BRISBANE, Australia - Sunday 12 April 2020
Also posted on my Facebook Page
I had intended to suspend my series of posts out of respect for the grief and worry we are all experiencing right now but since today is Easter Sunday, I think it’s appropriate to talk very briefly about the Resurrection.
Many are finding it increasingly difficult to accept the commonly-held belief that the New Testament teaches the resuscitation of a corpse. For critical thinkers, acceptance of this belief is impossible because any person who has witnessed the transition from life to death understands on an intellectual level that there is no return from brain death.
However, were the New Testament authors actually teaching the resuscitation of a corpse? Or did their use of the term “Resurrection” convey an entirely different set of concepts to contemporary Israelites? I will talk about this in future posts but for now I’ll just point out a couple of factors which may have been overlooked and may give readers something other than the Pandemic to think about.
The New Testament claims that all the Resurrection witnesses, including Paul and others, were chosen beforehand by God and only they were able to see the resurrected Jesus (Acts 10:39-41; John 14:19-22).
Paul also speaks of this witness enabling in 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. In this passage are six statements which use passive voice verbs in the Greek. Thus, Paul is saying that God caused Jesus to be buried, caused him to be raised, caused him to appear to all the disciples, caused him to appear to five hundred brothers, caused him to appear to James and the apostles, and finally caused him to appear to Paul.
Consequently, Jesus is no longer a free agent. His appearances and disappearances are controlled by God.
We also know from other passages that the witnesses only recognised him when he began to speak and interact with them so there was something profoundly different about his resurrection body.
If the New Testament authors were teaching the resuscitation of a corpse, then that body would possess the same essential properties as it had previously. However, if only the pre-chosen witnesses were enabled to see and interact with Jesus, then his resurrected body was invisible to everyone else. Invisible… let that sink in for a moment.
I’m not going to attempt to explain what the witnesses saw so there’s no point in asking me anything else now. However, in future posts I will talk about some biblical Resurrection themes which have gone virtually unrecognised.