Post Tenebras Lux Redux
"Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.”
- Mark 16:6
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:20-21
“He alone has made a solid proficiency in the gospel who has been accustomed to continual meditation on the blessed resurrection.”
- John Calvin, Institutes, III:xxv.I
“The issue (of the resurrection) is non-negotiable for Paul. The consequences of denying Christ’s resurrection are massive – for then Paul’s preaching is mistaken, their faith is vain, their sins remain unforgiven, and those who have died have perished.”
- Thomas Schreiner, Paul, Apostle of God’s Glory in Christ, p. 457
“The resurrection of Christ is the beginning of the new and final world-order, an order described as spiritual and heavenly. It is the dawn of the new creation the start of the eschatological age. In terms of the conceptual framework with which Paul views the whole of history, it is the commencement of the ‘age to come.’”
- Richard Gaffin, Resurrection and Redemption, pps. 89-90
“Post Tenebras Lux” was used as a motto during the time of the Protestant Reformation. In Latin it simply means, “After darkness, light.” It has also been used during the Easter season in association with Good Friday. Even today some Lutheran churches have Good Friday services that they describe as a ‘tenebras’ service, where reflection is made upon sin that brought darkness, and then the following Easter Sunday is described as ‘lux’ or light. For the Christian the resurrection is that historical, and momentous event when the long-ensconced darkness is finally overcome by light. Man, fast-bound by sin, sees lash and leash begin to relinquish its tenacious hold.
In the comprehensiveness of Christ’s redemptive act Puritan John Owen called it the ‘death of death’, and John Calvin called the resurrection, ‘…the most important article of our faith’(John II:247). The resurrection is no small appendage to our theological understanding. It is pivotal and it is necessary because the cross alone is insufficient. Without the historical and bodily resurrection of Christ we are left without hope, we remain in our sins, our faith is in vain, and we die facing immediate corruption and finality. Sadly many churches that call themselves Christian emphasize the cross and minimize the resurrection. For them it is much easier to believe Jesus was crucified than that He was resurrected. The historical and corporeal (bodily) resurrection is too much for them. How glad I am for the resurrection. In it Jesus has became the first to conquer death, sin, hell and the grave, and in His resurrection we are guaranteed the same. And if that weren’t enough, the resurrected and ascended Christ has bestowed the greatest of all gifts to His church in the giving of the Spirit (Acts 2:31-33 and Eph. 4:8).
In our celebration of Easter the resurrection is the light after the darkness of the cross. May we truly comprehend what has been done, and then rejoice in the resurrection of our sin-bearer. Because of Him we are no longer children of darkness, but He has made us children of light.