Isaiah 53:10-12; Rom. 1:1-4; Rev. 1:12-20
So what can I say about the Resurrection that I didn’t say before? Last year we went over what a difference this one event made—and continues to make--in our lives. So this year I thought I might look at it from a different angle. What was going on “behind the scenes”? Scripture only sparingly parts the curtain into the spiritual realm, but it does give us some hints.
First, I noticed this a couple of days ago when we looked at Isaiah 53 concerning the Passion. Look carefully at the first phrase of vs. 11, and ponder that for a moment. Let me open a window into our Savior’s mind as he rose up from the tomb. I don’t know what else was going through his thoughts, but this one thing I know that he was thinking: “It was worth it.” Stepping out of Heaven and away from the worship of angels. Squeezing himself down into a human body. Living in poverty. Having to look upon the suffering and sin around him. Tiredness. Hunger. Thirst. Temptation. Frustration. Arrest. Betrayal. Mockery. Slander. Torture. Agony. Forsaken by the Father. Death. All of it was worth it: “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.”
And what else? The Romans passage tells us something else about this event that you might not have considered. According to vs. 4, Jesus “was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead.” Now obviously he was God’s Son before then. There never was a time in which he wasn’t. But the Resurrection proclaimed who he was. The Father placed the stamp of approval, so to speak, on the Son through this. That’s why when Jesus saw his apostles, he could say that “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Even before the Ascension, the proclamation had already been made official in the spiritual realm. To the human eye, nothing had changed. But to the assembled powers in Heaven and in Hell, everything had changed.
And finally we turn to the passage in Revelation. What picture of Jesus do you have in your mind? I grew up with a picture of a “meek and mild” Jesus who was as gentle as a lamb. In fact we had a literal picture of him like this at the church where I grew up, as a mural on the wall. I don’t know exactly what he looked like while he was walking around Galilee. I do know this, however: He certainly doesn’t look like that now. Read again the description of what John saw on the Island of Patmos.
On a side note, this is a great source of comfort to me, believe it or not. Quite frankly, I fear for the future of the church, especially in America. There are so many things that are wrong with her, sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But then I read this, and it reminds me of something. The churches are being held in the hand of the Living One, the One who was dead and who’s now alive. Again, to human eyes, the situation is grim, and nothing has changed. But behind the scenes, everything has changed.
So what’s my main point here? What’s the word that runs through all these different passages? Victory. Over the grave. Over the Enemy of our souls. Over your sin and mine.
And the wonderful corollary to this? His victory is yours and mine. Today in part, and tomorrow in full. Someday--perhaps sooner rather than later--what’s been going on “behind the scenes” will spill out into the world in which we live. And I can’t wait. Can you?
Lord Jesus, all authority in heaven and on earth has been placed under your feet, which is right where it belongs. And that includes me.