Reconsidering Resurrection: Toward A Sacramental Understanding

Baptismal font

We cannot discuss the resurrection without discussing the sacraments. (Creative Commons: Dahlstroms, Flickr)

The resurrection didn’t just happen.

It happens.

The resurrection was not a one-time, historical event which happened 2,000 years ago.

It is an ongoing reality that has been happening again and again.

That’s why the recent conversations between Tony Jones and Marcus Borg over whether the resurrection happened bodily and physically, to my mind, miss the point.

It’s a red herring in the life of faith. The resurrection isn’t something we intellectually assent to, but something we are invited to participate in.

In the back-and-forth posts, Jones seemed to imply Borg’s understanding of the resurrection represent a massive break with historic Christianity. He casts Borg’s position as vague and coy but I’m not sure Jones fully understands what Borg argues.

In many ways, Borg expresses a view of the resurrection that is at once more orthodox and more ancient than Jones does.

By emphasizing the disciples’ and other Christians’ lived experiences of the resurrected Christ rather than the literal historicity of the event described in the gospels, Borg transcends the debate about whether the resurrection was literal, historical, and bodily or was parabolic, metaphorical and spiritual.

Instead, Borg, while not characterizing it this way himself, expresses a view of the resurrection that is deeply sacramental.

And I’m convinced any conversation about the resurrection that doesn’t engage with or isn’t informed by the sacraments is fundamentally incomplete.

At its heart, like the sacraments, the resurrection is a holy mystery, and like all holy mysteries there is a beautiful incoherence that refuses simplistic reduction to literal happenings. The Gospel stories show the resurrection to be disorienting, scary, and joyous for the disciples. Appropriately enough, it becomes difficult to nail down exactly what the resurrected Christ became. He had open wounds that did not bleed, a body that appeared behind locked doors, a body that took different forms. To reduce these brilliant, mysterious, and deeply symbolic stories to a historical report about the historical resurrection (or explainable rationally through quantum theory!) seems an insult to the authors who crafted them and layered them with rich meaning.

And it seems an insult to the deeply mysterious reality that continues to live today through them.

The Gospel stories of the resurrection are not intended to prove the resurrection happened bodily, literally, and historically. Rather, they are intended to invite us — the disciple of today — to experience the ongoing reality of resurrection.

In the easily overlooked gardener. In breaking bread with the stranger on the road. In the person who appears behind our carefully locked doors. In the hungry. In the naked. In the thirsty. In the forgotten.

What is clear from these stories and their impact is in the mysterious experience of the resurrected Christ and through participating with Christ in that resurrection experience, the disciples were transformed fundamentally.

This is how we understand sacraments — a holy mystery God invites us to experience and to participate in, and through our participation and union with God in it, we find our hearts strangely warmed, our lives transformed and entire selves changed into new creations. And it can be a faithful, traditional, and profound way to understand the resurrection, particularly given that many of the resurrection stories tie directly to and reflect the practice of the sacrament of communion.

It strikes me as odd that these conversations about the historicity of the resurrection almost always occur outside the context of the sacraments and liturgy. But when we view the resurrection sacramentally, we come face-to-face with the resurrected Christ who has been made known to us in the breaking of the bread, in the waters of baptism, in the communal proclamation Gospels. Each Sunday, in the liturgy and through the sacraments, we experience the resurrected Christ in the here and now, in the divine elements taken into our body.

Moving toward a sacramental view of the resurrection pushes the debate to a more consequential place, from a proving ground of the mind to an embodied reality that transforms us and requires us to act.

None these are objective, historical, quantifiable. They are mysteries we experience and receive and participate in.

It is this lived experience of the tradition I trust not the dogmatic point of its historic and literal happening.

So I do not believe the resurrection because it literally happened long ago. I believe the resurrection because it happens. It has happened to Christians for 2,000 years, and it has happened to me.

This sacramental understanding also challenges how many Christians might think our own relationship to the resurrection. It is a common belief that Christians will be resurrected after we die. We find it in the Nicene Creed, when we confess we look to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

We understand these things, typically, as happening only in the next world and only after we physically die in this life. This view ties, much like Jones’ position, the resurrection to something that happens only after we die physically.

I can’t help but wonder if we oversimplify this, too.

When I read our baptismal liturgy, it seems clear that we aren’t to wait for the resurrection, but to share and to participate in the resurrection now. Indeed, in the death of baptism, we are resurrected to a new life.

So, it’s not that we will be resurrected.

It’s that we already are.

In baptism, I am resurrected.

Like all things in the life of Christ and the Reign of God, there is, of course, the paradoxical element of that this resurrection happens in the here-and-now and is also not yet fully realized. But it most certainly begins now and is available now.

So to me, the power of the resurrection isn’t its literal, bodily historicity, as if it were a static event that happened once, like World War II, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., or my 30th birthday. Rather, its power is that it is an ongoing and dynamic sacramental reality in which we participate, through which we are transformed, in which we live and move and have our being.

We are resurrected now in our bodies.

We are resurrected now in community, not only as individuals.

We are people of resurrection, the people who have been resurrected in baptism, the people who live a resurrected life.

And that is the kind of thing that transforms us and others.

That is the kind of thing that can enable us to live on earth as in heaven.

About David R. Henson

David Henson received his Master of Arts from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, after receiving a Lilly Grant for religious education for journalists. He ordained in the Episcopal Church as a priest. He is a father of two young sons and the husband of a medical school student.

  • tanyam

    I am with you for so much of this, but still troubled. When a person is killed by a death squad while attempting to shield a child, the promise of the resurrection has included the hope that God will not let literal death be the last word, even for that person, not just for the inspired community that surrounded her.
    Is it about only the “resurrection of the coummunity?” It seems to me that the resurrection has had a justice component, a vindication. God has done something wholly other by triumphing over death.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      Definitely. That’s why I try to emphasize (perhaps not well enough)

      “We understand these things, typically, as happening only in the next world and only after we physically die in this life. This view ties, much like Jones’ position, the resurrection to something that happens only after we die physically.

      I can’t help but wonder if we oversimplify this, too.”

      I’m not denying a post-mortem resurrection, but just that focusing exclusively on it is an oversimplification. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear. I tried to be very careful. I know sometimes I write hyperbolically and that muddies things.

      • tanyam

        Yes, its not simply that that there is a post-mortem resurrection. One of the things that sticks for me in this conversation is where we place the responsibility for “resurrection.” Is it about me trusting, participating in, enacting, living –whatever you want to call it — or does it mean to say that God has done something without our permission or our help — in fact, in spite of us.
        Just as we say God entered history quite “uninvited” we also say that the resurrection was God’s decision not to let death have the final word. And that will be true, finally, whether anybody believes it or not.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        I don’t think it’s either/or on that point. I’m not sure how that connects to what I’ve put forward here. I think in terms of the Real Presence in the Eucharist. Who is responsible for that? The Holy Spirit, the priest who speaks the epicleisis, the people gathered who do the work of the people (liturgy). All of the above.

        But I certainly would not say that God entered history uninvited. God was invited into history through Mary’s agency (“may it be as you have said”).

        Sacramentally, we are invited to participate and share in the incarnation, the life, death, and resurrection.

        I think it depends on how we understand God. Here, the Paraclete, the one who comes alongside is helpful. God works with us. And we work with God.

      • tanyam

        Interesting point about Mary. But if you think about the resurrection, whose idea was that? Did human beings hope for it, believe in it, — and that’s why it happened, because we invited it and decided to live out of it. Or, as I think its traditionally been understood, it came from outside us, completely outside of anything we wanted, produced, or co-created, etc. This was God’s doing. Human beings could have chosen to ignore it, not to have told the story, not to have believed it. But it would still have happened, right? And it is that which has been terribly important to human beings who needed to think about God acting quite apart from what human beings could cook up.
        I don’t understand (haven’t taken the time to, I ‘spose) the sacraments thing. I’m not from a tradition that thinks so hard about sacraments. No priests, no liturgy. So, it sorta doesn’t compute. Sorry.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        No need to apologize for not coming from my preferred tradition! :)

      • Sue

        I would just like to add that we work with God, because we are God’s children – and so our deep desires are His desires. In this sense, we long for the resurrection – for things to be put to right – As N.T. Wright says – because it is in our (divine) DNA.

        The importance of the bodily resurrection as I see it is our bodies are compromised by our evolutionary heritage (fight, flight) and the twisted thought patterns which manifest themselves in our bodies (sin). And so for us to be sanctified, we need to participate in the new energy pattern (I know that sounds a bit woo-woo) that is found in Christ’s resurrected body. Paul says that we are saved through Christ’s body and I think this is what he means. So resurrection happens at many levels, like you point out – personally (emotional, physical, spiritual) and corporately. And somehow universally – which is what creation is waiting for us, the sons of God, to figure out!

  • Andrew Dowling

    Onboard with what you are saying; great post.

  • DrewDowns

    You nailed it.

  • Guest

    Great post, David. I haven’t put a lot of extra thought into it, but initial thoughts: For those traditions that are not very sacramental in their theology or practice–I’m thinking those baptist “ordinance” roots–I’m wondering how that impacts the very heart of this discussion. There just isn’t the theological vocabulary for experiential mystery.

    I’m reminded of a time in college when I went to an easter sunrise service at the church I was a member during my teenage years. There was a skit at this outdoor sunrise service. It was about a young woman who was sitting down talking with the pastor of a “good baptist church” and she said, “You know, I visited the such and such church down the road and they said that the historical reality of Jesus’ resurrection is less important than the reality of experiencing it now through Christ.” She went on and on and was quite a beautiful description. I was horrified when in the sketch the pastor’s response was, “That church is completely wrong and that pastor is dangerous. The only thing that matters is that the resurrection literally happened. If it didn’t literally happen physically then there is nothing to experience now.” The whole point of selecting the skit and of the skit itself was to specifically ensure that people didn’t understand resurrection as anything but an historically verifiable act.

    Yet, this church and I’m sure many others who lack the theological vocabulary that helps enable sacramental thinking, sing the hymn that ends, “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart.” Which, I guess in that theological neighborhood such a sentiment is held by the anti-intellectual, anti-education camps within evangelicalism (the rest being those who’ve appropriated the values of early modernity such that they need faith to be “literal”: fundamentalist movement, scopes trial reactions in subsequent decades, etc…)

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      I think you hit on something interesting. Evangelicals often experience God in a mystical and sacramental way; they just don’t call it that. I wonder how that dialogue can happen…

      • mattbrich

        Yeah, I wonder what the connective language is there. This is Matt R by the way, having issues with disqus on the original post.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        Your pic is showing up, so I recognized that scrumptious beard. :)

      • mattbrich

        Ah yes, so it is. Ever thankful for it even as bits are starting to grey and hair elsewhere is disappearing!

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        Speaking of which, I need to shave my ears.

      • mattbrich

        We’re getting old. Have a nose hair trimmer yet? ;)

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        It was gifted to me by a certain spouse.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        I think there is a way to connect, but it would require people like me to get over my fancy terms for things that make me feel superior.

        Like Lectio Divina has striking similarities to what I used to call my “Quiet Time.”

      • mattbrich

        Yes–I can resonate with this…even the confession part. If we look at it from an anthropological perspective…what would said observer see in the similar experiences of mystical faith?

        My quiet times weren’t quite as close, but I see what you mean. I’d often have to re-name spiritual practices so that the folks in my congregation wouldn’t reject them immediately.

      • AtalantaBethulia

        Re: “what would said observer see in the similar experiences of mystical faith?”

        I’ve struggled with this description as well, how can we not when trying to use words for the ineffable? Might one call it a deep sense of knowing? A sudden clarity. An A-ha moment. Awareness. By paying attention we see with new eyes what has been right in front of us all along. Rumi described it as a brief moment of the veil lifting. The Celts called it a thin place, where the distance between the human and the Divine was gossamer thin…

      • AtalantaBethulia

        HI, David. I enjoyed your article and have followed the Jones-Borg exchange.

        As a recovering fundamentalist who stumbled into the mystical – or, rather, the Mystery of God made itself known to me in a deeply transformative way – in my experience the closest analogous “thing” to evangelicals experiencing “God in a mystical and sacramental way” might be “the conviction of the Spirit.” Although, honestly, having lived on both sides of the fence, and speaking only from my experience, I hazard a guess that the two may be the best possible close association but not at all the same in quality, depth or “reality.”

        I too wonder how that dialogue can happen.

        I have since called it a “burning bush” moment. But unless one has ever had one, it is very difficult to discuss experientially with one who has not.

    • Patty Smith

      I am not into this argument, not overly “religious”, don’t really have the energy, motivation or perhaps intellect? to be into this discussion. Stumbled across your article through the God Article. Your words gave me goosebumps, which I think is the degree your words touched me~ I want a church home that is like this and where the pastor/minister talks and lives are lived or at least strive to this. Some strong direction as I fear one more failed attempt and an all ready fragile, questioning faith will be truly lost in the chaos.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        I’m deeply glad to hear that it gave you goosebumps!

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    I grew up evangelical and we heard so much about the cross that I honestly wasn’t sure what to do with the resurrection. It just didn’t come up all that often. I’m not sure if you would put it this way, but I’ve often said it like this: in the historic resurrection Jesus conquered death and unleashed life that carries over into today. Maybe my preference for Christus Victor is evident here, but I think that the historic resurrection is important, but it’s rendered meaningless if we don’t live in the reality of the life Christ gives us today. I’m really grateful for your emphasis on the sacramental here since that’s an aspect that I’m likely to overlook, but it’s certainly essential to consider. I’m reminded of the saying: “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again” from the liturgy, and I’ve spent way too much time focused on just the first part of that.

  • Mark

    It seems to me we are called to accept and preach the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the same way the apostles did in the Book of Acts. There, it is first a historical event, and all other experiences flow from that.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      Just like God striking down Ananias and Sapphira.

      • Mark

        I have difficulty with the Ananias and Sapphira story as well, but that does not disprove its historicity. Luke makes his intention of presenting historical events quite clear. So, my personal discomfort with a story should not influence its veracity.

      • http://bkswrites.com Barbara Kellam-Scott

        I realize I’m jumping in long after you-all, but I just had a conversation with a woman on LinkedIn, whose pastor demanded donation of her full income for the “first month” and backed it up with the Ananias and Sapphira story. Worse yet, as she “thought it over” that night, she heard “the voice of God” also reminding her of the story. No one should have material to make God a threat.

    • http://bkswrites.com Barbara Kellam-Scott

      The big problem with historicity of any Bible “events” is that historicity didn’t exist then, nor was it a purpose of the Bible writers. They did not differentiate the natural from the supernatural. When we try to impose our standards on their telling of their experience, we betray our faith.

  • SimonAlipio

    This is how I understand what resurrection means http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYIWuZXYCEQ

  • http://ellenpainterdollar.com/ Ellen Painter Dollar

    This is, to me, the most valuable contribution to this whole conversation. I tend to “side” with Jones on whether a bodily resurrection happened, but have appreciated Borg’s thought and wisdom for many years, and this is not an issue I would ever feel a need to argue with him about. But fundamentally, I embrace the resurrection because I believe in a created world in which resurrection is possible, in which resurrection HAPPENS, in my life and in the lives of other individuals and communities. I believe in “the” resurrection but I also believe in resurrection more generally. Resurrection is a real phenomenon that, to me, points to a God capable of bringing life from death, shining light in the dark. The sacraments allow us to participate in material, bodily actions that point to a spiritual and theological reality—that resurrection happened, and happens.

  • adam borneman

    So, this pretty much nails it: “it is an ongoing and dynamic sacramental reality in which we participate, through which we are transformed, in which we live and move and have our being.” I love this statement, and actually it sounds like a whole host of Christians who affirm an historical resurrection. Theres much to be said on this front regarding the liturgy, sacraments, and their relationship to mission, etc.

    But don’t you at least want to insist on an historical resurrection? I don’t think this has to be done in a proof-texting sort of way, or even a broadly “evangelical” way. And I don’t think it has to be restricted to modernist categories, etc. And alongside this proclamation, I would want to include all of the ongoing participationist language of walking in the newness of resurrection life. Too many people separate the objective “event” from the subjective, lived expression of that event. Amen to what you’ve said on that front.

    You write, “The Gospel stories of the resurrection are not intended to prove the resurrection happened bodily, literally, and historically. Rather, they are intended to invite us — the disciple of today — to experience the ongoing reality of resurrection.”

    Well, yeah, but the gospel stories are certainly intended to *affirm* the resurrection, a category which you neglected to include. Isn’t the case that whatever we say about the historical reliability of the NT and early Christian literature, that the one sine qua non for Christians was that Jesus really had risen from the dead and ascended?

    In short, I want to affirm all of things you’ve written, but can’t we also say that Jesus really did rise from the dead, however mysterious that may be? I just don’t see this as a particularly odd thing for a Christian to say, but for some reason you seem wary of doing so. Perhaps I’ve misread or misunderstood. Pax Christi.

    • adam borneman

      David, I see that you’ve touched on my questions a bit in some of your comments below, but I’d certainly welcome any further thoughts you may have.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      But don’t you at least want to insist on an historical resurrection?

      I actually think that whenever we insist on anything when it comes to God then we misstep. God is about invitation to participate and experience (Come and see) rather than insistence on fact, etc.

      I love this statement, and actually it sounds like a whole host of Christians who affirm an historical resurrection.

      Exactly. It also sounds like a whole host of people who do not affirm an historical, bodily resurrection like Borg. This is the point of framing it sacramentally. It allows us to come together and experience Christ in the here and now through resurrection. The importance is not intellectual belief, but shared experience and common prayer/worship.

      In short, I want to affirm all of things you’ve written, but can’t we also say that Jesus really did rise from the dead, however mysterious that may be?

      Sure you can!

      I’m not trying to be glib or coy here. The resurrection didn’t happen because it happened. It happened because it happens and continues to.

  • Justin Philip Cheng

    We are not necessarily resurrected “Now.” The Kingdom of God is both now/not yet. The “Now” of the Kingdom of God is the resurrection of Jesus Christ, his overcoming of death and his exaltation of Lord. The “Not yet” occurs in the Age to come, when creation shares in the Resurrection glory that Christ now presently enjoy. To solely insist on a realized eschatology is problematic because it denies the present sinfulness and the suffering of the present.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

      It’s a good thing I don’t solely insist on a realized eschatology then! From the post:

      “Like all things in the life of Christ and the Reign of God, there is, of course, the paradoxical element of that this resurrection happens in the here-and-now and is also not yet fully realized.”

      • Justin Philip Cheng

        I also think history matters because the Incarnation makes it so. The Incarnation is the belief that God actually entered history, so the human Jesus rightly can be called “God and man.” The incarnation is no less a profound mystery than the Resurrection but if its historical aspect is denied than the belief loses force.

        Does it matter that the risen body is the same as the pre-Easter body? Well, it isn’t the same. The pre-Easter body of Jesus is transformed into the new risen body through the Resurrection. Transformation is a powerful belief IMHO than a spiritual resurrection, it means that my cerebral palsied, queer body is not left in the ground, but shares in the divine life in the Kingdom of God. The reason why I’m suspicious of a “spiritual” Resurrection is that it strikes me of denying the goodness of our human bodies. And by human bodies, I mean the messy, often incomplete, often uncomfortable things we live in.

        Now, I’m not saying that things such as cancer, malaria, and AIDS will be part of the Resurrection. There are things of our bodies that we would like changed. But critical theorists have quite rightly pointed out that at least in western society, the male, white, fit, heterosexual body is what is privileged. The invisible body of the “spiritual resurrection” may end up looking a lot like the ideal body of privilege. Jesus was a Palestinian Jew, not a white blond, European. For racial minorities, it might be good to affirm for them, that brown ness is not left behind, but part of the Kingdom of God.

      • Justin Philip Cheng

        One other thing, before I completely forget it.

        The creed states that the Son “took flesh of the Virgin Mary.” We too often recite the Creed to grapple with its radical implications. The prevailing understanding at the time was that offspring received their nature from their father, with the mother acting as incubator (putting aside the fact that this is scientifically incorrect)

        By affirming that Jesus’ humanity comes from his Mother, the Creed in spite of its patriarchal context, makes a positive affirmation of the female body of Mary. Again I write this accepting full well the dominant misogynistic bent of the Church Fathers. So, Jesus’ body has continuity with Mary’s body.

        Ergo, in the Resurrection, if we affirm the transformation of the physical pre-Easter body of Jesus, we also affirm that his connection with his Mother also was part of the transformation. More dramatically, his connection with all of his ancestors is raised as well. It is no wonder that the Roman Catholics concluded that not only was Jesus raised, but Mary was assumed after death, body and soul into divine glory. Jesus’ relationship with his Mother stands as the pivotal sign of the Incarnation: the embrace between the Divine Son and humanity, symbolized and manifested in the Virgin Mary.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        I am a little unclear if you are arguing against me or just thinking out loud here. I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written here, nor do I think anything you’ve written here disagrees with the post itself.

        I feel like you read this post as an argument for only a “spiritual resurrection” and a denial of the historical resurrection, which is simply not the case. It is an argument for a sacramental understanding of it.

        Sacraments and a sacramental understanding are very much bodily and recognizes God in matter and bodily things and that they are good. I think you would resonate with the post linked in the text about “open wounds that do not bleed” as it speaks to exactly the kinds of things you are writing about here.

        Peace.

      • Justin Philip Cheng

        It’s interesting that you use the term “Sacraments.” To me, that suggests a physical and bodily Resurrection.

        In the Sacraments, God takes the material reality and transforms them.

        So if we talk about the Sacramentality of the Resurrection, the material reality is the physical body of Jesus Christ. The transformation would be God’s exaltation and breathing life into that crucified body.

        And, as noted in my post below, it is also significant that the body which took flesh from Mary, the body which the Word of God entered into, is the same body, transformed, transfigured and glorified in the Resurrection.

        Ergo, I think Jones’ view is more sacramental than Borg.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson David R. Henson

        I think I understand what you are saying more clearly. Thanks for clarifying your point.

        If I am reading you correctly, you are arguing that Borg supports only a “spiritual resurrection”? If this is the case, I think you misrepresent and flatten Borg’s position and work, and he’s said as much to Jones in his responses.

        The one thing I see missing from your understanding of the Sacraments is our participation and union with God in and through them. This is a critically important move I’m making in the post and without it, we aren’t talking about Sacraments, but about literal v. metaphorical, historical v. spiritual.

      • Justin Philip Cheng

        Jones misrepresented Borg by implying that Jesus only rose “in the believer’s heart.” Lets be clear, I don’t think anyone of us believes the Resurrection was simply a psychological state of the early disciples. Ok, so, can we just put that caricature aside.

        The next issue is over the nature of the body of the risen Christ. I don’t think there is anyone who believes that the Resurrection was only a physical resuscitation of Jesus of Nazareth. The risen body is not the same as the body of the pre-Easter Jesus.

        The debate is over whether or not the risen body is a brand new spiritual body for Jesus Christ, or if the risen body is that pre-Easter body, glorified, transformed and transfigured. I and I think Jones would agree that the connection between Incarnation and Resurrection implies that the pre-Easter body must be part of the post-Easter risen Christ. The pre-Easter body is our common humanity with Jesus of Nazareth. So, the transformation must include aspects of the pre-Easter body. Otherwise, we do not worship or follow Jesus of Nazareth, we follow only the risen Christ. I believe there must be continuity between Jesus of Nazareth and the risen Christ.

        You write that the Sacraments are about union with God. Not necessarily, you can have union with God without the Sacraments. The Sacraments are specifically union with the glorified, transfigured, and divinized humanity of Jesus Christ. It is union with God the Son who unites with humanity, deifying and transforming it. This deification includes the transformation of the actual historical Jesus of Nazareth.

        For us to claim to worship the Incarnate One, I believe it means that the Incarnate One still the same as Jesus the Nazareth. That is why I affirm the physical And spiritual resurrection. Jesus Christ’s Resurrection is certainly sacramental. It is sacramental because the historical, material body of Jesus Christ was transformed. Any downplaying of the materiality of the body, IMHO downplays the Sacramentality.

  • Justin Philip Cheng

    David, I’m principally thinking out loud in response to your topic. if you believe that “nothing happened” to the pre-Easter body of Jesus of Nazareth, then we would disagree. For me, something must have happened to Jesus of Nazareth, and I believe the bodily Resurrection makes the most perfect sense. If you have no problem with that, then really we do not substantively disagree.

    Peace,
    Justin

  • http://www.yeshua21.com/ Yeshua21.Com

    Many thanks for these wonderful insights!

    http://jeshua21.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/he-lives/

  • http://bkswrites.com Barbara Kellam-Scott

    This is exactly my thinking, though you’ve taken it well beyond the historical issue. Thank you.

    The resurrection sacrament I have imagined (in telling the story from the viewpoint of Jesus’ prophet mother) is contained here: http://bkswrites.com/bkswrites/Stronger_previews.html

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