Every Sunday the church of Christ gathers for worship because of, in commemoration of, and by the power of her Lord’s resurrection from the dead. And because we are in that time-frame between celebrating Jesus Christ’s resurrection and His ascension into heaven, it is good on these Sunday’s to pay close attention to our Lord’s resurrection.
For that purpose, once again today we turn to a meditation of Rev. Gerrit Vos taken from the pages of the Standard Bearer (originally – May 1, 1957 issue – Vol.33, #15) and also found in the collection of his meditations published as The Unspeakable Gift – The Gift of God’s Son: Selected Meditations (Hudsonville PRC’s Men’s Society).
The following quotation is taken from the meditation titled “Resurrection From the Dead”, based on 1 Corinthians 15:4-5a.
Oh yes, Jesus arose from the dead, and . . . according to the Scriptures!
It was all revealed in prophecy: “I know my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth.” Job 19:25. And: “When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for iin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” Isa. 53:10. And: “For Thou shalt not leave My soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.” Psalm 16:10. And there is much more. Both the Word of God and nature itself testifies of the resurrection. Look upon the billions and billions of seed that die in order to bring forth life and seed and harvests. Look upon the lowly caterpillar and the beauteous butterfly which emerges from the corpse.
But the third day?
Does the Holy Bible speak of that in prophecy?
Yes, there is one text, but it is enough. God has foreseen and fore-determined all things.
There is the sign of Jonah: he had to be in the whale three days and three nights in order to supply this necessary fragment of prophecy to which Paul would allude. O, God is God! And He is good and wise! Let us adore Him!
And He arose with a glorious life.
I showed you already the fruit of the death of the grain, and the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the butterfly. All these things are signs of that which is central in the Gospel: the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord.
He arose with a glorious life.
It was not the life of Adam add Eve in the state of righteousness. You cannot even compare the two. Adam’s life was earthly, temporal, fleshly. But the life which Jesus received at His resurrection was eternal, heavenly, glorious and spiritual.
It was an entirely new life. It was never seen before. It was the life which we all shall enjoy in the new Kingdom. Paul speaks of it in Colossians when he said: Our life is hid with Christ in God!
Yes, according to body, soul and spirit, Jesus received this heavenly, glorious, eternal, spiritual and new life at His resurrection. That is the reason there was so much confusion and doubt at every appearance the Lord made to His disciples. They could walk with Him for hours and converse with Him, but they did not recognize Him at all. A wonder had to take place in their eyes in order to see the risen Lord.
And He received that wondrous life as the Head of the Church and the New World.
Hence, His resurrection is at the same time the justification of all that belong to Him. Indeed, His rising again is the proof of our justification. On Good Friday He hung on the cross, and He had us all in His bosom. Therefore it pleased the Lord to bruise Him. God saw all our sin and guilt on Him. God imputed all that guilt and sin on Him, and He had to die in order to pay the price.
So, when He reappears in the garden of Joseph it proves that all that guilt and sin is gone. Otherwise God would never have raised Him from the dead.
Moreover, His resurrection is also the power of that new life for us and even in us. A little of that glorious life of the raised Lord is now in us. It is called eternal life. It is only a little principle, but it is sweet to the taste. For the sake of it the people of God have not loved their lives unto death, but they have died for the sake of it.
And, it is also a pledge of our own glorious resurrection. If Jesus is raised, and He is—then we must be raised also. Where the Head is the body must also be. If the Head is in the throne of God, we shall join Him there. Such is His promise, and His name is the Truth and Faithful. He always does what He promises.
Not found online at the “SB” site where this meditation is posted, but found in the print version referred to above is this “little sequel” by Rev.Vos – significant in its simplicity and power:
And now there is a little sequel to my text which is so important to all of us.
‘And that He was seen of Cephas!’
Do you note that I placed an exclamation point behind it?
I did that purposely, and I know you will forgive me.
I can say, I can write it jubilantly: Even Cephas saw Him!
Cephas who denied Him with cursing and swearing.
Then I draw a very happy conclusion, dearly beloved, and I know you will do the same.
Here is my conclusion: then it is also possible that I be saved!