In Daniel B. Wallace’s article “The Resurrection of Christ: Theological Implications,” key points regarding the significance of the resurrection of Jesus are discussed and reviewed through the lens of Christology. Christology can be defined as the academic study of the person and work of Jesus of Nazareth, whom Christians avow is the Son of God and the second member of the Holy Trinity. At the time of this article’s writing, Wallace was a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary from which he had also received his Ph.
D. A recognized expert in Greek and the study and application of “textual criticism,” Dr. Wallace is also the senior New Testament editor of the NET Bible and coeditor of the NET-Nestle Greek-English diglot. While also being a published author, he currently blogs (http://danielbwallace.com) and continues to teach at Dallas Theological Seminary.
Wallace notes that while there is much focus on the death of Christ, there is little in the way of the average Christian concentrating on the importance of his resurrection.
Wallace sees this as a detriment to a persons faith noting, “If we neglect this part of the gospel (Christ’s resurrection), we offer ourselves a powerless gospel – one that cannot change lives.”1 Further, Wallace notes that while some may consider the resurrection of Jesus foolish, it was the cornerstone of the early church’s teaching – as it should be for Christians today. Ultimately Wallace sees the resurrection of Christ and its theological implications as pivotal to Christian faith and argues against anyone who sees it otherwise, specifically noted here is liberal theologian Rudolf Bultmann.
In context of the Old Testament, Wallace argues that the resurrection was not clearly revealed until there was a “felt” need – a need that looked to the future based on hope. In reviewing the Bible in its entirety, Wallace allegorizes that; “The Bible speaks of creation as virtually the finger-painting of God, while the resurrection of Christ required the strong arm of God.” This speaks to the character of God in that He is omniscient, omnipotent, and eternal – supporting Wallace’s second key point in the significance of Christ’s resurrection. Statements like this demonstrate God’s great love and understanding of His creation and our brokenness. In the Old Testament there was an eye toward the revelation and resurrection of Christ, but not yet a perceived need.
Throughout the entirety of the article, Wallace demonstrates a solid grasp of both orthodox theology and scripture, applying both in context and relevantly to the topic at hand. He also uses a keen sense of humor to keep the reader engaged. In highlighting the significance of the resurrection, Wallace cites nine specific theological issues of importance for the reader to consider ranging from apologetics and prophecy fulfillment to propitiation for humanity’s sin and the assurance of the believers eternal resurrection, with an extended focus on balancing the spiritual status of the human body and it’s role in kingdom living on earth. Wallace closes with a short summation noting that, “A whole philosophy, an entire worldview, is wrapped up in the resurrection of Christ.” From this summation the reader is challenged to live as though “your life depends on the resurrection,” a fitting challenge to pursue Christ in all things.
In reading Wallace’s article, my firmly established faith in God’s plan of restoration and redemption through Lord Jesus Christ was reaffirmed. I have personally always viewed the resurrection of Jesus as a pinnacle issue of my faith – without the resurrection of Jesus, his life and teachings are no different than that of an Old Testament prophet. In my mind, it is the resurrection that definitively points to His deity and role in the Holy Trinity. Further, the resurrection signifies Jesus’ victory over death as Paul notes in 1st Corinthians 15:50-58, a victory that should give every disciple of Jesus hope beyond hope because of our propensity to sin.
Wallace specifically addressed how resurrection of Christ is important in the forgiveness of sin. I found this particularly moving as I am no stranger to falling short of God’s intended purpose for me – I am a recovering addict and while today I am clean (and have been for a some now), the struggle to stay clean and the associated temptations that come with addiction provide for me a daily challenge to live a life of continual surrender. While this might seem like a bad thing, I count it joy – without my struggles with addiction, I would have never come to know the grace of Jesus Christ. Paul notes, “56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.” My sin and the confrontation of God’s Holy law demonstrated my need for a savior, and I found THE Savior in Jesus Christ. This article was a wonderful reminder to me of God’s immense grace, His unending love, and our future hope provided in Jesus Christ alone.
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