Summary: A look at Christ’s resurrection through the New Creation imagery of John, with a look forward to our resurrection.
I thought we’d start this morning with the top ten list of excuses the Roman guards might have given for the empty tomb.
10. "I thought he was the pizza delivery guy leaving. No wondered he smiled when I tried to give him a tip!"
9. "I was putting another denarius in the chariot meter!"
8. "With the earth shakin’ and all the bright lights, we figgered we was abducted by aliens!"
7. "Since the tomb was already empty when the stone was rolled away, I’m afraid you’re speaking to the wrong department. Let me give you a BR#245-A-Res form and direct you to Burial Services."
6. "As we’ve already stated several times before, according to the legal definition of "escape", we emphatically deny any wrongdoing in this matter!"
5. "We was HYPNO-TIZED! Centurion Bobicus is still clucking like a chicken!"
4. "You told us to secure the tomb as best as we know how (Mat. 27:65). We did! May I suggest an assessment of our current training program?
3. "All I know is, this better not mess up my early retirement package!
2. "Hey! What’d you expect? Did you tell us we were guarding the Son of God?- NOOOOOOOOO!"
1. "What’s the big deal? He said He’d be back!"
Jesus Christ superstar – why is it typical? about the life of someone ends with his death – but misses the point it stops before the resurrection
N T Wright said
"Why did christianity arise, and why did it take the shape it did? The early Christians themselves reply: We exist because of Jesus’ resurrection…. There is no evidence for a form of early Christianity in which the resurrection was not a central belief. Nor was this belief, as it were, bolted on to Christianity at the edge. It was the central driving force, informing the whole movement."...
The resurrection stands at the very heart of Christianity. The cross is important as we looked at on Friday, although much more could have been said about the centrality and importance of the cross, those of you who were there weer probably happy that it was not. But the fact remains that it would have been useless without the resurrection which followed. It is so central that the whole Christian calendar is centred round it. The Jews worshiped God on the sabbath which was the last day of the week due to the fact that God rested on the seventh day. We worship on the first day of the week. This because the early Christians used to meet together on the first day of the week to celebrate and remember the resurrection. In the gospel of John, John explores the idea of the resurrection through a particular angle which we will look at, the idea of new creation.
Makeover programs my fiancée loves UK style and all the house and garden makover programs, they take an old room and some old stuff and completely remake it into something beautiful (yes, this was one makeover program that did actually produce something nice) Battered trumpet and trombone -> lights, old shelves -> into base for the lamp, floor -> floor boards. New creation, making something new out of the old.
This theme first begins write at the start of the book in John 1:1, where we are told “In the beginning was the word ...”, which is clearly meant as an echo of Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God ...”. What follows are then some ideas of a new creation Jesus is the new creation, the theme is then echoed in the story of the water turned to wine. The theme does not come up in the rest of the book until we come to the crucifixion and resurrection. Suddenly this whole new creation idea comes back to the fore. Again John’s style is to not only tell the story but to choose the details carefully and tell it in such a way to bring to mind echoes of other things and familiar stories, these help us to understand what is really going on.
The first echo we find is when in the trial before Pilate, when Pilate finds Jesus innocent, he presents Jesus to the crowd with the word “Here is the man”. This takes place on the sixth day of the week, the day man was created. Like on so many occasions in John’s gospel what is being said goes beyond the simple statements as understood by the person making the statement but has a deeper meaning that John intends for his readers to understand. Jesus is being presented as the real man, the new creation, the true Adam who was made in the image of God and is God’s representative on earth.
On the 7th day God rested and Jesus remained in the tomb. However, on the 8th day a new thing happens, a new creation. Jesus is raised to new life. There is a kind of two stage process here. Firstly, when Jesus came to earth to be born as a man, then he was the new creation, but he was also identifying with the old creation. Becoming like us, so that he could save us. He delivered that old humanity up to death. But he came through death to new life. And that new life was the second part of the new creation. Now the new creation is made complete.