by John M. Frame

 

Most of us Christians have been taught the importance of the atonement, that Jesus died for our sins. We also have celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection at Easter time, but why? Growing up, I sometimes wondered, why isn’t Good Friday a bigger holiday than Easter? After all, Good Friday, I reasoned, represents the day on which God actually saved us from our sins. But for the early church, the Resurrection was the more important event. The church not only celebrated Easter, but celebrated the Resurrection every week as they worshipped on the first day rather than the seventh.

The Resurrection must be much more than God’s approval of the atonement, or an evidential proof of Jesus’ claims. My friend Andrew Sandlin, in this book, presents clearly the meaning of the Resurrection as the central event of redemptive history. The Resurrection is Jesus’ victory over death, establishing him in his humanity as Lord of heaven and earth. And when he was raised, we too were raised to newness of life, a newness of life that will insure our own physical resurrection on the last day.

So the Resurrection means victory for God’s kingdom, earthly dominion for Jesus’ people, and a future-oriented cultural outlook. To believe in the Resurrection is to recognize by word and life that Christ is not only Savior, but Lord, that he rules all things in heaven and earth. He is sovereign, not only over human salvation from Hell, but over all of history, over all the affairs of the world. He mobilizes his people into a great army to conquer individuals, nations, and institutions for himself, not by the sword of war, but through the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

So this book on the Resurrection is a crucial link in the implementation of Sandlin’s vision, through the Center for Cultural Leadership, to reform all of human culture in the image of Christ. That is nothing less than Jesus’ program for the whole church (Matt. 28:19-20). One will not be persuaded of the importance of this task until he understands fully the meaning of the Resurrection. I pray that this book may mediate that understanding to many of God’s people.