The Resurrection Of The Lord Jesus The Central Fact In Christianity -- By: Henry G. Weston
BSac 57:228 (Oct 1900) p. 696
The Resurrection Of The Lord Jesus The Central Fact In Christianity
Christianity in its last analysis consists of two elements, a person and a fact—Jesus and the resurrection. In this, it is in striking contrast with every other faith. To religious systems born of man any person or fact is unessential. The character of their founders or promulgators does not affect their truth or efficacy. But take away Jesus from Christianity, and you have rendered impossible a life which must begin with trust in a person, and whose every breath is love to a Saviour and obedience to a Master. If the resurrection of Jesus can be disproved, if it can be shown that he is dead and not living, Christian faith is completely destroyed. It knows no life but in a risen Lord.
As this feature of Christianity is unique, so the person and the fact are both unique. This assertion, so far as it relates to the character and person of Jesus, has so frequently been made and illustrated, history and fiction have been so often challenged to produce a character even approaching the one presented in the Gospels, marvelous in its identification with humanity, yet marvelously separate, that it needs only be mentioned. It is not always remembered that the resurrection is equally unique. All other religious teachers and leaders are dead; of Jesus alone can it be said that he is living. For the resurrection is not synonymous with a future existence. Belief in a life beyond the grave is a permanent conviction of the race. It
BSac 57:228 (Oct 1900) p. 697
has prevailed always and everywhere. Mr. Buckle insists that it is a truth resting upon the universal instinct of mankind. No religion, however foolish, has ever fancied that the death of the body is the cessation of existence. It was not the immortality of Jesus that the apostles were forbidden by the Sanhedrin to preach, but his resurrection. The Athenians did not deride Paul’s presentation of man’s existence after the death of the body, for in that they believed; it was when they heard of a resurrection from the dead that they mocked.
The person and the fact are joined in the condition of our salvation: “If thou confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe with thine heart that God has raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” The resurrection is the basis of our acceptance: “It is imputed to us for righteousness if we believe on him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.” It is the ground for our justification: “He was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.” It is the source, as it is the standard, of all Christian living: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things that are above, where Christ is, seated ...
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