‘He is risen!’ – Part 12

Emeritus Prof. Mercy Olumide

Look at the earthly evangelistic sermons in the book of Acts: the apostles’ most important message was the proclamation that Jesus Christ had been raised from the dead! (Acts 2:24,27,30-33). (4) The Resurrection gives meaning to the church’s regular feast, the Lord’s Supper. Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we break bread with our risen Lord, Who comes in power to save us (Lk 24:30). (5) The Resurrection assures us that Christ is alive and ruling His kingdom. He is not legend; He is alive and real. (6) God’s power that brought Jesus back from the dead is available to us, so that we can live for Him in an evil world (Rom 6:4,11; Col 2:12,13; 3:1,2). The power is available to us to bring our morally and spiritually dead selves back to life, so that we can change and grow.

Christians can look very different from one another, and they can hold widely varying beliefs about politics, life-style, and even theology. But one central belief unites and inspires all true Christians— Jesus Christ rose from the dead! The resurrection provides the substance of the church’s witness to the Word. We do not merely tell lessons from the life of a good teacher, we proclaim the reality of Jesus Christ’s resurrection.

Jesus resurrection is the key to Christian faith (Mat 28:6; Mk 16:6; Luke 24:6-7; John 20:9; 1 Cor 15:13-18). It is the reason for sharing our faith (Mk 16:14,15). Jesus told His disciples to go into the entire world, telling everyone that He had paid the penalty for sin and that those who believe in Him can be forgiven and live eternally with God.
Jesus’ resurrection had tremendous effect on the disciples (Acts 1:1-3). At Jesus death, they scattered— they were disillusioned, and they feared for their lives. After seeing the resurrected Christ, they were fearless and risked everything to spread the God News about Him around the world. Read Mat 16:13-20 “Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon …18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” (Mat 16:16,17,18). “Peter … rock … church.”

In these words Christ promises to build His church on the truth of Peter’s and the other disciples’ confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God (v.16; cf. Acts 2:14-26). Jesus uses a play on words here. He calls His disciple “Peter” (Gk Petros, meaning a small stone), but goes on to say, “upon this rock (Gk Petra, meaning a massive rock or a rocky cliff) I will build my church,” i.e., He will build His church on Peter’s solid confession.

(1) It is Jesus Christ, Who is the Rock, the first and great foundation of the church (1 Cor 3:11). Peter states in his first letter that Jesus is the, “living stone, … a chief corner stone … the stone, which the builders disallowed” (1 Pet 2:4,6-7). At the same time, Peter and all other Christians are living stones, who become part of the structure of the spiritual house that God- is building (1 Pet 2:5).

(2) Nowhere in Scripture is it stated that Peter would be the supreme and infallible ‘authority above all other disciples (cf. Acts 15; Gal 2:11). Nor is it stated that Peter should have infallible successors, who would represent Christ and function as the official heads of the church.
Email: mercyolumide2004@yahoo.co.uk
Mobile: +234 803 344 6614; +234 808 123 7987.

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Mercy Olumide
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