The Person and Work of Christ Part XIV: Christ in His Resurrection -- By: John F. Walvoord

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 120:478 (Apr 1963)
Article: The Person and Work of Christ Part XIV: Christ in His Resurrection
Author: John F. Walvoord

The Person and Work of Christ
Part XIV:
Christ in His Resurrection

John F. Walvoord

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the fundamental truths of Christian faith. As Robinson writes: “A renewed emphasis upon the resurrection is, however, relevant at this time. In Latin Christianity, the profusion of crucifixes focuses the eye upon the crucified, dead Jesus, leaving to the Evangelical Church a special responsibility for proclaiming the risen, living Lord. In American Protestantism, the weight of old liberalism still swings many from the bodily ‘physical’ resurrection of Christ witnessed in the New Testament to a kind of ‘spiritual resurrection’ at death, one befitting Plato’s society of souls in an idealistic universe. European scholarship is disentangling the biblical from the Hellenistic man, recognizing the body as also the handiwork of God, and the unity of the whole inner and outer man both in this life and in the age to come. Yet the influence of existentialism leads some of these scholars to present the death of Christ as the sole factual event of the kerygma, with the resurrection as an expression of the eschatological significance of the cross, a myth whose meaning is ‘real’ only in faith. The pessimism, resulting from inadequate presentations, can be lifted only by the proclamation of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ as factual occurrence, an act of God’s self-disclosure in truly divine dimensions.”1

The early disciples were impelled to bear their testimony for Christ because of their belief that Jesus Christ had actually died and rose bodily from the grave. James Orr has made the following comment: “A first fact attested by all witnesses is that Jesus died and was buried. St. Paul sums up the

unanimous belief of the early Church on this point in the Word: ‘That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried.’ The reality of Christ’s death, as against the swoon theories, was touched on before, and need not be re-argued. No one now holds that Jesus did not die!”2

From the standpoint of an apologetic for Christian theology, belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God stands or falls with the question of His bodily resurrection. As Paul expressed it in 1 Corinthians 15:17, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” The resurrection, therefore, is properly considered a proof of the person of Christ, His deity, Messiahship, and His power to save from sin. Upon the resurrection hangs the value and effectiveness o...

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