He is Risen
Our Lord’s resurrection is a basic truth of “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” and an integral part of God’s gospel “concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (Jude 3, R.V. 1 Cor. 15:4. Rom. 1:1-4). It is foreseen, foretold, and foreshadowed in the Old Testament; it is announced, accomplished, and attested in the New Testament (Acts 2:22-31. Heb. 11:19. Matt. 28:6. Acts 1:3). The Bible deals with this fundamental truth prophetically, typically, historically, doctrinally, evangelically, evidentially, and practically. It is woven into the very warp and woof of Holy Scripture. Our Lord Himself says, “I am He that liveth and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen” (Rev. 1:18).
The Father’s Commandment
Our Lord Jesus Christ said, “Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father” (John 10:17-18).
The word rendered “power” means “authority” and not merely “ability.” Christ had authority as well as ability, and He exercised both according to the Father’s commandment.
No creature has the right to deliberately terminate his own life; moreover, only the Creator is able to effect the resurrection of a creature. As the Divine Word, Jesus was able to do both; thus He fulfilled the will of God that He should die and rise again, and thus He attracted afresh the love and praise of His Father.
The Father is always pleased with the faithful obedience of His children, and surely He could never be more pleased than He was with the devoted submission of the eternal Son who willingly laid down His life in order to take it up again in triumphant resurrection.
The Father’s bosom is the eternal abiding place of the Son (John 1:18); hence, the eternal Father eternally loves the eternal Son. The Son, in devotion and obedience to the Father’s will, laid down His life that He might take it again; this sacrificial act gave the Father a fresh motive for loving His incarnate Son.
The Father’s Glory
“Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Rom. 6:4).
As in our Saviour’s virgin birth and sacrificial death, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit were all active in His glorious resurrection. Our Lord “rose,” but He was also “raised” from the dead (1 Cor. 15:4. Acts 2:23-24).
When certain Jews asked Him for a sign, the Saviour replied, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up … He spake of the temple of His body” (John 2:18-21). “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18).
Now, just as all the persons of the Godhead were active participants in the resurrection of Jesus, so also the various attributes of the Deity were harmoniously displayed and gloriously exercised in the accomplishment of this unique conquest.
The Father’s glory comprehends much more than His power alone, and this fulness of His glory, in all its aspects and components, was responsible for raising up Christ from the dead, whereby, as a consequence, the Father was still further glorified.
The Father’s Throne
While still upon the earth, the Lord Jesus Christ had prayed, “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (John 17:5).
That prayer is now answered. For forty days following His resurrection our Lord showed the reality of His resurrection; but then, at the end of that period, “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory” who had “raised Him from the dead” also “set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:20). There He says, “I … am set down with My Father in His throne” (Rev. 3:21).
In His devoted obedience to the Father’s commandment, He laid down His life in order to take it again, thus providing an occasion for the operation and manifestation of all the Father’s glory, which He now shares on the Father’s throne where He is seated in triumph at God’s right hand.