N.T. Wright & Rob Bell on Resurrection

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.

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About David D. Flowers

David received a B.A. in Religion from East Texas Baptist University and a M.T.S. in Biblical Studies from Houston Graduate School of Theology. David has over 15 years experience as a pastor and teacher in and outside the church. He currently pastors an Anabaptist congregation in Virginia. View all posts by David D. Flowers

2 responses to “N.T. Wright & Rob Bell on Resurrection

  • jimpuntney

    The resurrection of Jesus had and has implications that include the cosmic to the sub atomic, and all in between.

    He in His death defining death redeemed all that was corrupted by Lucifer’s rebellion, When He uttered “it is finished” death and decay were dead. Light, and Life, Truth. and Hope spring from His ministry of reconciliation. We see in part, yet one day we will know the ramifications of His resurrection, and we will cast our crowns at His feet.

    “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.

    He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

    For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” ~ Paul

  • Luke Summey

    I’ve been wanting to read Surprised By Hope for some time now. You just solidified that I will. 🙂

    I love the artist way Bell communicates. He is incredible at it. His restorative approach to the resurrection is beautiful and powerful (though I would wonder to what extent he takes it). I think combining His emphasis on Christ rendering the change along with Wright’s focus (at least from the quote) on our decisions and actions makes for a very wonderful understanding that can greatly alter how followers live their lives.

    Fantastic post!

    Luke =)

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