The vindication of the Son



He had always been the Son.

In the timelessness of eternity he is in the Father and the Father is in him.
In the timelessness of eternity he is ‘I AM’.
Before, during, and beyond time he is the Lord of glory, holy, majestic, exalted, almighty. God over all.

Yet all of this was hidden, veiled, obscured. He walked this earth incognito, God undercover. God in human flesh, masked by our weakness, disguised by our suffering, concealed in our normality, buried in our death.

Just the son of Joseph. Just the village carpenter. Just the man from down the road.

Unrecognized. Unknown. Hated. Rejected. Insulted. Mocked. Derided.

Just another dead man.

But here is God in human flesh. And here is God in human death.

Incarnation. Crucifixion.

And he is not here undone. He is not here vanquished.

Rather here he has done exactly what he planned before the beginning of time. Here he has achieved his eternal purpose. Here all that he had foretold in word and symbol and history through the prophets and people of Israel he has accomplished and completed. Here he shouts “It is finished!” Everything. Here all that God promised is fulfilled. Here everything that God willed reaches its goal and its culmination.

Yet it all hangs suspended. It all remains unseen, unknown, in the horror of the cross, in the darkness of the tomb, behind the Roman seal. God’s purposes have been accomplished. God’s grace has achieved our salvation. The incarnate Son, the Lamb of God, the King, has done his redemptive, reconciling work. But only the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit know.

Until the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the resurrection, in one decisive, definitive action, both the incarnation and the crucifixion are validated: the identity of the Son is declared and the integrity and impact of his sacrificial, substitutionary death is confirmed.

Without this resurrection Jesus is no more than any other man, and all of his claims to deity and to equality with God are deliberate lies or the grandiose paranoias of a deluded mind.

Without this resurrection his supposed substitutionary atoning death is invalid: salvation has not been accomplished; we still carry our sins and their guilt and punishment. We are not saved.

Without this resurrection the whole Bible is nothing – just empty promises; just intentional deceit. A cruel, extended, perpetual joke from the minds of multiple religious sadists.

But, when the resurrected Jesus appeared, when the Lord of life emerged victorious over death …

Those who had killed him now trembled in fear.
Those who grieved his death were now transformed with joy.
Those who doubted now worshipped.
He who denied him, now proclaimed him.

Because of this resurrection we know that Jesus is all he claimed to be.
Because of this resurrection we know that Jesus accomplished all he claimed he would do.
Because of this resurrection we know that all of his promises are guaranteed. He is the Victor. No one, nothing, not even sin and death, can thwart his purpose.

This confidence, this knowledge, this trust – this articulates the power of the resurrection: Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; he who is the Lamb of God, slain for our salvation, is he who is also the Lord of glory, the Almighty and holy God.

Resurrection: here the Son is vindicated, here is rest for our souls.

Scriptures: John 10:38; 8:58; Exodus 3:14; John 12:41; Isaiah 6:1-5; Romans 9:5; Philippians 2:5-11; Isaiah 53:2,3; John 6:42; 8:19; 1:10,11; 7:7; 15:24,25; Mark 15:16-20; Luke 23:18,35-39; John 19:30; 2Corinthians 1:20; Romans 1:4; 6:5; 1Corinthians 15:12-22; 1Peter 1:3; 3:21b; John 10:17-18; Matthew 28:4,8; John 20:25-28; Acts 9:1-28; Colossians 2:15; Ephesians 1:15-2:7; Matthew 11:28-30.

© Rosemary Bardsley 2012, 2024