Paul wrote to the Romans that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. There is something inherent in the gospel story that works in the hearts of men and propels them to a new life, a life they could not have lived before. But what is the gospel?
Most isolate the gospel to the cross of Christ, His suffering and death for all mankind. Various names are given to elaborate on the meaning of the cross, such as atonement, propitiation and reconciliation. We all know that the blunt fact that a some man 2000 years ago was nailed to a tree may explain something about the cross, but it is not “the gospel”. Only the meaning behind the cross can make it a saving message.
It seems the church universal has forgotten that Paul emphasizes the resurrection every bit as much or more than the cross.
The Resurrection is earth shattering. We all seem to know that. But what does the resurrection actually mean?
This is a key them we will develop here at WakeUPchurch.org. Isaiah 26:19 says;
But your dead will live, Lord;
their bodies will rise—
let those who dwell in the dust
wake up and shout for joy—
your dew is like the dew of the morning;
the earth will give birth to her dead.
The cry to the Church … WAKE UP … is tied intimately to the resurrection message.
In sum, the resurrection means that the Kingdom of God has come to earth as it is in heaven, that there is a real world change that has come with it, a revolutionary ‘turn this world upside down’ change not just for individuals but for the world and human history.
The classic painting above pictures the transformation that happened at the resurrection. On the left side of the painting is seen dead trees, barren land, and a naked Jesus with wound in his side. On the right we see trees that have come alive, flourishing undergrowth and a Jesus clothed with royal robe.
The Resurrection also shouts out that all men and the earth itself will be born again and resurrected in some sense, thus affirming the good of the Creation. This hope infuses the whole creation, as not just men but the creation itself even groans for its redemption according to Romans 8.