Hello, everyone. This blog has moved to JOHNVOELZ.COM!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Jesus Makes Us New

As we continue in our series on “Images of Atonement” at Westwinds, I have a busy weekend ahead of me. I am excited though. This weekend, David is out of town and I will be speaking as well as leading worship.

I will be speaking on Jesus “making us new” through the lens of resurrection. The "newness" motif shows up in many songs from my generation. The atonement images of "newness" are popular ones.

“Resurrection” is a great word. We usually only talk about it—specifically— on Easter Sunday. But this word is used over 40 times in the New Testament.

Many dismiss “the resurrection” by saying that lots of people have near death experiences, there wasn’t a coroner at the cross to really make sure Jesus was dead, a resurrection isn’t really that impressive and modern medicine will achieve that in a few short years, and if Jesus really raised from the dead—he would have been seen by the Chinese, etc.

Or, they will say lots of people have been raised from the dead—so big deal.

You know, they are right. The Bible records quite a few resurrections. However,

1. Someone always called them from the grave by the power of Jesus’ name and for His glory.
2. Nobody walked out of their grave clothes.
3. They all died again (even poor Lazarus. I don’t even want to worry about how I’m gonna die the first time).

Without a resurrection, there would be no Christianity. Christianity rests on a miracle we call the resurrection. If Jesus didn’t rise, He is still dead. If He is still dead, we have no Savior, no hope.

The resurrection is the miracle of miracles.

The Bible is a story of resurrection/new life from beginning to end.

The greatest demonstration of God’s power in the OT, the standard of God’s power, is found in the story of God delivering His people—Israel and bringing them into a land of promise—giving them an identity, a name, new life. In the NT, we have essentially the same story.

Jesus wasn’t specifically talking about “a resurrection” as an event when He said He is the “resurrection and the life.”

  • He wasn't talking about Lazarus’ resurrection (or He would have said, “I am the guy who can raise him”)
  • He wasn't talking about His own resurrection (or He would have said, “I am the guy who will be resurrected).
  • Jesus made a statement about Himself. I AM THE RESURRECTION. Not—I can do them, not—I will do it, not—I have the power to do this, but I AM THE RESURRECTION! This statement not only says something about Jesus, it says something about the possibilities for us all.
There is way more going on with the idea of “resurrection” in scripture beyond life after death. Certainly resurrection holds a promise of an afterlife and death only being a comma. AND,

There is a huge connection between resurrection and quality of life.

We will discuss Paul’s statements on “the power of the resurrection.” And, as always, quite a few stories.

This one is near and dear to my heart. As a Christian who wasted too many years in a mopey, depressed, woe-is-me-a-worm-of-a-sinner, beat-down, guilty existence . . . I am happy to speak about new life any chance I get.

You can listen and watch the live broadcast at 10:00 and 11:30 EST right from the Westwinds page. Please join me on the web if you are not already joining us in person.

blog comments powered by Disqus