Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Matthew 28:1-10 (ESV) Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb.  And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow.  And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you."  So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me." The resurrection, this is what our faith is based on, when we say Christianity is an historical religion, we don’t mean that it has a history, all religions have a history some short some long, we mean that it is tied to an historical event. If this didn’t happen then our religion is a sham. But as long as it is more probable than improbable, as long as the resurrection stands as an historical event, then all else takes second seat. It is this and this alone that holds the key to the rest of Christianity. Should, for instance, evolution prove to be true, and creationism wrong, it might make us rethink many things concerning current interpretations of Genesis, but we could not thereby give up the Christian faith, because the historical fact of his resurrection would still compel us to believe that Jesus Christ is who he said he is, and did what he said he did for us. That is that he is the Messiah who died to forgive our sins. All else pales in comparison to this. This is the prototype by the way, his is the first resurrection, ours is to follow. In fact there was no way for Jews to interpret the resurrection of Christ, than that the long expected resurrection of the flesh, of all flesh, was imminent, the eschaton, the end times were upon them. The general resurrection of the flesh was now expected. This is what we as Christians believe in, we don’t believe in disembodied souls living for all eternity, but that our bodies, our flesh will rise, we will see our Redeemer in our own flesh with our own eyes. We too will be able to take hold of his feet, for not only will he still have flesh and bone, but so will we. Of course that scares everyone right away as they begin to question whether it is the young Elvis or the old Elvis that gets resurrected. I tend to think, though it will be our body, it will be our body as we have never known it, healthier and in better shape than we ever dreamed, even when we were swimmers in highschool with six pack abs the girls swooned over, though I suspect we won’t be worried so much about those things in heaven either….