#25 JESUS CHRIST – RAISED AND GLORIFIED

In 1Peter 1:3 Peter wrote: ‘In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead...’. Now in verse 21 he makes a similar connection between the Christian hope and the resurrection of Christ:

‘Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your hope and faith are in God.’

Paul pointed out the critical significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in 1Corinthians 15:

If Christ was not raised the preaching of the Christian message, and the message itself, is useless [verse 14].

If Christ was not raised then Christian faith is useless [verse 14] and futile [verse 17].

If Christ was not raised then the apostles were false witnesses about God [verse 15].

If Christ was not raised then Christians are still unforgiven [verse 17].

If Christ was not raised then all Christians who have already died are lost [verse 18].

If Christ was not raised then Christians are to be greatly pitied because they have entrusted their life and their eternal destiny to a lie [verse 19].

Paul also stated that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead powerfully declares that he is indeed the Son of God [Romans 1:4].

In all of this Paul and Peter are agreed: that the Christian hope is grounded on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But Paul, like Peter, also points us to a further essential truth: that Christ was exalted and glorified after his resurrection. He was not raised from death only to die again. He was raised and glorified. His resurrection was not merely a restoration of his human life. Nor was it only that his mortal human body was transformed into an immortal, imperishable human body.

His incarnation, life, death and resurrection were always going to be followed by his restoration to his rightful position of divine authority and glory.

God ‘raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet ...’ [Ephesians 1:20-22].

‘God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’ [Philippians 2:9-11].

Jesus himself looked forward to this restoration:

‘And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began’ [John 17:5].

And wanted all who believe in him to see that glory:

‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world’ [John 17:24].

In the previous meditation we saw that through Jesus Christ humans can truly know who God is and believe in him. But all of that stands or falls on the validity of Jesus’ claims to essential equality and oneness with God the Father. And those claims stand or fall on his resurrection and glorification. The fact that Jesus is now seated in the position of extreme authority at the right hand of God the Father, with all the angels, powers, etc, subject to him, confirms that he is indeed the eternal God.

Peter, James and John saw a glimpse of this divine glory of Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration [Matthew 17:1-9]. Paul was blinded by it on the road to Damascus [Acts 9]. John was overwhelmed by it in Revelation 1:12-18.

For the rest of us, we wait for his coming ... when he will be revealed in all his glory. Then we will see him as he really is [Luke 17:30; 2Thessalonians 1:7; 1Peter 4:13; 1John 3:1,2]. Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. Jesus Christ, our glorious Lord.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2017