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I hate to jump ahead of Holy Week, but for those preparing early for Easter, here are some quotations on the resurrection. Check the Archives for quotes on the cross and atonement, which may be helpful for Holy Week.
From N.T. Wright in Simply Christian:
Resurrection was something which, in Jewish s people at the very end, not to one person in the middle of history. p. 107
This is the launch pad for the specifically Christian way of life. That way of life isn’t simply a matter of getting in touch with your inner depths. It is certainly not about keeping the commands of the distant deity. Rather, it is the new way of being human, and the Jesus-shaped way of being human, the cross and resurrection way of life, the spirit led pathway. It is the way which anticipates, in the present, the full, rich, glad human existence, which will one day be ours when God makes all things new. p. 222
Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith and Jewel Lake Goldsmith, in Speaking of Dying:
The gospel in its essence is surely the story of God’s goodness the creation of all that is the loving and redemptive action of God in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the promise that finally God will transform all that is into a final incomprehensibly wonderful new creation. p. 26
The popular cultural tendency is to believe in a kind of guaranteed and automatic immortality. That is not the Christian understanding. Christians take death very seriously and have since a time of Jesus., when any idea of the resurrection of the dead was a far off hope. The resurrection of Jesus was an astonishing event. It did not install a regime of immortality. The rather was only the first of the new creation, one in which God would raise the dead. There is nothing in humans that automatically survives death. There is only the power and grace of God that showed his love overcame death. The hope for in it in eight immortality can lead to a trivialization of death. Christians are aware of the seriousness and threat of physical death. Instead of hoping there is some seed of immortality within themselves that would guarantee a safe passage to a better place, the Christian throws all his or her hopes on to God, whose power created all there is in whose power can be trusted to raise again all that which dies. p. 126
Luke Timothy Johnson in The Creed,
A careful reading of the entire new Testament suggests that the resurrection experience involved both Jesus and his followers, took place not only on the single day later known as Easter but continuously, and consisted of the presence of the risen Jesus among his followers through the Holy Spirit. p. 12
The truth of the resurrection is not simply that Jesus is no longer among the dead, but that he now shares the life and power of God. p. 178
T. W. Manson in The Servant Messiah. Cambridge: University Press, 1961:
The Resurrection means above all just this, that Christians do not inherit their task from Christ, they share it with him. We are not the successors of Jesus, but his companions. (emphasis original), p. 98
C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:
Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end submit with ever fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.” p. 190 (Final paragraph in the book)
In regard to our belief in automatic immortality, you gave me a book by Michael Gruber, The Book of Air and Shadows. A great read. So I am reading another one of his, The Good Son. Have you read it as well? Gives really deep perspectives on the nuances in Muslim faiths in a compelling story. As always, thanks for your words.
No, I’ve not seen that one. Let me know what you think about it after you read it. If you wanted to review a book here, I’d be glad to add it as a guest post.
I appreciate you checking in. I’ll talk to you soon.
[…] Speaking of Dying by Fred Craddock, Dale Goldsmith, and Joy V. Goldsmith was quoted by The Substance of Faith. […]