Resurrection

Resurrection

The Christian insists that not only does God act in the world, but he acted in a distinct person, in a particular way, and at a specific point in time. God raised Jesus Christ from the dead and, in doing so, expanded forever our possibilities beyond the natural and the material—beyond what we thought was possible for God or for ourselves.

Also, authentic faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead resists making of it a symbol or a metaphor so as to better conform to the sensibilities of modern culture, or any culture for that matter.

The pagans and Jews of the first century AD would have been as comfortable with the resurrection as a symbol and metaphor as modern culture would be. But the apostles insisted that it was not a symbol or a metaphor and that what they saw on that Sunday after Christ’s crucifixion was him—and that they saw him not only alive but transformed. Christ came to them in the flesh—in a flesh that had been changed, elevated, transformed. As a result of seeing him in the flesh, they, too, had been changed and changed forever.

How could this be? The only explanation was the one that was closest to their experience. The explanation was that despite their earlier doubts, the Lord Jesus was actually who he had claimed to be. It was all true and really happened. He is the Christ. He is the Messiah. He is the Son of God. He is the Lord. And if that identity is the source of the truth of Christ’s resurrection from dead, the limitations that constrain us to think that this world is all that there is are expanded into possibilities that do not permit us to rest in what is merely material.

If Christ is risen from the dead, we do not, when all is said and done, merely come to the grief of a grave, but are given something greater than what our narrow minds conceive to be possible. Death is not the end. We might think that it is, but God thinks otherwise, and God does more than just think otherwise. God shows us in Christ that death is not what we think it to be.

If Christ is raised, our faith is not in vain and this world is directed by a meaning and purpose that exceeds the power of death. Not only does Sunday morning have meaning, but every day has meaning—and every day has a purpose too! This purpose is greater than what has come to be called natural, and it is all part of a design grander than anything of our own making.

— Father Steve Grunow (Excerpt from Word on Fire Blog, April 2, 2018)

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow. The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men. Then the angel said to the women in reply, “Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ Behold, I have told you.” (Matthew. 28:1-7).

And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?” So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke. 24:30-35).

For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures; that he was buried; that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures; that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians. 15:3-6).

You denied the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. The author of life you put to death, but God raised him from the dead; of this we are witnesses. (Acts 3:14-15).

We know that Christ, raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has power over him. As to his death, he died to sin once and for all; as to his life, he lives for God. (Romans. 6:9-10).

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