The doctrine of identification

Jesus died once and rose once. Annual commemorations do not mean that He will re-do the whole process.

WE are back to the season when a preponderant number of denominations and ministries preach the Gospel of Christ to some extent. Of course some have a warped notion that every year, Jesus dies and rises again. Moreover, we will not be short of those who “prophecy” that on Easter Monday, you will get a pay rise, profit rise and other catchy proclamations.

Jesus died once and rose once. Annual commemorations do not mean that He will re-do the whole process. In fact let us look at the Gospel. We read Galatians 1:6-9, “[6] I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: [7] Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. [9] As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

As you can see, in verses 8 and 9, Apostle Paul repeats that if anyone preaches another gospel, let him be cursed. The Greek word anathema is much stronger than curse. The natural question would be what did Apostle Paul preach then. Let us look at 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, “[1] Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; [2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep [hold fast] in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” Please, hold fast to this Gospel, beware of troublemakers. If you receive or received this Gospel, you will be able to stand unshaken by winds of doctrine and waves of heresy.

Let us continue with 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “[3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” We, the saved should spread this Gospel because we were also saved by the Gospel preached to us. The church is busy praying for the unsaved world to be saved. That is not bad but it is lower level. The highest level is to go and preach to the unsaved.

Please do not miss me here. Christ took our place as a sinner and as sin so that we would be seen in Him as the One seated on the right hand of majesty. This is not for Easter only but that is the everyday Gospel. Let us go through this. We start with incarnation Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” So once in Christ, we are eternally sinless.

1 Corinthians 15:4 gives us the first lines of the Gospel of Christ. I retract a bit to lay out the whole process. We start with the sufferings of Christ. We cannot ignore 1 Peter 1:11, “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” This is the glory we have as the church.

He goes to Calvary and is nailed on the Cross. I will explain later, but please do not use the term, the works of the Cross. While on the Cross, before He died and said it is finished, it was the beginning. There were things visible to onlookers. However the real deal was what happened beyond the human eye. What was finished is the Law. We quote Ephesians 2:15-16, “[15] Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; [16] And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:”

Because of the verses above, we therefore have Galatians 3:27-29, “[27] For as many of you as have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ. [28] There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. [29] And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Jesus then died on our behalf twice, first in spirit because of our sins — past, present and future He carried, so that He could be able to die physically. He was taken for burial by a rich and influential disciple, Joseph of Arimathea. He was not buried by the twelve (eleven) disciples.

He went to hades and disarmed the devil. The Message Bible spices it up in Colossians 2:15, “He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.” Jesus then rose and gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” This power is for preaching the Gospel. I have said it before, the word all means all in context and does not mean everything. I know you like, I can do all things. You can not, read the pretext and the post text to get the context.

Jesus rose from death and was physically seen according to 1 Corinthians.

He went up and presented Himself to the Father as propitiation for our sins and our High Priest. He came back so that we would be with Him. He had told the disciples in John 14:2-4, “[2] In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [3] And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. [4] And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

I reiterate, where He is that is where we are. 1 John 4:17, tells us, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” I will go through the sequence again; the sufferings of Christ, way to Golgotha and Calvary, nailed to the Cross, died, buried, went down to hades and paradise, rose and went up to heaven and secured our mansions (where we are if we are born again). He came down with a glorified body and could get into the house where His disciples were through the roof. He then ascended and sat on the right hand of God the Father. At the consummation of time, He is coming back.

He took our place and redeemed us. He identified with fallen humanity for remission of sins. Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.

  • All Bible quotations are from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.
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