Is Jesus risen? I suppose its the question of the ages. So many theories surrounding this event. I wonder what event Dawkins’ ‘Flying Spaghetti Monster‘ (See Image to the Right) has elicited?
No matter what you think about Easter, it’s hard to ignore its durability for 2000 years. For some it is nothing more than a myth, probably poorly ripped off from Pagan Roman, Greek or Egyptian mythology. Others have tried to reckon with what happened 2000 years ago, but believe it to have been an illusion or even a hallucination, after all, psychedelic drugs were the thing back in the 030’s. For others something sinister must have taken place, like the disciples stole the body, and created the church for cash, or something like that. But no matter what you think, this story still grabs the attention of humanity on the regular. It’s a myth that doesn’t seem to want to go away? Maybe it is as C.S. Lewis once quipped that “The heart of Christianity is a myth, which is also fact. The old myth of the Dying God, without ceasing to be myth, comes down from the heaven of legend and imagination to earth of history. It happens at a particular date, in a particular place, followed by definable historical consequences. We pass from a Balder or Osiris, dying nobody knows when or where, to a historical Person crucified under Pontius Pilate. By becoming fact it does not cease to be myth: that is the miracle.”
Well unlike the Flying Spaghetti Monster, there is teeth to this story. It’s a story that changed history. A band of sniveling cowards, who scattered in fear for their lives when Jesus was crucified and it looked like they would be next, became bold proclaimers of this ‘myth.’ They lost their lives because of it. Does this sound like a group that knew their ruse was fake news? Also, we saw devoted Jewish worshipers violate their own Sabbath, and begin to gather early on the first day of the week (Which is Sunday in case you’re wondering), since they were duped enough to believe Jesus rose early on the first day of the week. Curiously too is the fact that the early group of followers never built a shrine to the grave, but celebrated this crazy, mythological nonsense that Jesus rose from the dead as an historical fact. I guess mass hallucinations were in vogue back then, since Jesus appeared to more than 500 followers. This event is more than a spiritual event, it is a physical, historical event, so where it may seem far fetched, it is what it is, and we are left to deal with it, because if it’s true, Jesus might be someone to be reckoned with, and if it’s not true, then as the apostle Paul wrote, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” For the followers of Jesus, if you remove Him and His cross and subsequent resurrection, you are left with nothing, because unlike other religions, Christianity is not based on a certain set of teachings, which in many ways look the same as any other moralistic teachings of the day, it is based on who He is, and what He has done for us. Without that, we are just another group of people to be pitied!
This was not written to convince you, because I have come to learn after my so many years, that once we have made up our minds, we don’t like being confused with the facts. I wrote it to reflect on this incredible claim of orthodox Christianity, and hope you take the time to reflect on it too. Happy Resurrection Day to you!