Monday, April 09, 2007

The supreme of the death of Christ

The view from my 9th floor balcony

Labuan: Day One
I arrived in Labuan late this morning. This is my first time here and obviously I did not know what to expect. What I can say is that this is a quiet and sleepy town and I, being a city-girl, was bored to death within an hour of arrival. And I only brought one book to read, much to my regret. However, later into the night, it did not make a difference anymore because I think I will be spending most of waking hours at work. The only setback is that there are no internet connection facilities where I am staying. There will be no American Idol (aarrhhh!!!), and there will be no … a lot of things! I will be here till Thursday, when I will be flying back in the morning.

During my flight, I was reading the one and only book I brought (I usually bring several but ended up lugging it for no reason and this one time I decided otherwise, I wish I brought them all): Sir Norman Anderson’s Jesus Christ, the Witness of History (Leicester: IVP, 1985). I was tired and found it hard to concentrate. So I was skip reading it here and there. It is not an easy read – being written by a lawyer, but interesting and worthy of note nonetheless. Its 160 over pages only covers 4 chapters:

1. The historical basis: is it convincing?
2. The central figure: how are we to regard him?
3. The Roman gibbet: was it inevitable?
4. The empty tomb: what really happened?

And since it is just one day after celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, let me quote him on this: “… the belief that Christ rose from the dead is not an optional extra of Christian theology, superimposed on his life and death to give a happy ending to what might otherwise be regarded as a tragedy of infinite beauty, overshadowed by doubts as to whether it was not, after all, a supreme example of magnificent defeat. On the contrary, it is the linchpin of each of our previous studies,” (i.e. #1 to #3 listed above), “the credibility of the whole apostolic testimony must stand or fall according to the view we take of the resurrection.” (p.111-2)

We spend 40 days meditating on his sacrificial love and atonement for our sins during Lent and just one day on resurrection. As much as the cross is central to our faith, resurrection closes the deal. It is the “supreme proof of the deity of Christ” (p.113) as Paul as written that he had been “declared Son of God by a mighty act in that he rose from the dead.” (Rom 1:4) The resurrection of Christ, confirms that his death on the cross is a once and for all act of atonement that will free us from our sins and for us to be reconciled with God. We need to spend 40 days until Ascension to marvel at, adore and worship our Risen Lord!



  1. Hi Pearlie,

    Hope you are surviving the sticks with only one book. It would take me at least a week of perfect solitude to get through that one, I'm sure. I guess you won't be getting this for awhile. Hope you make it back safe!

  2. What an important thought and thing to point out. Thanks for doing so. I like Jewels say "enjoy the solittude".

  3. Julia,
    Yup, I am surviving ok. And I will not be able to read much of the book here let alone finish it.

  4. Susan,
    Yea, once I use to think that the cross is all and all is the cross but now I think without the empty tomb, the cross is a failure.

    I paused before actually saying the word "failure" but I think is. What do you think?