The vindication of resurrection

By Dave Henning / January 19, 2022

“The vindication of resurrection is both the reversal and the result of the condemnation of the crucifixion.  The darkness of Good Friday brings about the sunrise of Easter.  This is how God works.  This is the Great Reversal of history and the New Testament bears witness to it throughout.”- Timothy Keller

“And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name.”- Philippians 2:8-9 (ESV)

In Chapter 5 (“The Great Reversal”) of Hope in Times of Fear, Timothy Keller cautions against viewing God as a romantic who roots for the underdog.  Of course, God is a loving God.  But there’s more going on in the Bible’s pattern of reversal than sentimentalism.

Furthermore, Duke New Testament scholar Richard B. Hayes notes three ways Jesus’s ministry in the book of Mark is so strange and startling:

1.  God reversed the positions of insiders and outsiders.  Thus, God’s invasion of the world shaped an inversion.  Hayes explains:

“Those who are in positions of authority and privilege reject Jesus and the message, even Jesus’s own disciples [are actually shown to be] slow to understand his teaching.  Others, however . . . receive the gospel gladly, for their need is great.”

2.  Mark’s gospel redefines the nature of power and the value of suffering.  Hence, Jesus chooses the powerless over the powerful.  And those who abuse power, like Herod and Pilate, find themselves pawns of forces outside of their control.  Indeed, Jesus sacrifices power in love and exerts that power to change things.

3.  Mark’s version of this more life – profoundly ironic.  Finally, Pastor Keller stresses, contrary to the popular view, God’s more than a cosmic rule-keeper who smites those who choose not to obey Him and showers blessings on those who obey.  Because to recognize that God works in unforeseen and counterintuitive ways leads toward a humble spirit and open mind.

Today’s question: How does the vindication of resurrection bring light to your darkness?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “True wisdom and true power – Great Reversal”

About the author

Dave Henning

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