Why the Resurrection Matters
In this episode of Christian Mythbusters, Father Jared continues to break some of the myths about the resurrection of Christ which we celebrate during Eastertide. This week, he turns to the question of why the resurrection is an important part of Christian belief. You can hear Christian Mythbusters in the Grand Haven area on 92.1 WGHN, on Wednesdays at 10:30am and Sundays at 8:50am. You can also subscribe to the podcast on Apple here.
The transcript of the episode is below, or you can listen to the audio at the bottom of the post.
This is Father Jared Cramer from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Grand Haven, Michigan, here with today’s edition of Christian Mythbusters, a regular segment I offer to counter some common misconceptions about the Christian faith.
Last week, as we continue walking through the Great Fifty Days of Easter, I sought to break some of the myths surrounding the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Specifically, I tried to speak to the theological principal that Jesus was bodily raised. I talked about how this was more than resuscitation of a corpse—that his resurrected body was different than a normal mortal body—but that the idea that he was still raised bodily is indeed a core tenet of the Christian faith, both Scripturally and theologically.
But I should probably be clear this week that I didn’t answer one of the key questions you might have… why? Why is the truth of the bodily resurrection so important? Why do people like author John Updike, whose poem “Seven Stanzas at Easter” I shared last week, say things like, “Make no mistake: if he rose at all, it was as His body; if the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit, the amino acids rekindle, the Church will fall.” Will it really?
The “why” question is important, and so this week I’d like to try to break the myth that some people have who think that believing in the resurrection probably isn’t an essential part of the Christian faith.
I talked last week about the essentiality of the bodily resurrection of Christ in the Scriptural witness. In particular, I highlighted the words from the Apostle John in his First Epistle, “We declare to you what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life.”
The Apostle Paul spoke to this as well, in the fifteenth chapter of his First Epistle to the Corinthians, where he said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
So, clearly the apostles and the early church believed the truth of the bodily resurrection… but the question remains… why? Why does it matter?
To be clear, the church has spent the better part of two thousand years exploring this question and there is no way I could summarize all those theological arguments in the next two and a half minutes I have. That said, there are two reasons for the essentiality bodily resurrection that I, personally, find particularly persuasive.
The bodily resurrection is essential for the same reason that the incarnation is essential—because in Christ God chose to be one of us, to take on our nature, to experience all the delight, pain, and struggle of mortality. All of the pain and struggle, the guilt and doubt, that has plagued you as a human,