Posted by: Michael M. Dewalt | April 13, 2009

Calvin on John 20:1-3

Calvin called Christ’s resurrection “the most important article of our faith,” and the thing without which “the hope of eternal life is extinguished.” The first witnesses, he noticed were not among the powerful, the wise, or the strong. Despite the irrefutable proof, the priests, the people, and Pilate, said Calvin, had “nothing but gross and willful blindness prevented them from firmly believing that Christ was risen.” Such is the blindness that stems from sin.

Calvin’s comment on the “almost below infancy” status of Peter’s faith, one of the first discoverers of Christ’s resurrection, is insightful. He noted such little “or almost no faith” in the disciples that it was hard to understand why they had any zeal. “Some seed of faith, therefore, remained in their hearts, but quenched for a time, so that they were not aware of having what they had. Thus the Spirit of God often works in the elect in a secret manner. In short we must believe that there was some concealed root, from which we see fruit produced. Though this feeling of piety, which they possessed, was confused and was accompanied by much superstition, still I give to it-though inaccurately-the name of faith because it was only by the doctrine of the Gospel that it was produced, and it had no tendency but towards Christ. From this seed there at length sprang a true and sincere faith, which leaving the sepulcher ascended to the heavenly glory of Christ.”

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