TRUTH TRIUMPHANT II:
Death and Resurrection
Many people are greatly confused over who Jesus Christ actually was because of the differing presentations in the four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The fact is that each Gospel employs different symbolic means for presenting Jesus. Mark portrays Jesus as the Second David, Matthew views him as the Second Moses, Luke presents him as the Second Adam, and John proclaims him as the Second Manifestation of God. In the One God’s earthly manifestation as Jesus Christ, he sought and achieved the overturn of command, possession and power, which he had necessarily employed earlier in his creatio continua (continuing creation).1
Jesus Christ — the Incarnate “I AM”
In the Gospel of John, therefore, Jesus repeatedly refers to himself as the “I AM,” which is the name that God uttered to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:6, 14).2 Furthermore, John declares:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt [tabernacled] among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. — John 1:1-3, 14.
After a life of self-sacrificing love and compassion — of feeding the hungry, healing the sick, raising the dead, and testifying to the intentions and promises of God — Jesus Christ was arrested, taken to Calvary (“Place of the Skull”), and crucified. As he hung on the cross, Jesus accepted the consequences of all the mistakes that mankind had made and would make. Jesus further accepted the burden of all the wrongs that he had permitted and would permit mankind to make.3
Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain;
He washed it white as snow.4
After Jesus died on Calvary’s cross, he was buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb. Then, on Sunday morning, he rose from the dead. Upon his resurrection and subsequent ascension, he declared, “ . . . I AM he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I AM alive for evermore” (Revelation 1:18, emphases supplied).
The Incarnate “I AM” as the Refutation of Error
When Jesus rose from the grave, he constituted “all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). Thus, Jesus Christ refuted docetism, which claims that Christ had no human body and only appeared to have died on the cross. Furthermore, in meeting with his disciples — talking with them, cooking for them, eating with them — Jesus refuted pantheism (God is everything), panentheism (God is in everything), deism (God has abandoned his Creation), atheism (there is no God), Gnosticism (God was imprisoned in a fallen human body), and all other such errors.5
Let us therefore be grateful to the One who lived and died for us, who rose from the dead for us, and who then declared, “ . . . I AM with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20, emphasis supplied).
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing . . . ” — 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
- See “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ VIII: The Incarnate God,” Outlook (May 2010); cf. “The Gospel for the Postmodern World III: The ‘Other Side’ of God,” Outlook (January 2008); “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ III: Command,” Outlook (December 2009); “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ IV: Possession,” Outlook (January 2010); “The Divine Struggle for ‘I’ and ‘Thou’ VI: Empowerment,” Outlook (March 2010). (go back)
- See “The Gospel for the Postmodern World II: The ‘I AM,’” Outlook (December 2007); “Who Is He?” Outlook (April 2009). (go back)
- See note 1. (go back)
- Elvina M. Hall (1822-1889). (go back)
- The critical word definitions in this article are derived from the free online dictionary on the internet, at www.dictionary.com. (go back)