New Creation

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
The death of the Lord Jesus was at the end of the old creation. In resurrection we see Him as the beginning or foundation of the new.
The old was not allowed to pass till it had been fully vindicated, as it was in the Person, character, ways, and life of the Lord. He stood as the immaculate and perfect sample of it, in the midst of all the ruin in which it was involved. But having been this, and done this, He died as under the doom of the old creation—"the Just for the unjust"—and in Himself as risen from the dead, He laid the foundation of the new creation.
His resurrection stands in four relationships: to God, to the world, to sinners, and to believers.
In relation to God, it is the display of His glory and of His purposes. It is His victory.
In relation to the world, it is its judgment. It tells them there is a question between God and them about Jesus—that they cast out the crucified, the One whom God has raised and glorified. And judgment awaits the world because of this, as Peter preaches in Acts 10 and Paul in Acts 17.
In relation to sinners, it tells them of redemption. The sacrifice which puts away sin has been accepted at that very throne which holds the balances that try the claims of God, and weighs the utmost of His demands in righteousness upon sinners.
In relation to believers, it pledges as firstfruits their own harvest, or resurrection in glorified bodies.
It is one thing, but it has these various aspects, and stands in these different relations. The angel that witnessed it in Matt. 28 accordingly changes his aspect, when turning from the keepers of the stone to the poor women. In the sight of the keepers of the stone, he had descended bringing terror with earthquake attending him, and the lightning expressing him. His appearing put the sentence of death into them, for they represented the world which had crucified the Lord of glory. But on turning to the women, this same angel is all gentleness. His terror does not make them afraid. The light is one to guide and gladden, not to alarm. It is the resurrection in the sight of poor, anxious sinners, as the other was the resurrection in the sight of the world.
This twofold aspect of the resurrection may be seen again in the appearing of Christ Himself to Saul of Tarsus. The risen, glorified Lord descended, as in lightning and earthquake, on the road which lay between Jerusalem and Damascus. Saul was then representative of the world's enmity-as the keepers of the sealed stone had been. The glory of the risen Jesus throws him to the earth, and lays the sentence of death in him as it had in those keepers of the stone. But quickly it becomes a guiding, gladdening light, for it tells him of his own hopes and services and securities under this same risen Jesus. (Acts 9, 22, 26.)
The resurrection is the laying of the foundation of the new creation, as we have already said, and such foundations are immovable, as is all that rests on them. It is the Son of God in victory. The old creation rested on the tested Adam, and falling in the temptation in his encounter with Satan, the creation fell and became a mighty ruin. But the Son of God has come, the Repairer of the breach, and has stood where Adam fell, has conquered where Adam was defeated, has broken the gates of hell, and in Himself and in His victory has laid the foundation of an unassailable creation. It is a new and redeemed creation which is to get its beauty as well as its strength from Him.
J. G. Bellett