Recently, I went to the apologetics315 blogspot to find some apologetics MP3s to listen to. While there, I got a link to a ministry in the U.K. called Slipstream where Gary Habermas was speaking on the resurrection. The request was that on Thursady, Christian bloggers should write on the resurrection. Well, it’s Easter weekend and we’re going to interrupt our current Trinity study to look at the resurrection. New readers of the blog are invited to stick around afterwards and continue diving with us into the deeper waters of the Christian faith. For now, here are the other blogs you can read that are to be writing about the resurrection.
If you haven’t heard Gary Habermas speak on the resurrection, I urge you to do so. I also invite you to go check the blog where I commented on a debate between Bart Ehrman and the next big name in the defense of the resurrection, Mike Licona, who co-wrote with Gary Habermas “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” I have no doubt that Mike knows the history well and the problem with the debate was that it was more a philosophy of history debate than a history debate. Nevertheless, Mike is a force to be reckoned with and will continue to be such. A link to that blog is here:
As for Slipstream, a link to its ministry can be found at the side.
Now it’s not my goal to write exclusively on the resurrection today, but I plan to take us through bit by bit. Today is a noted day for Passover celebrations however. As I walked through my town, I would sometimes pass a local winery where I’d see signs advertising that wine was available for the Passover. This is the defining moment in Jewish history. It marked their establishing themselves as a nation and becoming the covenant people.
It’s also around this time that Christ died, and that is no coincidence.
So when Christ institutes the Lord’s Supper he points to two different aspects, the bread and the wine. These are taken to represent his body and blood, an aspect we will certainly be giving a deeper look at when we get to John 6 in our Trinity study. Each of these is quite important however.
The bread was bread that was made without yeast. Why? Israel was on the move and there was no time to waste on bread with yeast. This was to remind them of how they had to flee in haste from Egypt. Now the Jews were not totally anti-yeast as it was used at later times and Christ himself used yeast as an analogy, but the symbol was to remind Israel of that time.
Wine was used as a symbol of joy and Christ pictures it as his blood. In this case, the blood would remind any Jew of the aspect of covenants. In the Passover, the sign that one was of the covenant people was that they put blood of a lamb on their door and the angel of death going through Egypt and killing all the firstborn would not visit a house that had blood on its door. It became the seal to avoid the scourge of death. In the same way, the blood of Christ is what protects us from spiritual death.
The Passover reminded the children of Israel that they were not slaves any more. They were a chosen people set apart to fulfill a great service. In the Last Supper, Christ is pointing to the ones who will continue that. They will be, as it were, the Israel of Israel. It’s not a coincidence that he chose 12 apostles and that he was the one above them. If the 12 apostles represent the 12 tribes of Israel, what position does Christ play then?
N.T. Wright speaks of Christ’s ministry as not hailing the end to slavery in Egypt, but the end of the exile under Babylon. The New Kingdom is here. Christ is bringing in its citizens. Come and take part in the Kingdom of God.
Yet to establish his kingdom, this king will have to go to a cross. How will this work out exactly? Continue staying with us this weekend here at Deeper Waters. Friday, we shall write about the horror of crucifixion. Saturday, we shall write about that empty time when it seems all hope was lost, simply to set the mood for Sunday, when we will share about the joy of the resurrection and why we believe it really happened.
In the end, may we all say it together:
He is risen!
He is risen indeed!