Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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"We should think of Christ's life, trials, and especially his death and resurrection as the central events that launched the latter days. These pivotal events are eschatological in particular because they launched the beginning of the new creation and kingdom. This already-not yet, end-time, new-creational kingdom has not been recognized sufficiently heretofore as of vital importance to understanding the essence of NT theology and especially its application to pastoral ministry.

The OT prophesied that the destruction of the first creation and the re-creation of a new heavens and earth were to happen at the very end of time. Christ's work reveals that the end of the world and the coming new creation have begun in his death and resurrection: 2 Corinthians 5:15 and 17 says Christ "died and rose again. . . so that if any are in Christ, they are a new creation, the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come." Revelation 1:5 refers to Christ as "the firstborn from the dead," and then Revelation 3:14 defines "firstborn" as "the beginning of the [new] creation of God." Likewise, Colossians 1:18 says that Christ is "the firstborn from the dead" and "the beginning," so that "he himself might come to have first place in everything." In Galatians 6:14-15 Paul says that his identification with Christ's death means that he is a "new creation."

Indeed, the resurrection was predicted by the OT to occur at the end of the world as part of the new creation. God would make redeemed humanity a part of the new creation by re-creating their bodies through resurrection (cf. Daniel 12:1-2). Of course, we still look forward to the time when our bodies will be raised at Christ's final parousia, and we will become part of the consummated new creation. Christ's resurrection, however, placed him into the beginning of the new creation. The resurrected Christ is not merely spiritually the inauguration of the new cosmos, but he is literally its beginning, since he was resurrected with a physical, newly created body. Recall that when Matthew 27:50 narrates Jesus's death, Matthew immediately adds in verses 51-53, "the earth shook; and the rocks split, and the tombs were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many." These strange phenomena are recorded by Matthew to signal to his readers that Christ's death was the beginning of the end of the old creation and the inauguration of a new creation. Likewise, 1 John 2:17-18 can say "the world is passing away. . . it is the last hour." Hence, Christ's death is not just any death but rather the beginning of the destruction of the entire world, which will not be consummated until the very end. Likewise, 1 Corinthians 15:22-24 says the resurrection launched in Christ will be consummated when he returns, when resurrected saints will become a part of the final form of the eternal new creation." pg. 10,11 G.K. Beale "Making All Things New: Inaugurated Eschatology for the Life of the Church" by Benjamin L. Gladd & Matthew S. Harmon With an Introductory Chapter by G. K. Beale

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