When it comes right down to it, the Bible doesn’t really tell us much about resurrection. This is hardly surprising because the gospel writers are trying to make sense of a story that, well, doesn’t really make sense – at least not to a rational mind. This has led people to a variety of positions that roughly fall somewhere between two extremes:
- Of course, Jesus never rose from the dead; people don’t do that. Anyone who says so is crazy,
- Jesus rose physically from the dead and appeared to lots of people, and you must believe this or you are going to hell.
While most people lie somewhere between these two positions, they may not be sure just where exactly – nor are they always sure that they are “allowed” to be where they think they are. To put that another way, many people who understand themselves to be Christian struggle to accept the idea that Jesus physically rose from the dead, but are afraid to say so.
This guide does not set out to “prove” or “disprove” that Jesus physically rose on Easter Sunday. Instead, it invites participants to engage with the biblical stories of Christ’s resurrection to try to understand what the gospel writers meant to tell us, what they wanted us to take from these stories. After all, they did not set out to prove a point of history; they wrote them down because these stories had transformed their own lives, and the lives of many others at the time. Hopefully, reading and exploring these stories can enhance our lives too. Ultimately, how we experience Christ today is what matters – not what might have happened 2,000 years ago.