Editor's Choice

"The resurrection of Jesus is not the central datum of Christianity. The central point, from the earliest times, was God's intervention in history, the coming of his rule."


Resurrection in the New Testament: Festschrift J. Lambrecht
"Between Easter and the Parousia, God's Lordship is exercised through the lordship of Jesus Christ. The universality of God's authority is fittingly evoked by the four-fold"All"; all authority, all nations, all that I have commanded you, all days. The horizon becomes broad. The moment breaks through all boundaries of time and space. The disciples need not fear the storms of history that will break over the church, for the Risen Lord will be present with them, not only now, but always and in all circumstances, until the eschatological completion of the world."- Resurrection in the New Testament: Festschrift J. Lambrecht


"Although the followers of Jesus who continued his preaching after his death certainly made Jesus' role a part of that preaching, as we have outlined, the pattern of their preaching remained the same as it had been for Jesus: God's rule is coming, and under the rule there will be salvation for those who have already begun to act accordingly and to put their trust in God. A new element was added by the idea that salvation had become possible above all through the death of Jesus. By this death God had reconciled himself with those who remained, who had been attached to Jesus and who relied on God for their salvation. This is in outline the way in which the earliest Christian preaching developed.

Two things require our attention in this development. Firstly, there was continuity between what Jesus preached about the coming of God's rule and the preaching of a number of his followers on the same thing after his death.

Secondly, just like the preaching of Jesus, the preaching of the first of his followers to continue his work after his death was concerned chiefly with God's actions and not with those of Jesus. In both cases, it was primarily about theology and not Christology. Following Jesus, the first Christians taught that God was engaged in bringing about a turning point in history, in fact that he had definitely intervened in history by sending a final messenger to announce that turning point. The central point was God's final act of intervention in the history of the world. That is theology with far reaching consequences for ethics. Christology, for Jesus and his disciples, and for those who took up his preaching after his death, was subsumed into this theology. Originally the idea of Jesus' resurrection only had a place within the subsumed theology. It is true that immediately after Jesus' death all those of his followers who continued his preaching believed in this resurrection as an expression of their faith that God had acknowledged the truth of his last prophet. But it was not a central element in the first Christian theology. It was important above all (a) as an expression of their trust that God had sanctioned the work of Jesus on earth; and (b) as a way of making it easier to imagine the role which Jesus still had to fulfil as judge and saviour in the coming definitive breakthrough of God's rule.

True, Jesus' followers only continued their theological preaching of Jesus after his death in a form in which Jesus' unique role as the messenger sent by God, his death and resurrection were constitutive elements. They did not revert to the Jewish apocalyptic tradition without Jesus. What they continued was a theological preaching in which God was regarded as acting through Jesus' earthly work, including his death and resurrection. To that extent faith in the resurrection of Jesus was an integral part of early Christian theology. And certainly their confidence that Jesus had risen and been exalted was one of the factors that helped his followers to continue his theological preaching. Belief in the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus was a catalyst for the earliest history of the church; it gave Christians the strength and inspiration to preach and act. Nevertheless, as Marxsen said, we must stick to the point that"The resurrection of Jesus is not the central datum of Christianity." The central point, from the earliest times, was God's intervention in history, the coming of his rule...

The conviction that Jesus, on the basis of his resurrection, shares the authority of God has been taken over by Mt from the early church. The early Christian christological hymns that are preserved in the NT already testify to this (cf. Eph 1,20-23; Phil 2,6-11; Col 1,15-20; 1 Pet 3,18-22). Jesus' rising from the dead and his elevation to God's right hand are two sides of one and the same dynamic event (cf. Rom 1.4; 8,34, and others). The resurrection terminology expresses the event from its starting point, namely death; the elevation motif looks at the event from its end point, the word of God. For the early church, the elevation of the Risen Jesus means that he takes part fully in God's unlimited power of salvation. That is why he is called"Lord.".. In the resurrection event, God not only snatches Jesus away from the power of death, but moreover He raises him, that is to say He lets him share in the fullness of His Lordship, in His kingly authority. That is why the Risen Lord can say: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." His authority knows no bounds, for it is the power of God Himself. This word of authority forms the foundation and the presupposition for the following word. Because Jesus is henceforth"Lord", clothed with God's authority, he can command a task that knows no boundaries in time and space (v. 19- 20a). Because all power is given to him, the Risen Jesus can promise support to his disciples until the end of time. No single human being can command such a world-wide mission nor promise such an all-abiding support without grossly overestimating itself. Only the divine authority of the Risen Lord can legitimise and found something like that."...

Between Easter and the Parousia, God's Lordship is exercised through the lordship of Jesus Christ. The universality of God's authority is fittingly evoked by the four-fold"All"; all authority, all nations, all that I have commanded you, all days. The horizon becomes broad. The moment breaks through all boundaries of time and space. The disciples need not fear the storms of history that will break over the church, for the Risen Lord will be present with them, not only now, but always and in all circumstances, until the eschatological completion of the world."

Resurrection in the New Testament: Festschrift J. Lambrecht,
Peeters (October 2002), pages 50-142


The Great Adi Shakti Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
The Paraclete
"We have to resurrect ourselves. There was no need for Jesus to do that. But He was a model: model of a saint, model of a realized soul, model of a person who came all the way from the heavens to save us. So this resurrection is also part and parcel of our lives. It is so symbolic, so very symbolic that we were, in our consciousness, lost people. We had no control over ourselves as to know the way (that) our mind told us to go....We had no balance with the mind and our physical being, no more balance of any kind in life, and (we) used to go at random whichever way we thought was good; there was no wisdom about it."

The Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Easter Puja. Istanbul, Turkey—22 April 2001




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