In preparation for Easter Sunday, I was reading various articles about the events of Holy Week and found a fascinating article by Jonathan Dodson. Here are some excerpts:
The “Son of God” was a title held by Caesar and Jesus alike. Caesar’s claim to deity arose out of questionable Roman mythology, which held sway in occupied territories, but not back home in Rome where people actually knew better. So how was Jesus’s claim different? In Judaism, the Son of God was attached to a story of deliverance among the Jews. The story went something like this. At the end of time, the Son of God would come to earth and overthrow the enemies of Israel. Then, he would raise everyone from the dead to be judged, destroying the wicked and delivering the righteous into God’s newly renovated creation. In God’s fully realized kingdom, the Son of God would rule securing joy and peace forever and ever.
But Jesus puts a premature wrinkle in the story. [. . .] The true Son of God steps right into the middle of history . . . to declare, “Resurrection is here! The kingdom has come. The new age has begun!”
This flies in the face of secular Rome and the religious elite. Caesar can’t command the dead to life, and the Jews can’t put Life to death, as hard as they tried. [. . .] Jesus is a cut above. He not only possesses the power of life over death, he is life over death: “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). [. . .] At the cross, our judgment is also rolled back into the middle of history to fall on Jesus. Our death becomes his death, so that his life can become our life.
Caesar can’t command the dead to life, and the Jews can’t put Life to death. Happy Resurrection Day!
2nd Lieutenant Samuel Winkler | Unit 42
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