Christological studies or the doctrine of Christ, as known in theological discipline, focus on one man – Jesus Christ of Nazareth. This study, which is primarily Christ centered, respectively has a radical and broad eschatological implication on both faith and soteriological studies. That is, the Greek word “Christos” which is Hebrew “Meshacah” bears something more than just the story of historical Jesus. Jesus “christos” will denote a theological unique identification of Jesus in both Jewish messianism and Christian faith. The Jewish messianic ideology is an eschatological hope in one man who will deliver Jews from the oppression of the Romans and to establish an everlasting peace and prosperity to the people. Christians however believe that this promise has been fulfilled in only one man Jesus Christ of Nazareth who was anointed by God to save the entire world. For that matter, Christianity believes that in the “christos” is found all the fullness and fulfilment of this eschatological hope; Christ is the hope of Israel and the hope of the entire world. Therefore Christology concentrates on the extensive investigation into “the significance of Jesus Christ for Christian faith”1 and his significance in the culmination of the plan of redemption for humanity. From this perspective, it can be emphasized that Christology has a wide coverage of area of study ranging from the birth, life, death and the resurrection in the story of Jesus Christ including the parousia.
One of those areas central in the studies of Christology and eschatology and continues to favor current academic research is the symbiotic relationship between the resurrection and the theological virtue of hope. The Christian journey is towards a future of eschatological salvation and renewal 2 – a future whereby God “brings this temporal history to its end and takes the whole creation, redeemed and renewed, into his own eternal life.” 3 This future is a history where the Christian participate in the plan of God revealed in the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. And it is within the turning point in the resurrection of Christ that affects Christianity’s hope and beyond. Hence, the vitality of hope rest on an intense penetrating passion and understanding of this whole life concept of Jesus Christ, the only begotten of the Father, of which without, Christianity’s hope is in shambles. The next thing we must be concerned is what this hope is about 4
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- The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1983, p. 100. ▲
- In Hope against hope: Christian eschatology at the turn of the millennium. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999, pp. 127-132, Richard Bauckham and Trevor have detailed the meaning of eschatological salvation and renewal as “an act in which the creation will be both fulfilled and transformed.” Because of this future phenomenon of new creation, the present world could be best understood as a “temporal course of creation’s history”. ▲
- Richard Bauckham, Ecological Hope in Crisis? JRI Briefing Paper No. 23. In Hope Against Hope, pp. 127-132, Richard Bauckham and Trevor have detailed the meaning of eschatological salvation and renewal as “an act in which the creation will be both fulfilled and transformed.” ▲
- This is the first question that opens N. T. Wrights book Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church. New York: HarperOne, 2008, p. 5. ▲