IV. IN THIS SENSE, CHRIST’S RESURRECTION
BEING HIS RISING FROM THE DEAD BY HIMSELF
In the sense of His having authority to lay His life down and to take it again, Christ’s resurrection was His rising from the dead by Himself (Acts 10:41). This is on the active side. Christ had the authority to take His life back, so He rose up. The Bible says that He rose from the dead (1 Thes. 4:14a). This means that He gained the victory.
V. BUT IN THE SENSE THAT HE WAS KILLED
BY LAWLESS MEN, HIS RESURRECTION WAS
HIS BEING RAISED UP BY GOD
In the sense that Christ was killed by lawless men, His resurrection was His being raised up by God (Acts 2:24; 3:15). To rise up is active. To be raised up is passive. On the one hand, He rose up from the dead by Himself. But on the other hand, He was raised up by God.
VI. CHRIST GOING TO PROCLAIM
TO THE FALLEN ANGELS
THE VICTORY ACHIEVED BY GOD
THROUGH CHRIST’S DEATH ON THE CROSS
First Peter 3:18b-19 reveals that while His body was buried in the tomb, Christ in His spirit, which is His spiritual nature (Mark 2:8; Luke 23:46) and which was made alive, enlivened, with new power of life, was active and went to proclaim to the fallen angels the victory achieved by God through Christ’s death on the cross (Heb. 2:14; Col. 2:15). While men were crucifying, killing, Jesus on the cross outwardly and visibly, God was also doing something to enliven Christ with new power of life. First Peter 3:18b says that on the one hand, He was put to death in the flesh, but on the other hand, He was made alive in the spirit. His spirit was made alive by God when He was being crucified on the cross, and in this empowered spirit, He made a proclamation to the fallen angels after His death in the flesh and before His resurrection. This was a precursor to His resurrection. Before He rose up from the dead, He was active in His spirit among the dead in Hades.
(The Christian Life, Chapter 7, by Witness Lee)