Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Three Things I Believe About the Resurrection

Earlier this morning i posted this on a conversation thread on Facebook started by a Church Historian...many moderate to liberal Christians chimed in. Here was my contribution...

If resurrection is a "fact" then was the virginal conception and gravity defying ascension also facts? Were the resurrections of widows' children raised by Elijah, Elisha, & Jesus historical? Was Lazarus' resurrection literal? The body that came back to life when it touched Elisha's bones? Tabitha? Eutychus? These are rhetorical questions (my strong doubts are implied).
The three things I believe about the resurrection of Jesus are:

1. Jesus spent his life giving people their dignity back; when his was taken his friends and admirers returned the favor by inventing a decent burial and ultimate escape from the horror he endured

2. To say someone killed by Rome didn't stay dead was a subversive, and powerful act of resistance against the empire.

3. The miracle isn't that god broke the laws of nature for one (or a few if all biblical resurrection narratives are thought to be historical) but that fearful, broken people found hope, courage, "new life" and became as a movement the resurrected and returned body of Christ. 

The resurrection for me can be true only if we are free to see it as something other than factual. 
True-yes; factual-no.
Historical-yes; literal-no. 
Miraculous-yes; supernatural-no.

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