To take Jesus seriously is to follow him. To follow him is to participate in his passion. And his passion was God and the kingdom of God. The way of the cross leads to a life in God and participation in the passion of God known in Jesus."
It is easy to see that the crucifixion and the Resurrection event are two sides of the same coin or as The Seeking Disciple over at Arminian Today: The Resurrection Matters observes:
Each year around this time we in the Church of Jesus Christ turn our hearts toward the wonderful reality of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus is vital to our faith and, as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14, our faith depends on the fact of the resurrection. If Christ is not risen from the dead and His body is still in the tomb in Israel then our faith is in vain. We are believing a lie.

But if Christ is truly risen from the dead then our faith is not just faith in the teachings of Jesus but our faith is based on an actual, historical event taking place in our time-space in order to bring the truth of God to us. If Jesus is risen from the dead, everything changes. Missions matters. Worship matters. Prayer matters. Faith matters. Apologetics matters. Discipleship matters. Teaching my children the truths of Scripture matters.

But only if Jesus is risen from the dead does this make a difference.

The early Church stood on the resurrection of Christ. They were not delusional in their understanding of the living Jesus. In fact, the Gospels paint a picture not of willing Jews wanting their Master to rise from the dead but scared Jewish men and women who honestly believed that Jesus was dead (Luke 24:20-21). Take Thomas in John 20:24. Thomas stands in line with many others who would come after him who doubted that Jesus was risen from the dead but Jesus appeared to him and convinced him that Jesus was not a ghost or a vision but was in fact the risen Messiah (John 20:26-29). Peter himself said that the gospel was not words or visions or prophecies but was in fact based on two things: their eye witness accounts and the Scriptures (2 Peter 1:16-21). Paul the Apostle, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8, did two things at once. First most commentators believe that Paul was quoting an early Christian hymn or creed (vv.3-4) and then Paul gives eye witnesses to Jesus' resurrection (vv.4-8) that he says are alive (though some had died since Christ had risen) for the Corinthians to investigate. If Paul did not believe that Jesus was alive and that he had seen the risen Messiah, he would not have included living eye witnesses for the Corinthians to follow up with.
The resurrection matters. Does it matter in your life?

I agree as faith in the unseen Risen Lord is the hope which drives us even if we see but through a glass darkly. Also part of the change the resurrection bestows upon us is to practice the Way Of The Cross.

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