Easter ‘proclamation demands much more than an intellectual consideration. It is a summons to participate in a particular form of life, to become a “new creation” in Christ.’ — Brian D. Robinette,. Grammars of Resurrection: A Christian Theology of Presence and Absence (Herder & Herder Books) (p. 7). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.
Years ago now, I was in a conversation with a man who was a follower of Sai Baba, an Indian religious leader who died in 2011.
He told me that he believed without a doubt that Jesus had risen from the dead; but it wasn’t of any importance to him personally.
It didn’t matter to him, it didn’t change his life at all. It proved that Jesus was a holy man, but my friend had his own holy man, Sai Baba.
The conversation went on for some time, but I have to say I was a bit dumbfounded. Lost for words. I couldn’t get how someone could say they believe in the resurrection yet brush it aside, as though it were unimportant.
Thinking about it, my friend didn’t believe in the Resurrection as the New Testament describes it. Let me explain.
It seems to me that my friend believed that Jesus had returned from the dead. He had come back to life. He had re-entered life and was subject to all its conditions, including fatigue, hunger, thirst, and death. That’s not a New Testament resurrection.
It seems to me that my friend believed that Jesus had risen from the death because of his immense spiritual power, a power available to anyone who has the knowledge to tap into it. That’s not a New Testament resurrection.
What do I mean by ‘New Testament Resurrection’?
Most people of Jesus’ time looked for a resurrection in the future. A general resurrection of the dead, when everyone would be reunited with their physical bodies and face the judgement of God. Some would be judged as righteous, others would be condemned.
What they didn’t expect was that anyone would face that judgement before the very end of time.