One of the things I love about being a Christian is I can go deeper down the rabbit hole.  I keep having new aha’s, often fueled by the fact that I have to do lots of reading and thinking to prepare for the next sermon.  I had a new insight into the resurrection when I was preparing for my Easter sermon.

Here’s an overview of my evolving understanding of the meaning of the Resurrection.

Resurrection 1.0:  Jesus rose from the dead to show us the resurrection in which we will participate when we physically die.  Jesus’ life after death is an exception to the natural order of things (dead-is-dead) and if we follow Jesus we will participate in a resurrection like his.

Resurrection 2.0:  The resurrection of Jesus isn’t simply showing us what happens after physical death.  And it isn’t an exception to the rule (dead-is-dead.)  Rather resurrection is what God does, it is part of the blueprint of creation.  God is in the business of resurrection.  And not just of us after we physically die.  Rather God resurrects us after every tragedy.  Every tragedy is followed by new life.   This is why we can obey the angels when they say, “Don’t Be Afraid.”  It’s why we can listen to Jesus when he says, “Don’t worry . . . .  Consider the lilies of the field.”

Resurrection 3.0:  Resurrection is God’s response to evil.  It is how God defeats evil.  God doesn’t resist, nuke or punish evil — look at Jesus heading to the cross.   God simply removes evil’s power by following every attempt at death with new life.   God calls us to be a people of radical hope who are emboldened by resurrection that keeps springing up after every tragedy.  And we get to participate in resurrection — we get to be a community of resurrection.

This thinking was sparked in large part by Rowan William’s excellent book Resurrection.  It is short and very readable.  I recommend it highly.

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