What just cause was there for God to raise Christ from the dead?

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SinnerSavedByChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear Brethren,

I have been pondering over the atonement, and asking myself: how does the death of the Son lead to my forgiveness?

I really needed to sit down and work through the entire death and resurrection, so that I may fully expound the glories of the gospel when street-witnessing.

Just to save you time, I totally affirm and love these truths:

1. Jesus, being the infinite Son of God, fully divine, was the only sacrifice which was "of enough value" to satisfy God's infinite, Holy wrath. Thus the Blood of Jesus Christ, that precious blood, was the only blood which had enough "merit" or "credence" with God to cover our sins and purchase the elect from our infinite debt towards God.

2. Jesus must be raised from the dead to fulfill all prophecies regarding a victorious intercessor, a worthy mediator between God and man who actively pleads for man. (Isaiah 52-53, Ps 8, Job 9, Job 19, Job 16, Psalm 24 etc etc...)

3. Jesus must be raised from the dead to prove everything He said about Himself - i.e. to demonstrate to the world His divinity. (Destroy temple, in 3 days I will raise it up, I have the authority to lay down my life and to take it up, I am the resurrection and the life, I am the way the truth the life, I am in the Father, I am God essentially :amen:!!)

4. Jesus must be raised from the dead by God the Father, to demonstrate to the world that God had stamped His seal of approval on Jesus' sacrifice, to declare Jesus as Judge (Acts 17) amongst other awesome things.


My main qualm is this: Jesus took upon the curses of the elect and died (justly punished). He really died!!!
Now I do not know my bible well enough to say where Jesus went for the 1.5-2 days (3 days in Hebrew speak). I tended to just assume that Jesus went to Sheol as according to the Apostle's creed. But more importantly, On what grounds could God justly raise Jesus from the dead?

Let me rephrase. Jesus, having willingly imputed upon Himself all the sin of the elect, was considered cursed and totally damnable in the sight of God. So from my understanding, He was damned, cut off, cursed. So then, how could God raise someone who was cursed and deserving of judgment? (Jesus deserved judgment because He became Sin, truly became Sin!!!). Just as a man who would be punished on the Last Day would be thrown into eternal hell and torment, why was Jesus not given the same treatment? Thus, on what Just grounds did God have to raise Jesus from the dead, if Jesus had truly become the most abominable person in His sight?




(as I'm writing this, the word "Expiate" came into my mind... so I might just add an after-thought: If God's wrath had been fully expiated upon Jesus, then I guess Jesus was no longer sin after He breathed His last and died. So does this mean that Jesus when He was in Sheol, was already the full righteousness of God again? I guess if Jesus became sin for us on the cross, then that sin was expiated while He was on the cross, then He went into Sheol sinless, once again bearing the full righteousness of God? But I'm theorising here, once again I do not know my bible well enough to know if my expiation theory is grounded in the Word at all).
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
There are numerous other considerations. First, Philippians 2:5-11, His obedience to God is considered as deserving of the highest honour. Secondly, Hebrews 9:14, He offered Himself through the eternal Spirit, so that His death, regardless of the duration, was of eternal value and the equivalent of an eternal punishment. As it is the eternal dignity of God which warrants the eternal punishment of sinners there is no reason why the eternal dignity of the Offering should not fully satisfy God's justice. Thirdly, John 10:18, the power to lay down His life was accompanied with the power to take it again. As a complex commission one part should not be separated from another. Fourthly, Acts 2:24, death was simply powerless; it was not possible for Christ to be holden of it. There are many other considerations but these suffice to show that the resurrection of Christ was in accord with the demands of justice.
 

littlepeople

Puritan Board Freshman
I had always just considered that Jesus suffered an eternity of hell in a condensed amount of time (as we perceive it)
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Just a short thought:

We sinful men can try to (and fail...for all eternity) to pay for our sins by our finite selves by suffering extensively in time in hell, but the last farthing can never be paid. That is why hell is infinite.

Jesus, due to his infinite worth did not need to suffer extensively but paid our debt in a moment by his intensive suffering.

I think he stayed in the grave for part of 3 days to show beyond a doubt that he was really dead. If he revived 2 minutes still on the cross after he expired, I am not sure it would have communicated the same power over death as being buried for a time.

Why his body remained in the grave 3 days and not 40 days, I am not sure.

Also, remember that the same day the thief saw Jesus in Paradise.
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
Thus, on what Just grounds did God have to raise Jesus from the dead, if Jesus had truly become the most abominable person in His sight?

This is a great question!

Rev. Winzer brought out the gist of it.

I was also wondering if the wrath of God was on Jesus at the actual point of His death. Jesus said, "It is finished" and then committed Himself into the Father's hands. Is this a correct assertion, or not? When did God's wrath lift from Him?
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Hello, Michael!

"God was more pleased with the obedience, offering and sacrifice of his Son, than displeased with the sins and rebellions of all the elect."

Owen - The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
As for why death was sufficient, one might as well ask why one Mediator was sufficient instead of N mediators for N elect persons. The answer to both questions is that the divine nature of Christ gives "worth and efficacy to his sufferings":

Westminster Larger Catechism:

Q. 38. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?
A. It was requisite that the Mediator should be God, that he might sustain
and keep the human nature from sinking under the infinite wrath of God, and
the power of death; give worth and efficacy to his sufferings, obedience and
intercession; and so satisfy God’s justice, procure his favor, purchase a peculiar
people, give his Spirit to them, conquer all their enemies, and bring them to
everlasting salvation.

Acts 2:24-25; Rom. 1:4; Rom. 4:25; Heb. 9:14; Acts 20:28; Heb. 9:14; Heb. 7:
25-28; Rom. 3:24-26; Eph. 1:6; Matt. 3:17; Titus 2:13-14; Gal. 4:6; Luke 1:68-69,
71, 74; Heb. 5:8-9; Heb. 9:11-15.
 

SinnerSavedByChrist

Puritan Board Freshman
As for why death was sufficient, one might as well ask why one Mediator was sufficient instead of N mediators for N elect persons. The answer to both questions is that the divine nature of Christ gives "worth and efficacy to his sufferings":
Westminster Larger Catechism:
Q. 38. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?
Yes – the crux of my question lies not in the fact of the infinite + eternal worth of the sacrifice, but of the scriptures which support it. I will look through the WCF scripture proofs to help meditate on this issue. Much thanks Austin for the reminder to go back to the WCF!

Hello, Michael!
"God was more pleased with the obedience, offering and sacrifice of his Son, than displeased with the sins and rebellions of all the elect."
Owen - The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
Hey Patrick, great quote from Owen. I haven’t heard this angle before! Will need to hunt down scripture proofs for Owen’s statement (which I am sure I will find in due time). Thanks!

Thus, on what Just grounds did God have to raise Jesus from the dead, if Jesus had truly become the most abominable person in His sight?
This is a great question!
I was also wondering if the wrath of God was on Jesus at the actual point of His death. Jesus said, "It is finished" and then committed Himself into the Father's hands. Is this a correct assertion, or not? When did God's wrath lift from Him?
Thanks Marie! Yes - from my cursory reading of the crucifixion account, I came to the same conclusion. Once again though, I plead ignorance regarding the scriptures, so perhaps other brethren can affirm this too.

There are numerous other considerations. First, Philippians 2:5-11, His obedience to God is considered as deserving of the highest honour. Secondly, Hebrews 9:14, He offered Himself through the eternal Spirit, so that His death, regardless of the duration, was of eternal value and the equivalent of an eternal punishment. As it is the eternal dignity of God which warrants the eternal punishment of sinners there is no reason why the eternal dignity of the Offering should not fully satisfy God's justice. Thirdly, John 10:18, the power to lay down His life was accompanied with the power to take it again. As a complex commission one part should not be separated from another. Fourthly, Acts 2:24, death was simply powerless; it was not possible for Christ to be holden of it. There are many other considerations but these suffice to show that the resurrection of Christ was in accord with the demands of justice.
Thanks for all the Scripture references. Love it! Love it Love it! I am looking them up now to synthesise a solid case.

This is how I envisioned faithful men to be: quoting scripture to affirm God’s truths!!! Love Puritanboard :)

Just a short thought:
We sinful men can try to (and fail...for all eternity) to pay for our sins by our finite selves by suffering extensively in time in hell, but the last farthing can never be paid. That is why hell is infinite.
Amen. Poignant truths!
Jesus, due to his infinite worth did not need to suffer extensively but paid our debt in a moment by his intensive suffering.
Indeed this is the unanimous understanding of the Puritans… I just need to read through all the scriptures which people have recommended to me… somehow I haven’t fully appreciated it yet.
I think he stayed in the grave for part of 3 days to show beyond a doubt that he was really dead. If he revived 2 minutes still on the cross after he expired, I am not sure it would have communicated the same power over death as being buried for a time. Why his body remained in the grave 3 days and not 40 days, I am not sure.
Also, remember that the same day the thief saw Jesus in Paradise.
I have always understood the 3 days was referring to Jonah’s prophecy + His own declaration that He will rebuild the temple in 3 days. But I understand what you mean by “Why 3? And not 12 days?”.
Regarding the thief and the paradise thing – I have been forever baffled since I first read it as a 15 year old. This is because Paul speaks of men falling asleep, yet to be raised from the dead in the last resurrection. Yet the thief was “teleported” to paradise in an instant? Is there some kind of time-warp while we fall asleep? I have simply thought that when one dies, the “next thing” that immediately occurs, is the Last judgment. So from my own “theory”, it makes sense that Jesus could say to the thief “Today you will be with me in Paradise”. But my “theory” of the time-warp/ immediate awakening from death, is not scripturally substantiated… :(
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
As for why death was sufficient, one might as well ask why one Mediator was sufficient instead of N mediators for N elect persons. The answer to both questions is that the divine nature of Christ gives "worth and efficacy to his sufferings":
Westminster Larger Catechism:
Q. 38. Why was it requisite that the Mediator should be God?
Yes – the crux of my question lies not in the fact of the infinite + eternal worth of the sacrifice, but of the scriptures which support it. I will look through the WCF scripture proofs to help meditate on this issue. Much thanks Austin for the reminder to go back to the WCF!

Hello, Michael!
"God was more pleased with the obedience, offering and sacrifice of his Son, than displeased with the sins and rebellions of all the elect."
Owen - The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
Hey Patrick, great quote from Owen. I haven’t heard this angle before! Will need to hunt down scripture proofs for Owen’s statement (which I am sure I will find in due time). Thanks!

Thus, on what Just grounds did God have to raise Jesus from the dead, if Jesus had truly become the most abominable person in His sight?
This is a great question!
I was also wondering if the wrath of God was on Jesus at the actual point of His death. Jesus said, "It is finished" and then committed Himself into the Father's hands. Is this a correct assertion, or not? When did God's wrath lift from Him?
Thanks Marie! Yes - from my cursory reading of the crucifixion account, I came to the same conclusion. Once again though, I plead ignorance regarding the scriptures, so perhaps other brethren can affirm this too.

There are numerous other considerations. First, Philippians 2:5-11, His obedience to God is considered as deserving of the highest honour. Secondly, Hebrews 9:14, He offered Himself through the eternal Spirit, so that His death, regardless of the duration, was of eternal value and the equivalent of an eternal punishment. As it is the eternal dignity of God which warrants the eternal punishment of sinners there is no reason why the eternal dignity of the Offering should not fully satisfy God's justice. Thirdly, John 10:18, the power to lay down His life was accompanied with the power to take it again. As a complex commission one part should not be separated from another. Fourthly, Acts 2:24, death was simply powerless; it was not possible for Christ to be holden of it. There are many other considerations but these suffice to show that the resurrection of Christ was in accord with the demands of justice.
Thanks for all the Scripture references. Love it! Love it Love it! I am looking them up now to synthesise a solid case.

This is how I envisioned faithful men to be: quoting scripture to affirm God’s truths!!! Love Puritanboard :)

Just a short thought:
We sinful men can try to (and fail...for all eternity) to pay for our sins by our finite selves by suffering extensively in time in hell, but the last farthing can never be paid. That is why hell is infinite.
Amen. Poignant truths!
Jesus, due to his infinite worth did not need to suffer extensively but paid our debt in a moment by his intensive suffering.
Indeed this is the unanimous understanding of the Puritans… I just need to read through all the scriptures which people have recommended to me… somehow I haven’t fully appreciated it yet.
I think he stayed in the grave for part of 3 days to show beyond a doubt that he was really dead. If he revived 2 minutes still on the cross after he expired, I am not sure it would have communicated the same power over death as being buried for a time. Why his body remained in the grave 3 days and not 40 days, I am not sure.
Also, remember that the same day the thief saw Jesus in Paradise.
I have always understood the 3 days was referring to Jonah’s prophecy + His own declaration that He will rebuild the temple in 3 days. But I understand what you mean by “Why 3? And not 12 days?”.
Regarding the thief and the paradise thing – I have been forever baffled since I first read it as a 15 year old. This is because Paul speaks of men falling asleep, yet to be raised from the dead in the last resurrection. Yet the thief was “teleported” to paradise in an instant? Is there some kind of time-warp while we fall asleep? I have simply thought that when one dies, the “next thing” that immediately occurs, is the Last judgment. So from my own “theory”, it makes sense that Jesus could say to the thief “Today you will be with me in Paradise”. But my “theory” of the time-warp/ immediate awakening from death, is not scripturally substantiated… :(

Michael:

See chapter 32 of the Westminster Confession. linked below is an exposition of this chapter:
Chapter. XXXII.

Chapter XXXII. Of the State of Men after Death, and of the Resurrection of the Dead

Section I.—The bodies of men, after death, return to dust, and see corruption; but their souls (which neither die nor sleep), having an immortal subsistence, immediately return to God who gave them. The souls of the righteous, being then made perfect in holiness, are received into the highest heavens, where they behold the face of God in light and glory, waiting for the full redemption of their bodies; and the souls of the wicked are cast into hell, where they remain in torments and utter darkness, reserved to the judgment of the great day. Besides these two places for souls separated from their bodies, the Scripture acknowledgeth none
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
We Reformed believe that Christ suffered the Hell He needed to suffer on our behalf on the Cross. When He died His human ("reasonable" or "rational") soul went straight to Heaven.

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43)

"It is finished" (John 19:30)

"Father into Your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46)

Others can maybe deal with I Peter 3:18-20 and I Peter 4:6, but a close examination of these passages show that they do not teach something different to the sayings of Christ on the Cross, or the rest of Scripture.

Although I disagree with Wayne Grudem on the question of some of the apostolic gifts, and other things, he deals very well with this particular Q re Christ's supposed descent into Hell after death, in His Systematic Theology.

He deals with the particular passages here. His introductory section on whether the Apostle's Creed should be revised on this point is not as pertinent, and probably more controversial, than his exposition of the actual Scripture passages themselves.

http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/34/34-1/34-1-pp103-113_JETS.pdf
 
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