I read somewhere that Jesus rips a hole in history about the size of the resurrection.
Christianity is Christ. Christ risen. Alive. He took on human flesh and still wears it – now forever glorified. He is the first-fruits of all of us who will be raised.
The next few days of Holy Week are the two axes on which the universe balances and spins: crucifixion and resurrection; death and life; sacrifice and victory.
What is historical will become personal – for all of us.
Below are some of my favorite thoughts about these days from people across the spectrum. Add to them if you have thoughts, quotes or ideas that are favorites of yours.
“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”
― Charles Colson
“If Jesus rose from the dead, then you have to accept all that he said; if he didn’t rise from the dead, then why worry about any of what he said? The issue on which everything hangs is not whether or not you like his teaching but whether or not he rose from the dead.”
― Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism
“The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom. . . . It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven.”
“The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.”
― N.T. Wright
“Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
And field, and forest, as they were
Reflected in a single mind)
Like cast off clothes was left behind
In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
Re-born from holy poverty,
In lenten lands, hereafter may
Resume them on her Easter Day.”
~C. S. Lewis; Epitaph for his wife Joy Gresham.
“Indeed taking all the evidence together, it is not too much to say that there is no single historic incident better or more variously supported than the Resurrection of Christ. Nothing but the antecedent assumption that it must be false could have suggested the idea of deficiency in the proof of it.”
― Brooke Foss Westcott
“A dead Christ I must do everything for; a living Christ does everything for me.”
― Andrew Murray, Jesus Himself
“In a world where the dead have returned to life, the word ‘trouble’ loses much of its meaning.”
― Dennis Hopper, actor
“Perhaps [the critics are right and] the drama is played out now and Jesus is safely dead and buried. Perhaps. It is ironical and entertaining to consider that at least once in the world’s history those words might have been said with complete conviction, and that was on the eve of the Resurrection.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers, The Whimsical Christian: 18 Essays
“The resurrection is the revelation to chosen witnesses of the fact that Jesus who died on the cross is indeed king – conqueror of death and sin, Lord and Savior of all. The resurrection is not the reversal of a defeat but the proclamation of a victory. The King reigns from the tree. The reign of God has indeed come upon us, and its sign is not a golden throne but a wooden cross.”
― Lesslie Newbigin, Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture
“Christianity, unlike any other religion in the world, begins with catastrophe and defeat. Sunshine religions and psychological inspirations collapse in calamity and wither in adversity. But the Life of the Founder of Christianity, having begun with the Cross, ends with the empty tomb and victory.”
― Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ
“The cross of Christ only triumphs in the breast of believers over the devil and the flesh, sin and sinners, when their eyes are directed to the power of His Resurrection.”
― John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
“I went to a psychologist friend and said if 500 people claimed to see Jesus after he died, it was just a hallucination. He said hallucinations are an individual event. If 500 people have the same hallucination, that’s a bigger miracle than the resurrection.”
- Lee Strobel
“Our brains are seventy-year clocks. The Angel of Life winds them up once for all, then closes the case, and gives the key into the hand of the Angel of the Resurrection.”
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
“It is of the very essence of Christianity to face suffering and death not because they are good, not because they have meaning, but because the resurrection of Jesus has robbed them of their meaning.”
― Thomas Merton
Blessings to you this Easter season. He is risen!