Originally posted April 12, 2009:
So, why a resurrection? More importantly to me, as one who is increasingly shunned by evangelicals and in the same room with liberal mainliners (and Catholics), why a real, historical, physical resurrection?
Well, if you found some resonance with my previous post on the crucifixion, then the resurrection of Jesus is all the more important. In Jesus, God identified with humankind in an unprecendented way — this is why the divinity (i.e., non-mortality) of Jesus really matters. So deeply did God enter into the uniquely human experience of godforsakeness that God even died. God experienced grief in the shattering of the eternal relationality of the Trinity. Yes, God really died.
So, when Jesus rose from the grave, it was more than the resusitation of a corpse (hell, I’ve seen Criss Angel do that!). Instead, it was a foretaste of the eschaton. I described Jesus’ miracles in the last post as significations of the new, eschatological age that Jesus the Messiah inaugurated. The resurrection is the capstone event in the inauguration.