Tuesday, March 26, 2013

McLaren on the Resurrection

Dear brethren, on the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is suspended everything which makes the Gospel good news. Strike that out, and what have you left? Some beautiful bits of moral teaching, a lovely life, marred by tremendous mistakes about Himself and His own importance and His relation to men and to God; but you have got nothing left that is worth calling a gospel. You have the cross rising there, gaunt, black, solitary; but, unless on the other side of the river you have the resurrection, no bridge will ever be thrown across the black gulf, and the cross remains ‘dead, being alone.’ You must have a resurrection to explain the Cross, and then the life and the death tower up into the manifestation of God in the flesh and the propitiation for our sins. Without it we have nothing to preach which is worth calling the gospel....

If He whom we believed to be our sacrifice by His death and our sanctification by His life has not risen, then, as we have seen, all which makes His death other than a martyr’s vanishes, and with it vanish forgiveness and purifying. Only when we recognise that in His cross explained by His resurrection, "we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins," (Col. 1:14) and by the communication of the risen life from the risen Lord possess that new nature which sets us free from the dominion of our evil, is faith operative in setting us free from our sins.

Expositions of Holy Scripture: Volume 13, by Alexander MacLaren

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