Christ's Resurrection and Ours
Every year when Easter rounds the corner, there is a looming buzz of anticipation for the "Resurrection Sunday" service. Many churches make attempts to set apart that Lord's Day from others, to spend the entire service reflecting on the bodily resurrection of Jesus.
The question is this, “Does our right focus on Christ’s resurrection leave us neglecting the reality of our own future, bodily resurrection?”
Rhett P. Dodson, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Hudson, Ohio, in With a Mighty Triumph: Christ's Resurrection and Ours, sets out to show the reader that the resurrection of Christ gives us hope and joy for our future resurrection. Walking verse-by-verse through 1 Corinthians 15, the theological capstone for the resurrection, he shows that the resurrection is the "very heart of the gospel" (p. 5).
Each chapter takes a sampling of 5-10 verses and breaks down the soul of Paul's argument. It reads like a sermon transcript; this is not a bad thing as this makes it very approachable and easy to take in. It is a small-ish book with 6 chapters in total, and just as you begin to really drink in the contents, you are finished. The final chapter makes it all worth it by encouraging the reader to put their hand to the plow, being "heavenly minded" so that we can have "earthly good" (p. 142).
Dodson reminds us that the resurrection is our security for today and our hope for tomorrow. Christ's rising from the dead delivers the death blow to the sting of death, but it also is a promise that one day the saints both buried and alive will be resurrected bodily. What a joyful truth!
Who is this book for? This book would be wonderful to put into a new Christian's hands to bolster their understanding of their new faith. It would also be profitable to read a chapter a week leading up to Easter Sunday in family worship. Lastly, I think this would be a great gift for someone who has just lost a loved one who was Christian.
It is worth mentioning that Dodson began writing this in March 2020 on the eve of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many of us, the past 12-13 months have been preoccupied with the tyranny of the here and now; scared of the virus, worried for "at-risk" family, politics, etc. Despite all that, With a Mighty Triumph reminds the Christian that our salvation and eternal security are fixed in the Father's heart.
"Our new lives in Christ and our coming life in glory will display for all to see the immeasurable riches and the sheer unbounded greatness that stands behind our salvation in the heart of God and the work of the Lord Jesus." (p. 118)