The primary goal of the New Testament writers was to convince their readers that Jesus was the Messiah and that his death at the hands of the Romans didn’t prove otherwise.
If Jesus’ Triumphal Entry was supposed to be the event that led to him being declared king and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom, everything changed with his arrest and crucifixion. His followers were left depressed and disillusioned.
But news of his resurrection and exaltation to the right hand of God restored hope. It was a strange twist and not what they expected, but it accomplished something that could not otherwise have happened.
We see in the New Testament a four-fold message:
- There was meaning in his life: In addition to preaching repentance, he modeled obedience to God as well as selfless servanthood.
- There was meaning in his death: It was necessary for him to die as a payment for sins.
- There was meaning in his resurrection: Just as Jesus was raised–indicating Yahweh’s pleasure and approval–those who accepted him as Messiah and followed his teachings would also be raised at his return (should they die prior to his return).
- There was meaning in his exaltation: By taking Jesus to heaven, God declared that Jesus could and should be worshiped as Lord of all.
And this same Jesus, vindicated by God, would return–only now much greater than before–to establish the kingdom, destroy Yahweh’s enemies, and reign until there was peace on earth.
When Yahweh Shared His Name
Why Was Jesus’ Death Necessary?