The Nicene Creed concludes with resurrection and eternal life. But, Stephen Davis observes, neither reality can be proved by experience.
There’s a stereotype that we more progressive Christians tend to downplay this stuff: that our interest in Jesus is mostly about his teaching, that if we do talk about something like the resurrection it’s only to debate whether it’s historically plausible. But I’m a lot less interested in evidence for the resurrection than I am in what the thing means. And I have learned, to my surprise and delight, that it actually means more to me now than it once did—before my faith took a bit of a leftward turn.
The story goes that God got a body. I’ve often pondered the relationship between incarnation and pain.
Maybe this is your real prayer for others and for yourself. “Make this trial and tragedy a glimpse of your glory, a window into your world.”
As Easter approaches, raising the dead is at the forefront of my mind. But I think of a different vision of resurrected dead, zombies. The popular monsters reanimate as gruesome bodies; their essential natures, spirits, or souls are absent. Zombies are a reckoning of the horror of the dead coming back to life.
The years I spent preaching Easter brought me closer to the heart of resurrection news. They drove me deeper into the gospel.
Easter Sunday is glorious. But the most important Sundays come afterward, when we are left—as were Jesus' disciples—with the sense that nothing can ever be the same.
Matthew invites us into a whole variety of experiences this Sunday. Verses 10 through 20, considered optional, center around a conflict about tradition and authority followed by a parable about the truth of the actions of the heart. This is followed by healings and feedings. The next chapter begins with more conflict.