Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is an essential tenet of our Christian faith. It’s only by the redeeming death of our Savior and His resurrection that we are justified before God and eternally saved.
Romans 4:25 makes this clear:
“Who [Jesus] was delivered for our offenses and was raised for our justification.”
But in addition to this, did you know that the Bible speaks of three wonderful things that happened when Jesus was resurrected from the dead?
In this post, we’ll read verses and helpful notes in the New Testament Recovery Version that reveal these three things. We hope this will give us a broader view of and deeper appreciation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1. The believers were regenerated
Most of us can recount exactly when we received the Lord Jesus and were born again, or regenerated.
While it’s true that each of us was regenerated on a particular date, 1 Peter 1:3 says something extraordinary:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
This verse tells us that when Jesus was resurrected, we were all regenerated! This is hard for our minds to comprehend, but according to the Word of God, it’s a remarkable fact. The eternal God isn’t bound by time. According to the divine viewpoint, Peter, Paul, and all of Christ’s believers throughout the centuries, including us, were regenerated at the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Note 4 on this verse in the Recovery Version explains what regeneration is:
“Regeneration, like redemption and justification, is an aspect of God’s full salvation. Redemption and justification solve our problem with God and reconcile us to God; regeneration enlivens us with God’s life, bringing us into a relationship of life, an organic union, with God. Hence, regeneration issues and results in a living hope. Such regeneration is accomplished through the resurrection of Christ from the dead.”
Romans 4:25 tells us Jesus’ being raised from the dead was for us to be objectively justified before God. But 1 Peter 1:3 reveals more. Through Jesus’ resurrection, we were also inwardly regenerated with the life of God. Since we were enlivened with God’s own life, we now share His life and have a relationship of life with Him. This is what God originally planned for us.
2. Jesus Christ became the firstborn Son of God
Many people are familiar with John 3:16:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.”
God manifested His great love for fallen sinners by giving His only begotten Son. God didn’t spare His beloved Son but sent Him into this world to die for us so that all who believe into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.
The only begotten Son of God was and is divine. But when He was incarnated to be the man Jesus, He took on human nature. He was divine and human at the same time, God yet man: a God-man. This is the One who died on the cross for us.
Then speaking of Christ’s resurrection, Acts 13:33 says:
“That God has fully fulfilled this promise to us their children in raising up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, ‘You are My Son; this day have I begotten You.’”
Since Christ was God’s only begotten Son already, even before resurrection, why does this verse say that on the day of resurrection He was begotten of God?
Note 1 on this verse in the New Testament Recovery Version helps us understand:
“Resurrection was a birth to the man Jesus. He was begotten by God in His resurrection to be the firstborn Son of God among many brothers (Rom. 8:29). He was the only begotten Son of God from eternity (John 1:18; 3:16). After incarnation, through resurrection He was begotten by God in His humanity to be God’s firstborn Son.”
The words incarnation and humanity here are key. Christ, who is divine from eternity to eternity, became a man, died as a man, and was raised as a man. Through resurrection, He was begotten in His humanity as God’s firstborn Son.
For Christ to be the firstborn Son of God implies the existence of many other sons. That’s us! We, of course, were born possessing the human life. Through being born again, we obtained the divine life and are now sons of God. Christ is the firstborn Son with divinity and humanity, and we’re His many brothers.
John 20:17 tells us what Jesus said to Mary the Magdalene on the morning of His resurrection:
“Jesus said to her, Do not touch Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and say to them, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.”
Now let’s read the note on brothers in this verse:
“Previously, the most intimate term the Lord had used in reference to His disciples was ‘friends’ (15:14-15). But after His resurrection He began to call them ‘brothers,’ for through His resurrection His disciples were regenerated (1 Pet. 1:3) with the divine life, which had been released by His life-imparting death, as indicated in 12:24. He was the one grain of wheat that fell into the ground and died and grew up to bring forth many grains for the producing of the one bread, which is His Body (1 Cor. 10:17). He was the Father’s only Son, the Father’s individual expression. Through His death and resurrection the Father’s only Begotten became the Firstborn among many brothers (Rom. 8:29). His many brothers are the many sons of God and are the church (Heb. 2:10-12), a corporate expression of God the Father in the Son. This is God’s ultimate intention. The many brothers are the propagation of the Father’s life and the multiplication of the Son in the divine life. Hence, in the Lord’s resurrection God’s eternal purpose is fulfilled.”
The Lord in resurrection was made God’s firstborn Son and we became the many sons of God, His many brothers!
3. Jesus Christ became a life-giving Spirit
First Corinthians 15:45 says:
“So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul’; the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.”
The last Adam in this verse refers to Jesus Christ.
Note 1 on this verse in the Recovery Version sheds tremendous light on the matter of Christ becoming the life-giving Spirit in resurrection. The first part says:
“Through creation Adam became a living soul with a soulish body. Through resurrection Christ became a life-giving Spirit with a spiritual body. Adam as a living soul is natural; Christ as a life-giving Spirit is resurrected. First, in incarnation He became flesh for redemption (John 1:14, 29); then, in resurrection He became a life-giving Spirit for the imparting of life (John 10:10b). Through incarnation He had a soulish body, as Adam had; through resurrection He has a spiritual body. His soulish body has become a spiritual one through resurrection. Now He is a life-giving Spirit in resurrection, with a spiritual body, ready to be received by His believers.”
John 1:14, 1:29, and 10:10b are all referenced in this note, and they say respectively:
“And the Word [Christ] became flesh and tabernacled among us.”
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
“I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly.”
The eternal God became a man of flesh and blood named Jesus Christ to die for us as the Lamb of God. In resurrection, Christ became the life-giving Spirit so He could impart the divine life into us, even abundantly.
When Jesus was living on earth, it was wonderful to be near Him physically. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and spoke words of life no one had ever heard before. But those who followed Him were still separate from Him. He couldn’t enter into them. But in resurrection, He became the life-giving Spirit so He could enter into all His believers.
Today anyone, anywhere who repents and believes in Him as the Savior can receive Him into their spirit, the innermost part of their being.
Now let’s focus on the last part of the note from 1 Corinthians 15:45:
“When we believe into Him, He enters our spirit, and we are joined to Him as the life-giving Spirit. Hence, we become one spirit with Him (6:17). Our spirit is made alive and is resurrected with Him. Eventually, our present soulish body will become a spiritual body in resurrection, just like His (vv. 52-54; Phil. 3:21).”
First Corinthians 6:17, referenced in the note, says:
“But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”
When we believed in the Lord, our regenerated human spirit and the Spirit were joined together as one spirit. No relationship could be more personal or intimate than this. He as the life-giving Spirit now dwells in our spirit and continues to give life to us when we contact Him by praying and calling on His name.
Christ’s resurrection is truly wonderful! We were regenerated with the life of God; He became the firstborn Son of God and we the many sons of God; and He became the life-giving Spirit who now dwells in our spirit.
Praise the Lord for the resurrection of Jesus Christ! May our eyes be opened to see what happened in His resurrection, and may our hearts and mouths be opened to thank and praise Him!
The subject of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is profound. We could only touch on these three wonderful things that happened in His resurrection in a very brief way here. If you live in Australia, we encourage you to order a free New Testament Recovery Version here so you can read all the notes on the verses we mentioned.
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