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Resurrection Supremacy

April 23, 2011

If Jesus is going to be supreme amongst us then we will need to articulate His supremacy in very specific ways.  We need a doctrine of supremacy that is comprehensive in scope and applicable to life.  Growing up, Easter always seemed to me like a strange day.  Often it was different than every other worship service the rest of the year.  I came to see the resurrection as an event that affects my future but not my present.  This writing is an attempt to describe the way that the resurrection asserts the supremacy of Jesus right here and right now.

The resurrection asserts the supremacy of Christ over the greatest of evils, namely death.  Death is the problem in our world that our secular world hardly even attempts to solve.  Modern medicine can extend life but it cannot make it eternal.  The best attempts our world has offered is cryogenics, the freezing of a corpse so that it might be “resurrected” by future scientific advancement.  That’s the best they can do?  If Jesus is resurrected then He is supreme because He has solved the greatest of human dilemmas.  The world’s attempt isn’t even a close second.

The resurrection advances the supremacy of Christ through the transformation of disciples.  The Bible offers a line of demarcation in the lives of the disciples and that line is the resurrection.  They were clearly different after they encountered the resurrected Jesus.  It makes sense doesn’t it?  If you see a dead guy who is alive, you would have to conclude that He is supreme (especially since He predicted it would happen several times).  You would have to conclude that this is the best thing you have ever seen and you would be pretty sure that you will never see anything better.  This changes you.  To witness a supreme act like the resurrection can result in nothing less than being transformed by making Jesus the supreme figure, purpose, power, and example for your life.  For examples of this check out Peter, James (brother of Jesus), the brothers Zebedee, and Paul (who met the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus).

The resurrection is applied to our spirit at our salvation thus empowering us to be capable of following Jesus.  Before we are saved, we are “dead in trespasses and sins.”  But God made us “alive together with Christ Jesus.”  In other words, the resurrection doesn’t just influence my death, it also transforms my life.  The resurrection infiltrates my life by birthing me spiritually.  Before I was a believer I was incapable of producing righteousness and following Jesus.  This is why it is ridiculous for believers to hold moral accountability over unbelievers.  But now that I am saved, resurrection has occurred to me spiritually and now I am capable of imitating Jesus.

The resurrection is supreme news.  We have the best news to announce.  If Jesus is alive then our greatest enemy is defeated.  I dare you to try to imagine news better than Jesus being alive.  What in the world can compare?  This means two things in the life of the believer.  First, hearing, knowing, and living with this supreme news creates in us immeasurable joy.  You can’t hear the greatest news in the world and not have some sense of joy about it.  Second, our supreme news defines and motivates our mission.  This news has to be shared with all people, all cultures, and all languages.  In fact, you could do a lot of good things with your life but if you have not shared this news then you have missed the best thing of all.  What else even compares to this mission if the resurrection is the supreme news ever told?  Let’s not waste our religious efforts and resources on inferior activities.  If it doesn’t share the supreme news in word and deed then why do it?

The resurrection creates communities of joy.  The resurrection not only affects Jesus.  It not only affects me.  It affects all who believe in Him.  If the resurrection is the supreme news of joy then I am bonded with all others who know Christ through our common experience of joy and our common mission to declare this supreme news.  That’s what makes Easter so incredible.  It is masses of people singing to the same supreme figure, experiencing the same joy of this supreme news, and preparing for the same mission to announce this news to every tribe, nation, and tongue on Earth.

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