Ever since the first astonished disciples shared the incredible news that “Christ is risen,” the message of the empty tomb has held fascinating relevance for all who have grasped its significance. But in 1958, with the whole world a potential chasm of death, the Easter message seems to bear a special significance for the modern man.
CHRISTIANITY TODAY’S fifty contributing editors, asked to pin-point that relevance, sketch it in comprehensive terms—in its bearing on the twentieth-century individual, his society, and his cosmos.
The contemporaneousness of the Resurrection was one of their most frequently recurring themes. “Far from being an historical event two thousand years removed from us,” declares Dr. Harold John Ockenga of Boston’s Park Street Church, “the Resurrection is a contemporaneous occurrence in the light of which we must decide, act and live.” President Duke K. McCall of Louisville’s Southern Baptist Theological Seminary sees the Resurrection speaking not, as some have charged, of “pie in the sky by and by when we die,” but of a “transforming power for the present with eternal consequences.”
Thus neither past, future, nor both together, can exhaust the Easter message. This victory, asserts Dr. Paul S. Rees, Minneapolis pastor, “is not something that resides in the future as a hope but something that now leaps from the past as a fact. Immortality is of the future, whereas the Atonement—the victory of God in Christ over sin and death and hell—is of the past, with energies released that range through all the living present, offering victory to the beaten, pardon to the guilty, newness of life to the captives of death.” ...1
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