…and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness,
by the resurrection from the dead.
Traveling by train within the United States, Bishop William Quayle fell into conversation with some of his fellow passengers. The bishop was not wearing his religious garb at the time, and so one of the passengers was curious to know what he did for a living. "What is your line of business?" he inquired. After a moment's reflection, the bishop replied, "Horizons!" He was right. Everyone who believes and proclaims the Gospel of the Risen Christ travels and trades in "horizons."
In Romans 1:4, Paul affirms that Jesus was "declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." The word "declared" is strikingly picturesque. This is the Greek word from which we get our English word "horizon" which basically means "to distinguish." The horizon is a line separating heaven from earth. Just as a horizon serves as a clear dividing line between land and sky, the resurrection of Christ distinguishes Him from the rest of humanity, declaring him to be the Son of God. The resurrection provides us a new horizon of understanding regarding the person and work of Christ. Christ's resurrection on the third day shows that He is divine (Rom. 1:4), that He has paid for our sins (1 Cor. 15:17), that He has defeated death (Acts 2:24), and that He is the procurer of eternal life for those who trust in Him (John 11:25-26). It led on to His ascension and present heavenly enthronement (Acts 2:32-34; Phil. 2:9-11). It also anticipates His return to earth in a moment of glorious vindication and victory (Acts 1:9-11; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Rev. 1:7). No wonder the doctrine of the resurrection is the capstone in each gospel. If the death of Christ is the heart of the gospel, then the resurrection is the vascular system that carries life and vitality to the whole body.
The resurrection not only offers us a new horizon on Christ, but many new horizons regarding our own lives. In the resurrection of Jesus, God introduced a new dynamic into the course of human experience. One, it provides our faith a historical foothold. We believe certain things to be true because a certain event did happen. Our faith and hope rests in a divine Galilean whose lungs filled with oxygen again (Acts 1:1-3). Two, it unleashes a triumphant spirit within life. For the Christian, new life is not just a future goal it is a present experience (Eph. 2:5). The power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us leading us in a victory lap through life (Phil. 3:10; Heb. 13:20-21). Three, it offers hope in the face of death. Christ's own resurrection has turned the grave into a thoroughfare rather than a dead end. Death actually issues in a greater experience of life (John 14:19; 11:25-26). Remember today that the resurrection is far from being something we only benefit from in the future. It is our constant horizon!
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