Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
- Charles Wesley, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”
In our last post we noted that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the literary highlight of each of the four gospels. More than 28 of the 89 chapters in the gospels (32%) are devoted to the period of time between the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and his ascension back to the Father. Yet this period is less than 1% of Jesus’ entire 3½ years of public ministry.
Martin Kähler, a late 19th-century German New Testament scholar, stated that the four gospels are “passion narratives with extended introductions.” While perhaps somewhat overstated, this assessment does strike at the ultimate goal of Jesus’ earthly career. The Gospels are all about Jesus, and Jesus is all about his resurrection (and the much neglected ascension that followed).
In this post, we take the next step and observe that the resurrection of Jesus is the dramatic highlight of each of the four gospels. While the structure of the gospels highlights the resurrection, so does the storyline itself. Continue Reading…