NT Wright, in his latest book, Surprised by Hope, discusses the ways in which scientists and
historians could view the Resurrection of Jesus, then offers a 3rd alternative, “a puzzling area beyond science … and the kind of history that claims to ‘know’…” He offers:
Sometimes human beings – individuals or communities – are confronted with something that they must reject outright or that, if they accept it, will demand the remaking of their worldview.
The challenge is in fact the challenge of new creation. To put it at its most basic: the resurrection of Jesus offers itself, to the student of history or science no less than the Christian or the theologian, not as an odd event within the world as it is but as the utterly characteristic, prototypical, and foundational event within the world as it has begun to be. It is not an absurd event within the old world but the symbol and starting point of the new.
This goes hand in hand, by the way, with the point of Robert Webber’s in The Divine Embrace, that the work of God in the world can be summed up as creation, incarnation and re-creation. The incarnation of God in the man Jesus, his death and subsequent resurrection, opened the door for all of re-creation, not just the re-creation (i.e. the new-style resurrection body) of Jesus.
NT Wright goes on:
The claim advances in Christianity is of that magnitude: Jesus of Nazareth ushers in not simply a new religious possibility, not simply a new ethic or a new way of salvation, but a new creation.
The celebration of Easter is not simply recognizing the anniversary of some historical event, as important as that event was. In Easter, we celebrate the resurrection here and now, the new life and the re-creation happening all around us. It is perhaps fitting, then, that our Easter celebration “re-created” the primitive celebration of spring, new life, and of fertility. Easter is a fertility celebration, as the new world, the Kingdom of Heaven, is re-created in our lives.
The reality of Easter is upon us. Live the Resurrection! (and enjoy your Easter eggs!)