I’m trying to get my blogging back to normal, but it’s been a struggle. This week, instead of doing a summary of the week’s chapter from John Stott’s The Cross of Christ as part of Reading Classics Together at Challies.com, I’m simply going to quote a bit from it. This is from Chapter 9, The Conquest of Evil, on the relationship of Christ’s death to his resurrection in the efficacy of his work.
Of course the resurrection was essential to confirm the efficacy of his death, as his incarnation had been to prepare for its possibility. But we must insist that Christ’s work of sin-bearing was finished on the cross, that the victory over the devil, sin and death was won there, and that what the resurrection did was to vindicate the Jesus whom men had rejected, to declare with power that he is the Son of God, and publicly to confirm that his sin-bearing death had been effective for the forgiveness of sins. If he had not been raised, our faith and our preaching would be futile, since his person and work would not have received the divine endorsement. . . .
To sum up, the gospel includes both the death and the resurrection of Jesus, since nothing would have been accomplished by his death if he had not been raised from it. Yet the gospel emphasizes the cross, since it was there that the victory was accomplished. The resurrection did not achieve our deliverance from sin and death, but has brought us an assurance of both. It is because of the resurrection that our “faith and hope are in God” (1 Pet 1:3, 21).
Next up is chapter 10, The Community of Celebration.