Below is N.T. Wright’s lecture at the Lanier Theological Library on “Resurrection and the Renewal of Creation”
Few Christians realize what “resurrection” meant in the first-century world where early Christianity was born. It meant nothing short of “new creation” — the reaffirmation, by the creator God, of the goodness of the original creation, starting with the crucified body of Jesus Himself. Once we grasp this, we see that many lines of thought in the New Testament, particularly in John and Paul, point not just to the resurrection of Jesus’ people, but to the restoration of the whole creation. This restoration has already begun, and part of what the Holy Spirit is doing now, through the work of Jesus’ followers, is to promote anticipation of the ultimate new creation.