We by revelation have seen the bridge over and through death has been laid down. It is no longer a barrier. With the resurrection of Jesus Christ there is now one of us on the other side of death. The only human being to have conquered death is rightly King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus Christ of Nazareth ascends to take up His rightful place. Unto us a King is born . . . The King has risen from the dead . . . The King sits at the Right hand of the Father in victory over all that humanity could throw at Him. Yahweh is Lord! Yahweh has died! Yahweh has risen from the dead! Yahweh is King! We have to take great care not to lose the enormous implications of this breathtaking event.
The Apostles were at pains to lay out the significance of this event to everyone everywhere. They placed themselves in the midst of their communities to show them that a new community of God had been inaugurated by God Himself in Jesus Christ. There was no barrier, no bridge to cross, no stairway to climb and no right of passage. God had done this utterly staggering thing for His creatures and has placed them where He wants them to be. He came to His own and was not received by anyone anywhere, not even by His own disciples. He was condemned to death at the hands of His creatures. Nevertheless, God raised Jesus from the place of the dead showing who He truly was in Himself. To the ancient community who received this revelation meant they knew they were wrapped up in whatever this Man had done and included in God’s miraculous gift to them. In Jesus they heard His story but more importantly they knew it was also their story and they were intrinsically included in it and a vital part of it. We have to be careful to emphasise that we are now raised up in Jesus Christ and are now part of the community of the Triune God without our lifting a finger to make this amazing thing happen.
We might liken the impact of the resurrection to shedding the Light of Life into our clouded and darkened beings. It unravels the impacts of our decaying beings restoring it to the way it ought to be. The resurrection is eternity breaking into our fallen time and sanctifying it into real time, what we commonly refer to as “eternity”. What we have been robbed of has now been recompensed through our recreation in Jesus Christ to the same status and position in Him where receive an inheritance on a par with Him far beyond anything we could ever hope or dream of. The resurrection is eternity breaking into our existence stretching far back into our human history to put into place what was planned from the very beginning in the heart of the Father. It also stretches forward into the future pushing all things towards what God as Father, Son and Spirit has destined from before the creation of the world. It stretches down to the darkest depths of our depraved beings far below embracing us in the loving embrace of God and lifting us up into the heights of God in absolute intimacy with Himself. Get this: The resurrection means God has us all in His loving grip and nothing in all creation can ever break His grip of love on us.
The resurrection is an historical event closing the great divide between eternity and time. It is the eternal God who stepped into corrupt human history and making our world part of His world. In addition, God makes peace with our world so that the two domains become one, i.e. God is truly with us, Immanuel. God came as Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth in a real and physical way. So real was Jesus’ humanity that other human beings struggled to realise this so very ordinary looking human being was no less than the extraordinary God their Bible testified to.
This extraordinary God is an actual part of human history and this human history is also the history of God. God is written in the oracles of human history as an event in our time but is also an event in eternity at the same time. What this means is the atonement and redemption are not just some religious ordinance done in airy fairy spiritual way. Atonement and redemption is an historical event carried out by God who is both Priest and Sacrifice, the Offerer as well as the Offering done deep within the depths of our human existence. It is a union of humanity with God where the dark and death ravaged being of humanity is united with the fullness of the Being of God and the two become “one”. The being of death is put to death and recreated into the Being of Life. Human beings now share in the divine Life of the Being of God who at the same time is sharing His Being with our humanity as a human being. If it is interpreted any less than this reality then we have no gospel to speak of.
In terms of what has been reconciled and redeemed, we need to take the perspective of what the Redeemer of the world really means. If it does not have any real impact on us in our real present time in our life as we are living within our communities penetrating the very fabric of our society with all its institutions, structures, if it is merely limited to the so called spiritual realm and not the earthly realm, then what Jesus Christ has done is no big deal at all. Wherever the ravages of darkness, depravity of sin has penetrated, the work of God in Jesus Christ has also penetrated and redeemed. There is not one aspect of creation that is outside the saving work of Jesus Christ. Whatever is infected by sin has been disinfected by Christ.