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.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you— unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain.
On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
1. Jesus did not simply return to a normal biological life as one whom, by the laws of biology, would eventually die again.
2. Jesus is not a ghost or spirit. He does not belong to the realm of the dead, but is able to reveal himself in the realm of the living.
3. Jesus’ appearances are not out of body mystical experiences or hallucinations by his grief stricken followers.
4. Jesus’ resurrection points beyond history, but has left a footprint within history. Witnesses can attest it as an event of an entirely new kind.
5. Jesus’ resurrection appearances were a matter of assembling a circle of disciples who would be able to testify that Jesus did not remain in the grave that he lives on.
6. Jesus’ resurrection was utterly different, a breaking out into an entirely new form of life, into a life that no longer subject to the law of dying.
7. Jesus’ resurrection is a universal event opening up a new dimension of human existence in the midst of the continuing old world.
Question: “So how do we get to this wholly “other” human existence on earth now?”
Answer: Give back the government of the kingdom of heaven back to God.
A picture of this wholly “other” human existence governed by God is given to us in Acts 2:41-47
And they devoted themselves to the apostles ' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles.
And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Which is Better? The American Dream or the Resurrected Life of Christ?