Sunday, April 12, 2009

4-12 Calvin on Easter

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

4/12- Easter
“On the third day he rose again from the dead.”

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all others. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (I Corinthians 15:12-20).

Calvin: So then, let us remember that whenever mention is made of his death alone,
we are to understand at the same time what belongs to his resurrection. Also, the same synecdoche applies to the word “resurrection”: whenever it is mentioned separately from death, we are to understand it as including what has to do especially with his death. But because by rising again he obtained the victor’s prize — that there might be resurrection and life — Paul rightly contends that “faith is annulled and the gospel empty and deceiving if Christ’s resurrection is not fixed in our hearts” (II.16.13)

There are three benefits we receive from the resurrection of Christ.
1) We are reconciled to God.
2) The judgment against us is satisfied.
3) The penalty is assuredly paid. His resurrection guarantees our own.

For Calvin, we cannot separate the death of Christ from the resurrection of Christ. Just as the death of Christ is a reminder and an assurance of our dying to self (mortification). So, the resurrection of Christ has to do with our living to Christ (vivification). One practical symbol of this is the cross. Reformed folk do not have crucifixes with dead Christ’s or pietas. Rather our crosses are empty to symbolize that Christ died, but he is not on the cross anymore.

Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are alive forever more. You are the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. Worthy are you- Lamb who was slain, to receive wisdom, power, riches, honor, glory and strength!

No comments:

Post a Comment