Saturday, April 04, 2015

"Jesus was killed by the earthly structures in bondage to the power of evil.  His death was not a payment owed to God's honor, nor was it divine punishment that he suffered as a substitute for sinners.  Jesus' death was the rejection of the rule of God by forces opposed to that rule. ... Far from being an event organized for a divine requirement, his death reveals the nature of the forces of evil that opposed the rule of God.  It poses a contrast between the attempt to coerce by violence under the rule of evil and the nonviolence of the rule of God as revealed and made visible by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

When evil did its worst, namely denying Jesus his existence by killing him, God's resurrection of Jesus displayed the ability of the reign of God to triumph over death, the last enemy.  The power of the reign of God over the forces of evil is made manifest in the resurrection of Jesus.

The resurrection as the victory of the reign of God over the forces of evil constitutes an invitation to salvation, an invitation to submit to the rule of God.  It is an invitation to enter a new life, a life transformed by the rule of God and no longer in bondage to the powers of evil that killed Jesus.  For those who perceive the resurrection, the only option that makes sense is to submit to the reign of God.  Christians, Christ-identified people, participate in the victory of the resurrection and demonstrate their freedom from bondage to the powers by living under the rule of God rather than continuing to live in the power of the evil that killed Jesus.  Salvation is present when allegiances change and new life is lived 'in Christ' under the rule of God."

-- J. Denny Weaver, The Nonviolent Atonement


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