It wasn’t until college and even more at grad school that I started to question my reasoning. Because what difference does it make if Jesus defied biochemical capability and brought his dead-self back to life? I mean really, is it a competition with those who crucified him to see who can have the last word? And if it is, and Jesus won by defeating physical death, why is crucifixion still an everyday reality? Didn’t Jesus defeat that?
Over the years, I studied the original language of the Bible. I examined why the many authors of scripture wrote what they did, and where they got their information. I considered what the religious councils aimed to do and why they selected one writing over another as Bible worthy. And I also figured out that the Apostle Paul was the earliest writer of resurrection and he related it to a seed. A seed doesn’t stay a seed, it becomes a plant. When Jesus walked this earth he was an earthly body, experiencing all of humanity. When Jesus died, he became a heavenly (spiritual) body, and thousands of years after the fact, we are still being inspired and empowered by the life he lived. Jesus “appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died (1 Corinthians 15:6, NRSV).” The earthly body can’t do that. The earthly body has limits, it cannot be in two places at once, nor can it be in both the past and the present. There are countless testimonies of people encountering Christ after his death. I believe these appearances are visions, pieces of Christ made known in everyday life. I know this because I, myself, can certainly attest to the fact that in almost 40 years, I have encountered Jesus many times. Once he was wearing Nike high tops, another time he was wearing a white shawl with a pretty pink broach. How is this possible? It was their words, their actions; they helped me see Christ alive and active in the moment.
So, yes, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Christ is not a physical resuscitation, it’s a spiritual presence. I think we miss the boat when we rely upon “It just happened,” and other such magical fairy tales, because there is something far greater in which we can participate. When we see Christ in others, and in ourselves… that’s when the world becomes a better place.