Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Christian Fundamental Again

At this point, a few words should be written about the meaning of words. Some approaches to scripture often end up divorcing words from their natural meanings in context, thus "spiritualizing" or even negating what was intended to be communicated. It is extremely important that we don't allow such to cloud our perceptions of the biblical accounts of the resurrection (Matt 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-43; John 20:1-20).

The Bible reported that event like a newspaper reports a mugging: the authors attempted to state facts concerning an observed event in an accurately descriptive way. We need to hear their account as they intended to convey it, for only then can a choice be made to believe or disbelieve it. With that in mind, let's look at some of what was reported.

Jesus Died
One had to have been in live flesh in order to experience death. That which is ethereal doesn't die-- it may vanish in a wisp, but it doesn't die. Death leaves a corpse, which is made of the same molecules which before had been animated. Jesus, by dying, was proved to have been in real, living flesh. To deny that Jesus came in real flesh, and experienced real death, is to embrace the lies of the Devil and his antichrist.

Death Is Death
The biblical accounts do not report that Jesus swooned or only appeared to die, they say he died, expired, dead as a door nail. Some may try to discredit the poor ignorant bumpkins of that day and say they only thought he was dead, but that has it's own problems. First, the Romans were anything but bumpkins; second, the Jews made sure the event was explained as body snatching, not slinking away; and third, how could a crucified, beaten, blood-deprived man gain the strength necessary, unaided in the dark, to pick himself up, roll away the stone, and walk outside to face a brave new day? That would be a miracle more incredulous than the resurrection itself.

Jesus Rose From the Dead
I have to wonder sometimes if supposed Christians see Christ in heaven the way they see poor old Aunt Gladys in heaven: spirit with God, body in the dust. That is not resurrection, that is death! Jesus is not dead (spirit in heaven, body in, well, who knows?), but alive bodily in heaven, something like Enoch or Elijah. The real body that was dead as a door nail is alive forevermore, victorious over sin and death. As he is, so all those who believe will be.

The obvious tenor of the scripture is that the Apostles were absolutely certain they did not see a ghost, but Jesus alive and well after dying. We need to be just as certain through faith. Once so, our response should be a foregone conclusion, and then in the day of salvation we'll be just like him.

And I have just a little more to say...