Archive for July 25th, 2022

The Risen Lord


Written by Shirley C. Guthrie, Jr., (1927-2004), a Presbyterian minister and professor of Systematic Theology. This is an excerpt from his book “Christian Doctrine.”

In the past the church often made the cross the center of its faith. Calvin and the Westminster Confession, for instance, gave careful attention to the meaning of Jesus’ reconciling death for us, but only very briefly discussed the resurrection. Having for a time rejected such a one-sided emphasis on Jesus’ death, contemporary theology has “rediscovered” a theology of the cross and found new meaning in it. In face of the tragic suffering of so many people in the modern world, especially those who are poor and oppressed, the gospel is the good news of a suffering, crucified Jesus—and therefore a suffering, crucified God—who is present in self-giving love with suffering people to stand with and for and by them in their suffering. Both the classical and contemporary emphases on the significance of Jesus’ suffering and death are indispensable for a genuinely biblical and realistic understanding of the Christian faith. But the cross is an appropriate symbol for Christians only if it is an empty cross. The foundation, center, and goal of Christian faith is not suffering and death but new life, not tragedy but victory beyond tragedy. Christian faith is faith in a Suffering Servant who is and will be risen Lord. The God we meet in Christ is indeed a God of self-giving, suffering love, but also a God of powerful, liberating love. To be a Christian is not just to experience the forgiving grace of God for sinful people; it is to experience the renewing grace of God that empowers them to get up and move out of their sinfulness into active, joyful service of God and fellow human beings. To be a Christian is not just to expect the presence of God in the depths of our own and other’s suffering; it is to expect the active work of God in our individual lives, in the church, and in the world to create a new humanity in a new world in which the life, justice, and peace of the kingdom will finally triumph over the powers of sin, evil, suffering, injustice, and death. Why is this so? He is risen! That is the first and last word about what it means to believe and live as Christians. The resurrection of Christ is the one event in history that gives meaning to all of history, including our own.


Written by Rachel Olsen, a contemporary author.

Dear Lord, may I realize afresh today what Your death and resurrection mean for me. Forgiveness, freedom, and the ability to walk with You through this fallen world into eternity. May I always find my satisfaction in You and Your willingness to offer Yourself to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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