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    The double resurrection of Christ.

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    mindspike
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    The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  mindspike on April 22nd 2014, 1:39 pm

    If there is a single essential tenet of Christian belief it is the propitiatory death of Christ and resurrection from the dead. It is conventionally taught, and certainly this is how my children understand things, that the death of Christ’s body on the cross and the resurrection of his body from the tomb is the work of salvation. This is understandable and approachable. We understand death as an eternal separation from our loved ones. With the loss of my mother in October it is something that has been driven home to my family.

    But with Christ this is not the case. Death is not forever. There is a reunion waiting on the other side of the veil. This is the hope we have which anchors our soul.

    But it is something that has always bothered me. Why would physical suffering on the cross be sufficient atonement for sin? Why three days in the tomb? What is holy about the cross as a method of execution? And most important: why would Jesus declare his work finished (totalesti) before his death? The whole thing smacks of mysticism; good for mythology, bad for theology. It is a question with which I wrestle every Easter.

    The answer, I am convinced, lies in the nature of the Trinity, the foreground of scriptural prophecy, and the necessity for an evidence trail. The nature of the Trinity is essential to the effective propitiation for sin. The foreground of scriptural prophecy and the need for an evidence trail is necessary for the confirmation of the Messiahship of Christ and the ability of the apostles to spread the Gospel.

    The most important part is the accomplishment of the work. Scripture uses death to refer literally to the expiration of the body and metaphorically to spiritual separation from God. The first is emblematic of the latter, but not contributory to it, while the existence of the latter is the cause of the former (Romans 5:12). The corollary of this is that physical death may be undone by the reuniting of the spiritual separation from God, and that this need only be done once (Hebrews 10:5-18).

    The logical construction of the propitiation principle relies on a quantifiable occurrence for which reparation may be effectively made. I have always enjoyed the Egyptian symbology for this, wherein one’s sins are represented by gold coins, and weighed against the purity of the soul in the form of a feather. Ouch. It is a useful metaphor.

    To put this is mathematic terminology, the sins of the world are energetically finite, expressed as S = ((D – B) x P^n)sigma^n. The deity of Christ is infinite (Isaiah 43:10), or infinitely energetic represented mathematically by the Mobius strip. Mathematically, any number processed against infinity becomes infinite itself and loses individual distinction – except when that formula is a transfinite formulation resulting in a subset of numbers that is itself infinite while being distinct from infinity as a whole. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit may all be accurately expressed as transfinite equations, where those equations have identical formulation but distinct expression. The weight of sin may be expressed as a limited equation formed of a subset separate from the previous expressions that becomes transfinite, having a distinct formulation and expression. The “sin” expression may then equate to a subset of the “Christ” expression in value without sharing argument elements, and that value may be extracted from the latter expression without diminishing the expression itself. The feather of Christ’s soul is thus able to encompass the sins of all humanity in quantity without itself being sinful.

    Enough of that. The reasoning is tangential to the acceptance of the possibility. I am even willing to admit that the reasoning behind this entire post is tangential to the acceptance of the premise: that Christ died as propitiation for sin and rose from the dead to ultimately receive us into eternal life. On to the real subject of my thoughts.

    For the Messiahship of Christ to be confirmed, he must raise himself from the dead (John 10:17-18, John 2:18-22) referring in this passage specifically to bodily resurrection. We know that the propitiatory sacrifice was accepted because God raised Christ from the dead (Romans 10:9) referring specifically to undoing the spiritual separation from God caused by the presence of sin. For Trinitarian doctrine to be confirmed, the bodily and spiritual resurrection of Christ must necessarily be separate events, in keeping with the distinctions Christ drew between his work of scriptural fulfillment and his repeated affirmations that this authority comes from the Father (John 5:16-30). If these two events are to be one and the same, why then does Jesus declare his work of propitiation finished (totalesti) before his bodily death (John 19:30)? Why does God wait three days to accept the sacrifice when the transfinite nature of divine existence and the merciful nature of God means the work could be accomplished in an eyeblink? Why does Jesus both lament his forsaken existence (Psalm 22) and praise God for redeeming him (Psalm 31) before the work is accomplished?

    If we postulate that the work of propitiation was marked by the moment that Christ lamented “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” then it coincides with other dramatic events – three hours of darkness and the rending of the temple veil. Christ’s second quote “Into your hands I commit my spirit,” may then be viewed as a prayer of thankfulness for God’s role as redeemer from sin. This is in keeping with inductive Bible study where scripture is always taken within the whole of its context. Psalm 22 is an affirmation of sinfulness and God’s authority to deal with sinfulness. Psalm 31 is an affirmation that sin is in the past and God has been identified as the redeemer. This, then, becomes the resurrection to which Paul refers in Romans 10:9, leaving Christ free to lay down his own life in bodily form and resurrect himself under his own power in accordance with scripture and his own prophecy.

    Every other action then serves the purpose of either fulfilling scriptural prophecy or of laying down an evidence trail to be used by the apostles in spreading the gospel. Three days in the tomb would be more than enough time for the Roman authorities to confirm death and even for decay to set in. All of these events were dramatic enough to be recorded in the secular histories of the day, whose records we still have.

    The why of it all still remains a mystery. If any normal person were doing this, he would have come with thunder and lightning from the get-go. The Jews certainly expected the Messiah to appear in that manner. All scripture ever says about it is that all things are orchestrated for the glory of God and in keeping with his nature. As with everything else, the best answer come from Jesus himself, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.” (Matthew 11:29)


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    Re: The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  Paeter on April 22nd 2014, 3:37 pm

    If you're interested, I'd love to have a recording of this for use as an ISOT segment on the SBU podcast!


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    mindspike
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    Re: The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  mindspike on April 29th 2014, 11:49 am

    I was just sharing my thoughts, but if you think others will find them helpful I'll be glad to record a segment for you.


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    Re: The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  Paeter on April 29th 2014, 7:32 pm

    Yeah, I do! And I think its worthwhile to have some other voices in the ISOT segment now and then, especially voices as thoughtful as yours.


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    Re: The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  rossmcclure4 on May 4th 2014, 8:13 am

    math make head hurt

    mindspike
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    Re: The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  mindspike on May 5th 2014, 9:54 am

    rossmcclure4 wrote:math make head hurt
    Yeah, I'll tone that down before recording the segment. It's part of how I understand the world.


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    Re: The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  Paeter on May 6th 2014, 4:03 pm

    mindspike wrote:
    rossmcclure4 wrote:math make head hurt
    Yeah, I'll tone that down before recording the segment. It's part of how I understand the world.

    Don't feel like you need to tone it ALL down. I appreciate the way your mind works! You have some great intellectual strengths I wish I possessed!


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    Re: The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  tmorrill on May 7th 2014, 6:03 pm

    Winston,

    I really enjoyed this read. Very well thought out and made me think and wrestle with some stuff.

    Why three days in the tomb? What is holy about the cross as a method of execution? And most important: why would Jesus declare his work finished (totalesti) before his death? The whole thing smacks of mysticism; good for mythology, bad for theology.

    I think I have answers for those, but I don't have any scriptural evidence to back them up yet, so I'll get back to those tonight when I get off shift and can comb through it more thoroughly.


    mindspike wrote:
    rossmcclure4 wrote:math make head hurt
    Yeah, I'll tone that down before recording the segment. It's part of how I understand the world.

    Maybe not tone it down, but explain the different. I think I grasp them, but I'd appreciate you letting me know if I'm on the right track.

    Here's the equation expressed using keyboard trickery to make it shorter and a bit easier to read.
    S = {(D – B) Pⁿ} Σⁿ


    I'm assuming

    S=Sin
    D=Death
    B=?
    P=?
    Σ= Standard deviation. It is also the symbol for sigma for those who aren't aware. (I'm also not sure how this relates to the equation)
    ⁿ=? I'm assuming since they are expressed the same ⁿ is the same number each time it's used.

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    Re: The double resurrection of Christ.

    Post  mindspike on May 7th 2014, 10:52 pm

    I should have written that equation out.

    Sin (S) is quantifiable as the years of life (Date of Death - Date of Birth) identified by the Discrete Population (P^n) and summed in series for the total Population (sigma P^n).

    To put it more plainly. The lifespan of every individual who ever lived. (Romans 3:23; Psalm 51:5).

    The need for elements I've identified as "mystical" have less to do with the ability of Christ to accomplish the work of propitiation and more to do with the desire of Yahweh to glorify Himself by creating a secular record of the evidence of His work.

    Why three days in the tomb? It's enough time for the body to begin to putrefy. It provides incontrovertible evidence of physical death.

    What is holy about the cross? Nothing in itself. The cross bore a social connotation of being cursed and was absolutely humiliating. Both of these were used to strike down the common notion among the Jews that Messiah would return in power as a political figure.

    Why did Jesus declare his work finished before his death, if that death were the beginning of his work? Jesus' physical death was only evidential of the work, which was accomplished by the Father at the moment marked by Jesus' cry of abandonment. Jesus foreshadows this in John 5, when he asks, "What is easier? To say your sins are forgiven? So that you will know the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins, rise, take up your bed and walk." The death and resurrection is used the same way. What is easier? To assure people that you have dealt with their sin? Or to prove it by bodily raising yourself from the dead?

    That's my extended line of reasoning.

    I'm in awe of your keyboard skills, BTW.


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