The Risen Jesus is the Lord

 Christ is risen! 

48100304658_093e5db70c_wMost assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:24-29) 

32879393473_ba420de5f7_wChristianity was born not because followers of Jesus considered him to be the Messiah during his lifetime, but because many of them experienced him after his crucifixion and death as more powerfully alive than before, as sharing, indeed, the very life of God, a life that he in turn made available to them through the gift of the Holy Spirit. The resurrection of Jesus was not regarded as a simple continuation of his mortal body through resuscitation—a historical event—but as a new form of existence as the “life-giving Spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45) who could touch and transform all other human bodies. It ended one world and began another: “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:16; Gal 6:15). By virtue of his resurrection, then, Jesus is much more than a Jewish messiah; he is a new Adam (1 Cor. 15:45; Rom 5:12—21), the firstborn of a new humanity (Rom 8:29; Col 3:11). A careful reading of the entire New Testament suggests that the resurrection experience involved both Jesus and his followers, took place not only on the single day later known as Easter but continuously, and consisted of the presence of the risen Jesus among his followers through the Holy Spirit. Corresponding to the experiential dimension of possession of the Holy Spirit in the community was the conviction that “Jesus is Lord,” that is, he now shares the life of God and is the source of the Spirit by which they now live (see 1 Cor. 12:3).

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The claims made about Jesus were extraordinary. A new sect gathered in his name, not because he was an effective political leader or a persuasive teacher, but because—despite his shameful and violent death by crucifixion—they experienced him as the source of a life that transformed the very structures of human existence. We can get some sense of this as we consider three of the designations for Jesus in the New Testament…. By these designations—Christ, Lord, and Son of God—Jesus’ followers distinguished themselves from other Jews. (Luke Timothy Johnson, The Creed: What Christians Believe and Why it Matters, pp 11-13). 

 Indeed, He is risen!