The Word on the Week

Easter 2019

The Saviour died, and rose again

triumphant o’er the grave;

and pleads our cause at God’s right hand,

omnipotent to save.

This verse takes the reader through ‘dead man’s cross and live man’s tomb’ and onwards and upwards to Christ’s heavenly session and present redeeming work.

The first two lines, ‘The Saviour died, and rose again; triumphant o’er the grave’

are what St Paul’s declares to be of the utmost importance in 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 verses 3 and 4: “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”

The second two lines, “and pleads our cause at God’s right hand, omnipotent to save,” deal with the Lord Jesus Christ’s present work at the right hand of the Majesty.   This is referred to in Psalm 110 verse 1, “The LORD says to my Lord:

“Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”   This is quoted by the writer to the Hebrews in Chapter 1 when the triumphant Christ, now seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (verse 3) has an authority which exceeds that of angels (Verse 13).

The fact of Christ being seated indicates that the work of redemption has been completed.  What continues is the filling out of salvation by the distribution of gifts to the people of God- “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men” (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth?  He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is at the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians Chapter 4 verses 9 to 16).   i.e. a people who love!

Notice – there are no black holes in God’s economy!