Discussion Questions: 1.What is being depicted in these scenes? 2.Do you find it compelling or having important emotional impact? 3.Can you say why? 4.Can you cite another way to interpret the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus that is completely different? 5.If there are multiple ways to interpret the crucifixion what might we conclude from that?
Summary of this Chapter Jesus Cross and Resurrection are the crux (the central meaning) of Pauls thinking. Salvation (deliverance from sin into total healing and well-being) is based on the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. Paul uses several images or metaphors to explain what salvation means and how it works. This chapter explores the meaning of several of these concepts. Jesus
These concepts are as follows: Righteousness Sacrifice Reconciliation Redemption Adoption Renewal Victory
It is helpful to realize that under each of these seven metaphors (a figure of speech in which two unlike things turn out to have something in common Love is a rose.) is often clustered several sub-metaphors. Thus when we deal with righteousness it turns out that there are a number of images that Paul uses to teach that God makes us righteous through Christ.
Righteousness Gods righteousness is displayed in the variety of ways that he employs to make us righteous.
One of the sub-metaphors in righteousness is justification (being made righteousness)
Heres what Paul means by justification: Being legally acquitted, as when a judge cancels a parking ticket. God finds a way to let us off from our legal transgression as breakers of Gods law Being welcomed into the community of believers without satisfying Jewish entrance requirements (circumcision). Gentiles are able to become full members of Gods household Having an advanced glimpse at what will be declared about us at the final judgment. To be justified is to realize that the Judgment Day verdict is innocent. Having a spiritual change of authority. Sin, law, and death are no longer the tyrannical powers that enslave us.
Sacrifice The background of this metaphor is the primitive practice of offering an animal or something of value (grain) to God in order to secure atonement (at-one-ment or reunion with God). Somehow in the primitive mind the offering of life to God brought life from God. Ancient Israel had a sacrificial system.
The blood hymns pick up on the sacrificial metaphor for understanding salvation.
There is a Fountain Filled with Blood There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuels veins; And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. Lose all their guilty stains, lose all their guilty stains; And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day; And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away. Washed all my sins away, washed all my sins away; And there have I, though vile as he, washed all my sins away. Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood shall never lose its power Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more. Be saved, to sin no more, be saved, to sin no more; Till all the ransomed church of God be saved, to sin no more.
Pauls theology of sacrifice: Paul uses the language of sacrifice frequently to refer to Jesus death Jesus death is occasionally used in a way reminiscent of Abrahams binding of Isaac Paul uses the image of the Passover lamb Paul uses the ideas of the mercy seat (the place of atonement on the OT); expiation (the removal or cancellation of sin) and propitiation; (the appeasement of Gods wrath)
Penal Substitution God punishes Jesus for our sins by putting him in our place on the cross
Jesus as our representative God exercises his judgment and pours out his wrath on Christ because Christ is our representative. To be in Christ is to enter into the experience of judgment and wrath as well. Jesus serves a representative function as the Second Adam As representative of the whole human race his death signifies that the whole race must undergo death. Jesus death is the singular determining factor for the destiny of the entire human race in relation to God. Because we are in Christ his resurrection and acquittal from God become ours as well.
Reconciliation This metaphor belongs to the realm of personal relationships Jesus death brings an end to the hostility between Creator and creature Paul operates on the principle that the offended party (God) must exercise the initiative to reach out and forgive. This is the Christ pattern.
Text from Paul expressing the idea of reconciliation: All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, * not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. II Cor. 5.18-19
Redemption: The metaphor suggests the manumission of slaves and repatriation of prisoners of war when the appropriate price is paid. God through Christ pays a price to set free from slavery As God redeemed Israel from Egyptian slavery, so too the prophets announced that God would again redeem Israel in a new exodus from Exile This continues in Christs paying the price to redeem us from our indebtedness to sin The idea of ransomanother sub-metaphoris contained under this metaphor Rescued believers are saved for the purpose of living a godly life and participating in Gods mission in the world
Text from Paul expressing the idea of redemption: You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters.I Cor. 7.23
Adoption Paul saw believers as children of God, not slaves. The transfer of slave status to child status is a metaphor of the Christian life
Text from Paul expressing the idea of adoption: 6 And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! * Father! 7 So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God. --Galatians 4.6-7
Renewal Renewal flows out of Jesus suffering and resurrection This entails Gods work in the life of the believer to transform him or her Believers are to work out what God has worked in.
Victory Jesus death and resurrection are a cosmic victory over the dark forces of this evil age Paul treats death, which is defeated, as a personified personal enemy of Gods people
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8.38-39
Discussion Question Which metaphor for salvation is most powerful or meaningful for you?