Saturday, April 4, 2015

THYME Magazine: Why the Resurrection Matters

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume IX, Issue XIVa

Why the Resurrection Matters

In his book 'Miracles,' C. S. Lewis wrote: “The New Testament writers speak as if Christ’s achievement in rising from the dead was the first event of its kind in the whole history of the universe. He is the ‘first fruits,’ the ‘pioneer of life.’ He has forced open a door that has been locked since the death of the first man. He has met, fought, and beaten the King of Death. Everything is different because He has done so. This is the beginning of the New Creation: a new chapter in cosmic history has been opened.”

Modern 'enlightened' man is not so sure. In fact, I once heard the pastor of a large church state that: "The Resurrection isn't that important." The early believers certainly would have objected to this reasoning. Belief in Resurrection is what propelled them to share the Good News. Belief in the Resurrection is what spurred them to rescue babies thrown into the Tiber River. Christianity was not spread by the sword, as other religions have been, but rather it has spread in spite of the very real possibility that you could be killed for doing so.

Could it be that the sure belief that death has been overcome makes the believer stronger in the face of death? Fox's Book of Martyrs would bear that out. Certainly some very ordinary people were propelled to do very extraordinary things through their belief in Resurrection. Brian G. Hedges writes in a piece entitled: Three Reasons the Resurrection Matters [click to read]: " What is unquestionable is that the first generation of Jesus’ followers did believe he had risen, and were convinced that everything had changed as a result.

Consider just three of the ways the New Testament highlights the significance of the resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection means that his sacrificial death on the cross was sufficient, and therefore our sins can be forgiven. Jesus’ resurrection means that death is defeated once and for all. Jesus’ resurrection means that the material world matters."

This is key as we consider the promises in Isaiah 60 and Revelation 21. G-d is indeed able to renew all things, as He promises. Hedges quotes writer: John Updyke:

Make no mistake: if He rose at all

it was as His body;

if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules

reknit, the amino acids rekindle,

the Church will fall."

(to be continued)

Texas Bluebonnets and moon. Photo by Melissa K. Hand

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