Easter Good News

The Dreaming Spires of Oxford

I was delighted and privileged to be present at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford this Good Friday.  The service itself was dignified with excellent music.  The sermon, given by Professor Nigel Biggar, was also very encouraging to me.  Regrettably, those who are engaged in academic theology are inclined to demythologise the Easter stories, assuming that they are ‘myths’.  Myths in this sense, are not fantasies, but stories that speak of the spiritual significance of events.  The assumption is that the resurrection is a spiritual event, transforming the hearts and lives of dejected disciples, subsequently written up as if it were an historical narratives.  Those who read the accounts as historical records make a genre mistake about the literature.Dr Biggar helpfully pointed out in his sermon, that the resurrection experience of Jesus’ disciples, of new life, hope and faith, follows the actual event of crucifixion and resurrection, recorded as historical events by those who were first hand witnesses.  The experience of resurrection faith is groundless without the physicality of Christ’s resurrection.It has always seemed to me that the most persuasive evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is that Peter, Thomas and other disciples were so swiftly transformed from dejected and doubting followers to bold professors and preachers of the Gospel.  Nothing other than the veracity of the actual death and actual resurrection of Jesus Christ could have effected such a change.For contemporary people to look upon Easter as Good News requires them to become convinced of the actual events, which in turn should to lead to the wonderful experience of the resurrected Jesus as a present, life transforming reality.  He is risen indeed!

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