The resurrection of Jesus wasn’t just to secure an eternal future for us beyond this life. It isn’t merely to give immortality to those who believe in Christ and his salvific work. Far from it. The resurrection signifies something much more, as it did for the early Christians.
See my article Heaven to Earth: The Christian Hope in the Resurrection
It’s in the resurrected body of Jesus that we see heaven and earth joined together. You will recall that Jesus’s resurrected body was numerically identical with his earthly body, but it had gone through a metaphysical, “spiritual” transformation (e.g. Lk 24:30-32; Jn 10:27; 21:10-151 Cor 15:12-58).
Jesus’ resurrection expresses God’s good intentions for all of creation. It affirms the earthly material world that is currently broken, and promises a renewal of all things. It means that God will not kick this world into the cosmic trashcan. Instead, he is guiding all of creation to “new” heavens and earth (Rev 21). And this has huge implications for Christian living.
In his book Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church (Feb. 2008), Wright says this about the resurrection:
“The point of the resurrection … is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die … What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it. What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future.”
In the following video, Rob Bell stimulates the mind and imagination as he describes the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus.
I hope this resurrection video adds to your Easter celebration.
What do you think of both Wright and Bell’s view of the resurrection? In what other ways do you see the resurrection of Jesus having implications for radical discipleship? Please share your own thoughts.
D.D. Flowers, 2013.