The Inseparable Wonders of Redemption
The RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST was a violent intrusion into human history. God was the intruder. He stepped into history by raising the body of Jesus from that grave. Up to this very point in history, man seemed to be in charge. Now it was evident that God had always been in charge.
It is so important to recognize that the RESURRECTION did not stand alone. The RESURRECTION was, indeed, the grand climax in the story of Jesus Christ but everything he had already done was also of great significance. His birth, his preaching, his miraculous healing, his raising of the dead – all of these remarkable actions in his life were leading up to this grand event.
Most significant of all was that series of acts which he performed at the end of his earthly life – his death on the cross to redeem us from our sins was not merely something evil men did to him. Much more than that, it is what Jesus did for us, an absolutely indispensable work that this Son of God/Son of Man performed so that our sins could be forgiven. The death of Jesus had to be inseparably joined to his RESURRECTION to secure our justification. This is why these two events are joined in Romans 4:25, “…who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
Two more acts of Jesus are just as inseparably joined to his death and RESURRECTION. Those acts of Jesus are his ASCENSION TO GLORY and his OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT on the day of Pentecost. In his ASCENSION TO GLORY Jesus presents us to God as forgiven sinners whom he purchased with his own blood, enabling us to live in eternal communion with him. Because he died and rose on our behalf, he is able to present us to God for this glorious destiny. Finally, we should see the OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT on Pentecost as the first grand magisterial act of our Lord Jesus, giving to us new life through the transforming grace of this blessed HOLY SPIRIT.
All four of these wonderful works of our Lord Jesus Christ are both absolutely inseparable from one another and absolutely indispensable to our salvation. There really should not need to be any need to argue this point. Simply to see how these four acts of our Savior fit together in scripture should be enough to convince us. Of course it all remains a great mystery to us, but not the kind of mystery that a detective tries to solve in a novel. It is a mystery like a sunset – so beautiful that we stand in awe, transfixed by its grandeur, amazed beyond words that God would love us so.
I have to go one more step. While we are looking in amazed wonder at these four wonderful acts of redeeming love, we have one more event that is just as inseparably joined to these four. It is the Second Coming of Christ. The Second Coming is a still future event, but it is just as tightly attached to these first four as each of them are attached to each other. The Second Coming is the ultimate climax of this awesome series of events that our Lord performs for us. Through this grand climactic event, we will be carried by his grace into eternal communion with the living God.
Our Lord Jesus Christ exercises his Lordship over us by performing all five of these great acts of REDEMPTION in our behalf. Please do not misunderstand me. These are not the only things that Jesus does for us. He is constantly at work in our behalf providing an infinite number of loving, caring acts in our behalf. I emphasize these five because they are right at the heart of his gracious work for us. They are like a deep fountain flowing from the depths of his infinite love for each of us, his adopted children.
How should we respond to this magnificent revelation of the Savior’s Redemption? There can be no question that any true understanding of this wonder will produce in us the most profound thanksgiving, the deepest and purest kind of gratitude and love for our Savior. We will be moved from our hearts to serve him, to honor him, adore and praise him with all our hearts. Our obedience to his commands will not be legalistic subservience but will flow spontaneously from our love for him. This is a life-style that we should call RESURRECTION LIFE.