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Resurrection Principle

• Greg Boyd

On Easter, it is important to remember Christ’s resurrection and the meaning, purpose and principle behind it. In this sermon, Greg shows how the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection has changed over time and how we should be looking at it.

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Even though the Resurrection involves a supernatural event, it is one of the best attested facts in history. The four gospels all attest to it. And Paul names dozens who saw it and refers to another 500 or more that saw it. And it’s difficult to explain how the early disciples came to believe, at the cost to their lives, that Jesus was the embodiment of God on Earth. If the resurrection is true, we can explain this. Otherwise, there is no compelling evidence.

The meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection has been altered over time in a significant way. In the beginning of the disciples’ ministry, they understood that Jesus’ death and resurrection showed that they needn’t fear this world as they went about their ministry. They sacrificed in order to participate in the resurrection. However, after Rome converted to Christianity, Jesus’ death and resurrection became a message of not having to worry about suffering. Christians stopped sacrificing in order to participate in the resurrection. It became a message of having power and control over this world.

This thinking impedes our ability to live in a self-sacrificial way. This thinking leads us to believe that following Jesus should lead to less suffering. But living a self-sacrificial life is to choose a life that is uncomfortable and choosing some suffering. And, worst of all, this mindset conditions us to be dishonest with ourselves. If our goal is to always be happy, then we will ignore those things that make us unhappy or defeated aspects in our life. The good news of the Resurrection is not that we get to avoid suffering but that there’s a resurrection that comes out of suffering.

We are called to follow the example of Jesus. Jesus did not run from the reality of our fallen condition. He embraced it, suffered for it, and rose again. This Easter, instead of putting on a smile and ignoring those areas of our lives that cause us to suffer, we need to face our sufferings in this world and find resurrection. For the joy set before us, let’s face reality and share in Jesus’ suffering so that we can join in his victory.

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Topics: Fear, Hope, Resurrection

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8 thoughts on “Resurrection Principle

  1. Kathy D. says:

    Well, what do I say today, Greg…… Holy smokes….. This is so jam packed with gems that I should listen to it again in order to get even an inkling of it’s content stuffed into my soul! Praise God – praise Him that he works through you, and thank you that you listen to Him and follow him; I praise God for the gift he has given you, and that He has led me here, to WHC – through His creation ! the creation care nut that I am! Thanks, too, for sharing so much of your story with us. Blessings upon you and your family.

  2. Peter says:

    While Greg’s description of Jesus’ passion in the Garden of Gethsemane is understandable, I believe there is a deeper understanding that depicts a total love of Jesus to the Father.
    In Hebrews 5:7-10 it says,

    “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchiz′edek.”

    These scriptures not only indicate Jesus’s prayer life, but the fact that He understood obedience involved suffering. In John 3:14 we also have,

    “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up”.

    And Galatians 3:13,

    “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed be every one who hangs on a tree”.

    In other words I believe Jesus new His death was to be by crucifixion and He was always obedient to the Father. So where it says in Mark 14:32-36,

    “They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.”

    and, in Luke 22:40-44,

    “ When he reached the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not come into the time of trial.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” [ Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength. In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.]”,

    Jesus believed His time and the form of His death had not yet come, but the judgement was starting to bear down upon Him to such an extent that He thought, in His human frailty, that He was about to die….but not on a cross. So when Jesus prays to remove the cup of death, He was saying this on the basis that it was not currently His crucifixion (and not that he wanted to avoid or have a different form of death as that would be disobedient to the Father’s will), unless it was the Father’s will and something He had misinterpreted hence…”not my will but yours be done”. The provision of the angel supports this view to the extent that it was an answer to His prayer to the Father and the angel strengthened Him to ultimately allow Him to go to the cross.

  3. Kevin says:

    Peter; i feel that Brother Greg spelled it out perfectly.

  4. CarolJean says:

    Why am I unable to watch the entire message? I’m using Chrome.

  5. Peter says:

    Thank you Kevin for your comment. As you will have noted, I indicated that Greg’s description was understandable, but indicated that there is possibly a deeper interpretation ie that Jesus’ comments were not made in terms of seeking an alternate means of death that involved less suffering (“remove this cup from me”). While not wishing to extend this argument to much greater lengths, there is further scriptural evidence that I believe support the view I put forward.

    Firstly, the timing of Jesus return to Jerusalem was just prior to the Passover Feast; an occasion that Jesus through His life would be very familiar with. If we look at Exodus 12 where it had its origins there are some very interesting comparisons. In relation to the lamb sacrifice (Ex12:5) “Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male”, (Ex12:7) “take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it”,(Ex 12:8) “they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread”(an echo of the Last Supper) and (Ex12:46) “you shall not break any of its (the lamb’s) bones”; Jesus’ bones were not broken at Calvary…but the thieves were. The judgement in Ex 12:29 is “At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt”; interestingly, Jesus was the first born of Mary and Joseph.

    I believe from the above that what played out on Calvary was foreshadowed in the first Passover Feast and that Jesus, (as Greg has taught in his Revelation series) is the sacrificial, passover Lamb who’s blood was shed for our salvation.

    Secondly, apart form Jesus knowledge of the Passover Feast, and the quotes in my previous post, there is other evidence that He was aware of what was going to happen to Him. In Lk 9:21-22 we have, “He sternly ordered and commanded them not to tell anyone, saying, “The Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”….so there was an order of events, which at the stage of entering into the Garden, that had not yet occurred. Also at the transfiguration (Lk 9:29-31), just prior to Jesus going to Jerusalem it says, “And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.”. Moses and Elijah represent the law and the prophets and it would be evident that their discussion regarding Jesus’ “departure” would centre on Jesus fulfilment of the law and the prophecies connected with this.

    In summary we have an obedient Jesus aware of His role and purpose both from what He says about His mission and through prior events in scripture. Within the Garden we have preliminary actions concerning the bearing of sin and judgement beginning to take place. Going back to the first garden, Eden, when man sinned for the first time, we had their reaction to a Holy God…that of complete shame. Now we have in Gethsemane a sinless Jesus becoming sin for us, something in one sense totally abhorrent to His nature. While the exact mechanism for this to occur is a mystery, it would definitely not be something that Jesus had previously experienced and was prepared for. So in His humanity there is a struggle going on to the extent that He thought His life was in jeopardy prior to the fulfilment of the matters previously described…..so He cries out to take this cup (of death) from Him…..yet in true obedience He says in the same breath “not my will but yours be done”.

    I, personally, cannot see scriptural references supporting Jesus looking or contemplating an alternate/easier form of death or, direct disobedience to the Father’s will, given that this is so important to the completion of His mission on Earth….but shows the total love of the Son to the Father.

  6. Lindy J. Combs says:

    I have not been keeping up with Greg’s messages. I am so very glad I accessed this one.

    I am out in NW Washington on Whidbey Island, having attended WHC in 2008 – 2009 before relocating here.

    I so appreciated Greg’s personal picture of his marriage to illustrate the resurrection from all the pain and sometimes broken dreams and deeply troubled relationships.

    I received his prayer and sermon with a heart-felt “Amen”. A few seconds after the video ended, my phone rang. It was my son in St. Paul, who has refused relationship with me for years (!) calling to say “Happy Mother’s Day”, for the first time in many years. We had a very pleasant visit!

    Praise Jesus!

  7. Emmy says:

    I watched the movie “Case for Christ” years ago but finally read the book in 2023. When I read the chapter where he interviewed you, I was like I gotta listen to this guy. Just randomly Googled and picked your Revelation series from 2014. Wow. Transformed the way I viewed it. I can’t wait for my kids and husband to watch. Recommended by Bible group watch. I’m so glad I finally found you. Now I want to listen to all your sermons from 2014 until present (2024). Don’t want to miss any. Hope to visit your church soon. Thanks for all your teachings and for being YOU. You’re amazing.

    1. Emily says:

      Hi Emmy,
      That’s great to hear, thanks for the encouragement! And now we’re back in the book of Revelation again, so in a way you’ve come full circle 😉
      —Emily from Communications

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