Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Divine Vindication Through the Resurrection

     Jesus of Nazareth was condemned to die by the religious leaders of His day.  The charge offered against Him was blasphemy, because He claimed to be the Messiah and the Son of God.  There was no evidence contrary to His claims, but the hatred that spewed out of the overly zealous self-righteous persecutors refused to see the truth.  Herod could find nothing wrong with Him.  Pilate could not find any fault in Him.  So the legal charge trumped up against Jesus was blasphemy, or speaking against God.  If His claims of deity were false then certainly He would have been blasphemous.  
     As He was suffering intense beatings, many assumed He was merely human.  While He was dying upon the cross, the crowd primarily agreed that He was a blasphemer.  After Jesus took His last breath and was buried in that borrowed tomb, it seemed as though He had been defeated.  However, something unprecedented occurred on the third day after His crucifixion.  Jesus was resurrected!  
     In the resurrection of Christ, one can see that His condemnation is divinely vindicated.  Romans 1:4 says that Jesus is “declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.”  Acts 13:33 is linked with Psalm 2:7 in heralding that God has raised up Jesus from the dead in order to proclaim that Christ is the divine Son of God.  Wolfhart Pannenberg wrote, “If this man was raised from the dead, then that plainly means that the God whom he had supposedly blasphemed has committed himself to him...The resurrection can only be understood as the divine vindication of the man whom the Jews had rejected as a blasphemer.”  
     In spite of the accusations offered against Jesus then, and the excuses for not following Jesus today, this fact remains:  Jesus is the living Lord.  He has been divinely vindicated by God the Father through the resurrection.  He demands our attention and He deserves our worship. 

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