The greatest event of all time is the culmination of the incarnation, that is, the Resurrection of Christ. Many have divorced the work of Christ from His person. They emphasize what He did over who He is. But it is the personhood of Christ that gives efficacy to His saving act. The Eternal Son assumed our humanity in His one Person and what belongs to the Divine Nature is shared with the human nature of which He partook. We can, therefore, partake of the Divine Nature to the same extent to which He partook of ours. The ancient patristic doctrine refers to this as “Theosis”.
Others limit the scope of the saving work of Christ to what happened at the cross; they focus on His death. But when we look at the real significance of what happened on Calvary, we must look at the seamless connection that exists between the cross and the Resurrection. These are not two separable events. Although distinguishable, they are seamlessly linked. In their witness of Christ Jesus, the Apostles proclaimed the Resurrection as the sum of the Gospel. The Resurrection is the sum of the Gospel for all that it entails and its ramifications not only for humanity but for God Himself. In the incarnation, the Eternal Son became what He was not, that is, human, to fully assumed the consequences of Adam’s failures though He knew it meant His death. Having entered into Hades, the entire realm of sin and death, Christ touched what pertained to Adam’s fall to the furthest extent; whatever Divinity touches is healed.
Adam’s fall, his corruption or passability, is what corrupted human nature. We became entangled with the corruption of mortality. In theology, what the fall generally refers to is man’s stubbornness, his unwillingness to be receptive to God. He, therefore, lives in a state of alienation, in a shadow of turning, which is death. God created man to be in his image and after His likeness. Man is called to live in a vital union, joint participation, actively with God to receive God as His life. However, when man claims to live in the illusion of separation, stating that he is an independent self who will do to become what he designs within his mind as his image, there is nothing but death. Christ entered into this death. He entered into man’s failure to define himself and permanently united the human nature to the Divine Nature in His one person. In His Resurrection, Christ permanently engendered the humanity He assumed into the nature of God.
Many are deprived of resurrection consciousness. There is a significant lag in our capacity to grasp the riches of the Gospel because we bypass the Resurrection of Christ as God merely proving that Jesus was His Son. But this is not the case. There are three different words translated as Resurrection, raising or risen. These three words show us the reality of all things altered so drastically that the Apostle Paul had to use new words that had not been used previously to describe this unprecedented event.
Anistemi: It refers to a lifting up, an elevation, to be roused from sleep. Paul uses this word, for instance, in Romans 14:9:
“For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.”
Jesus Christ is the Lord of the living and the dead. He exercised dominion over death by succumbing to it voluntarily. When the true humanity of our Lord submitted to death in kenotic co-suffering love, that which pertains to God came into the realm of death dominating it. Thus, death died in the death of Jesus Christ. After three days and three nights, it resulted in His Resurrection. We’re called to be roused from sleep and to awaken in Christ’s own body, to awaken to the union with which God has apprehended us.
Egeiro: Apostle Paul uses this term with the prefix “sun”, hence the word “sunegeiro” to speak of us being jointly seated with Christ in heavenly places. Egeiro is used in the four Gospels to talk of the mighty acts of God. Throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus, when He would heal paralytics who were born with those conditions, He could look at them and say “rise up”, which is the word “egeiro”. It refers to a recreative miraculous even, inexplicable from the side of human agency. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is nothing less than the mighty acts of God.
Ex Anástasin: It refers to reversing the condition out of which Christ was brought. The term literally means to stand up again. This is the reversal of the fall. In Christ, man has stood up again in the original intention of God, the fall being divinely reversed. Out of death, God has produced life.
This article is an extract from the series, “The Greatest Event of All Time” by Dr. Shawn Smith. For the complete series, please, visit gcmonlinestore.com