Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ten things for Easter Saturday

1. The corpse that lay in the tomb was the body of the Prince of Life.
2. While the body of the Son of God lay dead, he continued to uphold the universe.
3. Christ's burial is a proof that he really died.
4. Jesus was given an honourable burial after his shameful death because he was innocent.
5. Christ's body was prepared for permanent burial. His resurrection was unexpected.
6. Angels guarded Jesus' tomb.
7. Christ's corpse was kept from corruption and decay by the power of Holy Spirit.
8. The soul of Jesus was with the Father in paradise, while his body lay in the tomb.
9. Baptism is a symbol of the believer's death and burial with Christ.
10. Jesus' burial was the prelude to his resurrection and the empty tomb.


Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Number 2 sounds less than Trinitarian. In fact, it sounds like the docetic heresy that claimed that 'the Son of God' left Jesus before he died on the cross. The whole point of the resurrection is that Jesus was REALLY dead! Dead, dead. Dead. Not just body dead, but dead because dualistic views of body and soul are Hellenistic and not Jewish or Christian.

Jesus no more upheld the universe (the Father did this) while dead than he moved the planets in orbit from his cradle at Christmas.

As Moltmann says in the Crucified God, only a fully Trinitarian view can even understand the cross/Easter event. For the crucifixion of the Son of God means not that God died, but there was now death IN God, that the Creator of the universe, entering and experience the life of that universe, now experienced death.

With the resurrection and ascension that experience (and all of human life and human concern) enters into the very heart of the Triune God. So, I must deny your point number two.

Exiled Preacher said...

Not at all Michael,

The Son of God remained homoousios with the Father and the Spirit throughout his incarnate existence. Since his incarnation he has been and ever will be homoousios with humanity too. It was precicely the Son of God's humanity that was crucified. His corpse that lay dead in the tomb. In that sense, there is death in God. The union of the divine and human natures in the Son was not severed by his death. But his divine nature was not dead and buried. To say that it was suggests some kind of kenosis Christology.

I hold to the so-called extra calvinisticus, that Christ did continue to function as a divine person, omnipotently upholding the universe even while his body lay in the tomb. (The Son doesuphold the universe by the word of his power according to Heb. 1:3, not to the exclusion of the Father or the Spirit).

In recent post on "Resurrection Sovereignty", I reflect on the way in which Jesus' incarnate life affects his Lordship.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I am NOT denying homoousios--but that must extend to Jesus' entire being, not just his body. If you say that his humanity died, you are on firmer ground than saying his body died only, but we must affirm that the SON died and was raised or we have failed to grasp the radical nature of the crucifixion and resurrection--and the incredible risk God undertook in the incarnation for our sake.

We must avoid any statement that even SEEMS like saying that this was all an act, something without risk, pain, death, hell, for God the Son--and thus for the entire Godhead and universe. Only the vulnerable God can save us.

Michael Westmoreland-White said...

And, yes, I affirm kenosis Christology--and so does Phil. 2.

Exiled Preacher said...


Yes, the NT affirms that the Lord of glory was crucified. The Son of God died in his human nature. He did not merely seem to die. His body was dead while his soul was with the Father in paradise.

In Phil 2, Christ empties himself by taking the form of a servant, not by divesting himself of the form of God. As Augustine said, Christ became what he was not without ceasing to be what he was.

"Kenosis Christology" denies this. Its proponents use the terminology of Phil 2 to suggest that the Son in some way stopped being fully God when he became man. I don't agree, which is why I say that the Son was fully God, upholding the universe at the same time he was lying in the tomb.