While In the Tomb
The death and resurrection of Jesus connected in one ceaseless act of obedience
WE must never think of Christ’s death without his resurrection. When Philippians 2 speaks of Christ humbling himself to the point of death, it does not mean that his obedience extended only to the point of his dying but to the intensity of his dying.1 The Bible continues in saying In John 10:17–18 that the Father loves the Son because he lays down his life that he may take it up again. The Son does this because he has authority. And authority precedes power. Christ going into the grave did not cease to be obedient, but actually continued in obedience all the way to the resurrection. He is eternally obedient (economically as some theologians call it) to the Father. In the same way the Father loves the Son in no way that can be improved, yet it is revealed the Father’s love flows out to the Son because of his both laying down his life so that he might take it up again.2
John 10:17–18 ESV “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.””
The resurrection is trinitarian, meaning the Father raised the Son (E.g. Galatians 1:1); the Spirit of the Father raised the Son (E.g. Romans 8:11) and the Son raised the Son (John 2:19–22). The latter is quoted below:
John 2:19–22 ESV “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.”
Thus, when we think of Christ in the grave between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we must not think of him as obedient up to the grave, but through the grave to the Lord’s Day. And because this is the case, the Father from eternity reveals his love for him flows forth. And we may ponder the wonder of this for all eternity as the Father’s love flows forth still for the Son and all who are in the Son for whom the Son died (Eph. 2:7). It was thus impossible for Jesus to be held by the cords of death because he never ceased to be obedient to the Father (cf. Acts 2:24).
John Murray’s “Who Raised Up Jesus?” in Volume 4 of his works, pp. 82–91. Murray explains this subject at an academic level.