Mainline Protestant Channel
Is the Resurrection for Real?
Amy Julia Becker
My husband threw a handful of crackers across the room. He was angry.
My daughter threw her arms out wide and said, "Tada!" She was proud.
My son's tears rolled down his cheeks. He was sad.
The physical expression made the feeling real.
I can't believe in Jesus' resurrection unless it was physical, unless it was an act of God's power affirming Jesus in his full humanity, as an integrated being, body, mind, and spirit. The resurrection was more than physical, but the physical made it real.
God raised Jesus from the dead. God rejoiced. And so do I.
Amy Julia Becker is an author and recent grad of Princeton Theological Seminary. She blogs at Thin Places.
Now, did Jesus actually physically sit up in his winding shroud, walk out into the Garden, freak out Mary Magdalene, Peter, the Beloved Disciple?
I wasn't there. But I can tell you it's the only ending that makes narrative sense. Hans Urs von Balthasar said that the Resurrection was the plot twist God crafted for a story headed for disaster.
Like every good surprise ending, though, resurrection has to be true to the story preceding it. If God truly is about justice, love, and mercy, then sin, violence, and death can't be the end of the story.
Greg Garrett is an English Professor at Baylor University, an Episcopal Lay Preacher and the author of The Other Jesus. Read his weekly column, "Faithful Citizenship," here.
Sheron C. Patterson
The resurrection is God's power statement. That is why it is relevant today. God, in all infinite and eternal wisdom, knows how to get a point across. When Jesus rose from the grave, God reminded us who is in charge: God, not us. While the power of the resurrection is relevant, it may not be well received in our highly competitive society. Everyone wants to be the most powerful. We don't want anyone else to have more power than we do. We have power lunches, power suits, and power foods—yet our efforts pale in comparison to God's powerful act on Calvary.
Rev. Dr. Sheron Patterson is an ordained United Methodist minister in Dallas, Texas and the author of seven books.
I fully admit that I deny the resurrection of Christ.
Whenever I ignore the plight of the poor, I deny the resurrection. When I turn my back on those on the margins of society, I deny the resurrection. When I pledge my allegiance (with my money, my privilege, and my actions) to a corrupt system that places profits over people, I deny the resurrection. When I fail to stand with the fallen, when I deafen myself to their cries, when I choose power rather than siding with the powerless, it is then that I shout to Jesus "You died in vain!"
Hugh Hollowell is a speaker, a Mennonite minister, and homelessness advocate. He is the founder and director of Love Wins Ministries, and is currently on the planning team of the Wild Goose Festival (June 2011). He blogs at Hugh Hollowell.