The following is my contribution to this month's SynchroBlog.
The other day on Twitter asked, “Instead of asking me if I believe the tomb really was empty (which I do), why not ask me why the empty tomb matters?” I asked this because for years I kept hearing Christians say, “He is risen!” as if that phrase itself should change everything. But a simple phrase was never enough for me. I wanted to know why the empty tomb matters.
I’ve heard some say that it doesn’t really matter to them whether or not the tomb was empty. What really matters, according to some, is how Jesus inspired His disciples to carry out His mission into the world and bring the Kingdom of God to earth. After doing some research, though, I’ll have to politely disagree. To me, Jesus inspired His disciples to carry out His mission because of the empty tomb.
As you may remember, last Easter (meaning the Easter of 2011) I gave reasons why the Resurrection matters. I would like to add one more to the list, which comes from Tony Jones’ A Better Atonement eBook:
Why is that important? Because I’m a real person. Because the people to whom I have ministered in Jesus’ name are real persons. We’re not hypotheses, fables, or legends. And we need real healing, all of us. While our realities may be largely socially constructed, we have real DNA, real physical, material properties.
Thus, since the resurrection of Jesus is his defeat of death, evil, and grief, it’s important to me that it really happened. Without a resurrected Jesus, Christianity is impotent. And I don’t mean a Jesus who was “resurrected” in the Disciples’ hearts and in my heart. I mean a real resurrection in the space-time continuum by a physical being known as Jesus of Nazareth, as 99.99% of Christians for the last two millennia have believed. (Loc. 351-357)
And that’s why I believe in the Resurrection, because if the Resurrection is just a hoax, then I wouldn’t have any hope. I would never heal. I would just be stuck with all of my pain and suffering, crying out to a God that only responds with, “Wish I could help ya, kid. Sorry!”
But because the Word of God dwelt among us, experienced all the trials and temptations and sufferings we face, and defeated death in the end . . . well, I think that changes everything.
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If you liked this blog post, check out the other synchrobloggers!
- Marta – On Faith Seeking Understanding, Truth, and Theology
- Carol Kuniholm – Risen Indeed? The Hermeneutic Community
- Tim Nichols – How Would Life be Different if Jesus did not Rise?
- Glenn – Kingdom Come or Kingdom Now?
- Sonja Andrews – The Resurrection and the Life
- Josh Morgan – The Role of the Resurrection
- Abbie Watters – What if the Resurrection were a lie?
- Minnow – Resurrection Impact
- Leah – Resurrection – Or Not!
- Hey Sonnie – The Resurrection Hoax
- Liz Dyer – The Resurrection I Firmly Believe In
- Ellen Haroutunian – Is There a Christianity Without the Resurrection?
- Jeannette Altes – What if…
- Christine Sine – If the Resurrection did not happen, how would the world be different?
- KW Leslie – Supposing Jesus is Dead
- Travis Mamone – If the Resurrection was a Hoax
- Kathy Escobar – Jenga Faith
- Jeremy Myers – What if Jesus Did not Rise?