We see the grave, but do you notice the grave-clothes, all wrapped and laid in their places, the napkin being folded up by itself? Wherefore are the grave-clothes wrapped up? The Jews said robbers had abstracted the body; but if so, surely they would have stolen the clothes; they would never have thought of wrapping them up and laying them down so carefully; they would be too much in haste to think of it. Why was it then? To manifest to us that Christ did not come out in a hurried manner. He slept till the last moment; then he awoke; he came not in haste. They shall not come out in haste, neither by flight, but at the appointed moment shall his people come to him. So at the precise hour, the decreed instant, Jesus Christ leisurely awoke, took off his cerements, left them all behind him, and came forth in his pure and naked innocence, perhaps to show us that as clothes were the offspring of sin—when sin was atoned for by Christ, he left all raiment behind him—for garments are the badges of guilt: if we had not been guilty we should never have needed them.
What a remarkable notion! That Christ, having paid the sin debt for the human race, would don such a glorious body that he would, in complete innocent of the dawn of creation, no longer bear clothing. It is not an erotic idea, but a wholly holy thought that Christ would be the first fruits of the resurrection we look forward to and in his appearance he no longer had any shame or guilt to cover. Christ’s resurrection takes us back to Eden as we follow him. Eden illustrates God’s plan intent for the human race and in his glorification as the Second Adam, Christ himself returns to that time and displays graphically what sinlessness really means.
All glory to the Son who has become our propitiation! All thanks be to Christ who took our shame and guilt and returned from the grave spotless and wholly innocent! All praise to he who adopts us as his own and brings us into the same life and resurrection!
As I have said all along, any evidence to contradict my suspicion was welcome. Thankfully I can declare myself in error because very distinct evidence has been provided! The following is the audio from Rob Bell’s sermon on Easter Sunday 2010:
It may be too much to ask to agree on the significance of this day. Among believers in Jesus Christ this is a day to be celebrated, because it was on this day so many years ago that Christ conquered death and became the first fruits of the resurrection. Yet, there are those who do not agree that this day is a day to commemorate the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Rob Bell may actually be a skeptic of sorts. Having written much about, not the man, but his theology, I have been cautious and concerned about what he teaches and holds as basic belief. In one particular case I asked this question specifically: “Do you believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.” While I got no response to this question, which is so basic and easy if the response were to be in the affirmative, Mr. Bell posts this new video for the holiday:
The opening line of the epic films of The Lord of the Rings sounds in my mind. The world that surrounds us has changed and encapsulated in time is the Church. While it is easy to be critical of the Church-at-large, there remains an embedded truth in the tradition as it has been transmitted across time.
Within these changes sits the Church as it struggles to speak to people who are changing within our rapidly dynamic culture. Yet within the heart of these changes and movements, one fact remains: truth of ancient times is still truth of our time. When that truth is betrayed, what is left is fallacy.
If the “Di Vinci Code Scare” has taught us anything, it is not to get too concerned about new media that tries to destroy the message of Christ (though I do not think that this was the intention of the movie or book). However, when new media does come up that is a monologue directly aimed at the Bible and the Christian message, then we at least need to be aware of it.
One such film has been circulating in recent months. The God Who Wasn’t There is a movie set out to put down historical relevance of the story of Christ and goes as far as to undermine its complete validity. Much in the way that Dan Brown used “fact” to overlay his story, the filmmakers in this case have also used historical fact and woven it together in this documentary-style film.