Book Review :: Experiencing the Resurrection

Experiencing the Resurrection: The Everyday Encounter that Changes Your Life

by Henry and Melvin Blackaby (Multnomah Books, 2008)

Inside the Pages

Henry and his son Melvin Blackaby begin their book by stating “the gospel includes the cross, the resurrection, and the sending of the H0ly Spirit at Pentecost” (1). These central elements of the gospel are pivotal for the believer to understand and to experience the resurrection. The book deals with the doctrine of the resurrection and then applies Scripture’s teachings to the believer’s life. It is not only head knowledge that the writer wants to give his readers, but heart knowledge as well. As the believer understands and experiences the cross, he will experience Christ who is the believer’s peace, joy, power, authority, confidence, and hope. (1 Corinthians 15:55-58, ESV)

Worth Repeating

“Remember, studying the resurrection is not an academic exercise. Our focus is not merely information, by application. … True knowledge of God is always personal, powerful, and life changing.” (6)

Charles Spurgeon had a way with words. He explained in one of his sermons how it is that we can know where our souls will be in eternity:

You may know very readily. Where does your soul delight to be now? Your delight prophesies your destiny. What you’ve chosen here shall be your portion hereafter. If you loved sin, you shall be steeped up to the throat in it, and it shall burn around you like a liquid fire. But if your delights have to do with your God, you shall dwell with Him for eternity.

Spurgeon is right – our time on earth sets our direction for eternity.” (205)

From my Perspective

This short book is perfect for a devotional aid. It is based on Scripture, thorough, clear and concise.The authors include pointed questions, astounding Scripture, and personal insight into the resurrection.

With a title like, Experiencing the Resurrection, I expected the ground to shake and for me to get swallowed up in it as I read it – but the ground did not and I still standing pretty still. I expected much more out of it – it’s a personal expectation; the book itself is not lacking in the sense that I think it deals well with its topic – sort of. That is not to say that I cannot see how it could be a helpful devotional-style book to read, especially for someone who is picking up a book on the resurrection for the first time.

On the matter of the resurrection – and the reality that we can experience it – I have a different reaction altogether. The Resurrection of Christ has not left me wanting; it has filled my deepest void; my deepest desire. The resurrection, Christ! our Victorious Redeemer King!, is not a matter only to be discussed, pondered, critiqued, and reverenced but He calls us to touch His nail scarred hands, to bathe in His beautiful crimson blood; to be washed in His light, to know the Truth and be set free – to experience the resurrection, heart, mind, soul, and strength!

This little book began with such a huge task – to articulate this resurrection experience – that perhaps any book would fall short. It is an experience that is not easily articulated; it’s so deep, so mysterious. Except until someone sincerely shares the truth of their own encounter with the Cross. I think this is the very part of the little book that is missing – the authors do not tell the story of their own personal resurrection experience. I do not doubt that each of the men have experienced the Cross. But it is much easier to write about what the cross is and how the general ‘you’ can experience it is than it is to describe one’s own encounter.

This is where the challenge rests for you and for me – to encounter the resurrection of Christ and to believe He is the Resurrection and the Life and then for you and for me to share this Good News thoughtfully, winsomely, and excitedly in love and in truth with the world around us.

1 Corinthians 15:55-58 declares, “‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (ESV)

book cover
book cover

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