With this post I conclude this series. Perhaps “Cross and Resurrection” was not the best title for it, as it has in fact ranged much wider than these two events. Here are the previous posts:
- Cross or Resurrection 1: Which is Determinative?
- Cross or Resurrection 2: Greater than John the Baptist
- Cross or Resurrection 2a: Stop confessing your sins!
- Cross or Resurrection 3: What about Jesus’ life?
- Cross or Resurrection 4: The Centrality of the Cross?
- Cross or Resurrection 5: Risen and Ascended Lord
- Cross or Resurrection 6: New Life After Pentecost
- Cross or Resurrection 7: Jesus is Coming Soon
In each of the preceding posts, apart from the opening one, I warned against the dangers of taking one aspect of the faith, and of the New Testament narrative, as the central focus of Christianity and as determinative for the Christian life. In each case I named a particular stream within the church which sometimes strays too far in focusing on one aspect to the neglect of the others.
The key to the Christian life is to find the right balance between these matters. Each of them is important and indeed necessary for a proper Christian life. But no one of them is important enough to be the central focus, or to cause the others to be neglected. The Christian life must begin with repentance and forgiveness, made possible through the Cross, and continue with the new life inaugurated by the Resurrection and empowered by the Holy Spirit – always taking Jesus’ life on earth as an example but remembering that he is now reigning in heaven and will come again at the end. If anything here is missed out, there is a serious imbalance which needs to be corrected. But if we keep the right balance, the Christian walk is a straightforward, if not always easy, one.