Christ’s resurrection as the dawning new creation

How does your heart respond to good theology?

In his introduction to Athanasius’s On the Incarnation, C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”

I agree. And in the days before Easter I’m setting aside some time to focus on one of the many implications of Christ’s resurrection: how the resurrection marks the dawning of the new creation.

The resurrection makes it possible for the believer to be a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). But the resurrection of Christ is also inaugurates something much broader—the re-creation of the universe. At least this is the conclusion of a number of theologians. As one author puts it, “with the resurrection itself a shock wave has gone through the entire cosmos: the new creation has been born.” Of course we await the return of Christ for the coming of the new heaven and the new earth. But the resurrection marks the beginning—the dawn—of this new creation.

As I prepare my heart for the Savior’s resurrection, I want to study this shock wave that reverberates through the cosmos. And to help I’ve compiled this PDF, a collection of quotes that I plan to study alongside my open Bible. My notes and quotes follow this rough outline:

1. Christ as the “Firstborn” and “Firstfruits” in Colossians 1 and 1 Corinthians 15
2. In 1 Corinthians 15:35–49
3. In the two Adams of 1 Corinthians 15:20–23 and 42–49
4. In Ephesians 1:15–23
5. In Colossians 1:15–20
6. In Revelation 3:14
7. In Revelation 21
8. In the practice of the Lord’s Day
9. Summary Quotes

With a pipe in my teeth and a pencil in my hand, this is the tough bit of theology that I will meditate on over the next two weeks. As I do, I pray that my heart will sing unbidden for the Savior, whose return will bring the new heaven and the new earth—a new creation that was inaugurated on Easter Sunday.

Download the document here (PDF).

8 thoughts on “Christ’s resurrection as the dawning new creation

  1. Thank you for not getting bogged down in an issue (to smoke or not to smoke) and for staying on point for the meat of the matter. So many people today are chasing politically correct rabbits that they miss the things that really matter.

  2. Tony,
    This is a great topic. This may not prove useful to you, but here is a post I wrote a while back on Marriage and Salvation and the parallels between the first and second Adam. To it, I would add the following thoughts:
    The Garden of Eden is not just a place for beginning the story. It is a picture of the end from the beginning.
    The genealogy in Luke says Adam was the son of God, and so you have the son of God in a garden with his wife and at the center of it, you have the Tree of Life.
    Christ, the Son of God, the second Adam, the first to be glorified, the first-fruits of all that God has promised will in the end of all things be joined with his bride in this new creation. And what is there as well? The tree of life. The question that always comes to mind when I think about these things is, “When he is joined to his bride, and when they become one, what will be the offspring of their glorious consummation?”
    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

  3. Thanks for the meditation guide. I am the director of small group ministries at my church and I sent out your guide to all of our leaders encouraging them to share them with the members of their small communities. I am very thankful for this excellent tool.

  4. Awesome Tony. Don’t forget that Eph 1:19ff leads right into “resurrection” description of believer: from DEAD (2:1) to alive, doing good works (2:10). Love it!

  5. Great article but one “complaint…”

    The title of the PDF includes the phrase, “cosmic shock wave…”

    You quote the phrase saying, “As one author puts it…”

    You say you want to study the shock wave…

    You list several authors and quotes at the bottom of the article…

    The “shock wave” is a theme of the article and you “credit” to someone else with the phrase…

    But you never tell us who that someone else is and where they said it.

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