This could have been a long and involved post but N.T. Wright wrote over 800 pages on this topic and I think I will simply refer those interested to his work and stick to what this means to me and why I have come to believe what I believe. First, it is absolutely clear to me at this stage that All of Christianity stands or falls on the reality of the Resurrection. Either Christ was/is GOD the Son and the Resurrection is a real event as we believe, and everything He taught is true and is as He says:
“1Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God: believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself: that where I am, you also may be. 4And whither I go you know: and the way you know.
7If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him.
8Philip saith to him: Lord, shew us the Father; and it is enough for us. 9Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Shew us the Father? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works. 11Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? 12Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake.
Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do: and greater than these shall he do. 13Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.” (John 14:1-14)
Or, Christ was/is NOT GOD the Son and the Resurrection is not a real event as we believe, but rather some foundational myth of just another religion, and everything He taught is a lie.
There is no moral compass and all truth, good, evil, joy and suffering are simply some relativistic opinion of one or another charismatic person, more or less good according to their own judgement and the judgement of their particular followers.
In this regime, this philosophy, there is no moral difference no valid way to judge what are right actions and results between, for example, those who sought to save and protect the Jewish and Christian victims of the Nazi holocaust, and the bureaucrats and camp workers and soldiers who set those policies and put the “Final Solution” into action.
All that we have is a difference of opinion between the followers of different sociopolitical points of view.
In the society which does not believe in the Resurrection there are only differences of opinion and any and all means of forwarding one’s point of view are acceptable. Christians are just stupid suckers who deserve death or worse because they are “just too stupid to live”.
Might makes right, and outside of the Resurrection, that is the foundation of every belief system in history and really, anywhere on the planet today.
Our choice today is between North Korea and by implication China, and all the other totalitarian regimes making headlines today on the one hand, and the nominally “christian” west which has a history of “working for the good” but is currently in the throes of rapidly jettisoning that “old fashioned baggage” and rapidly moving towards the Korean model by way of Franco-European style socialism.
We are proudly living in the derelict castle of our past and using up the stores of our patrimony without providing anything or creating anything new for the future generation. All the while we prance about like drama students pretending that we wrote the play.
This is one of those utterly simple binary choices between two clearly, radically even, different paths of existence and the choice hinges on belief that there is a Good that is desirable and attainable by all men, or on a belief that there is no Good, that all choices are relative and equally meritorious, what I have previously referred to as “the Mystical Body of Christ vs The Mystical Body of Anti-Christ”.
The latter path appears to be the predominant direction of our modern society, the clear choice, the politically correct mindset of the Luciferian Left, our progressive leadership and the vast government network of functionaries and minions who are engaged in forwarding the agenda of the latest “Final Solution”, as well as those who they claim to “serve” as in “public service”.
We find ourselves living our lives in a perfect classroom experiment involving Christ’s instruction about “loving our enemies”. If the delineation between the sides of this choice is not immediately clear then ask yourself “Why is the Tides Foundation Canada one of the major supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada?”
Who is at the top of the food chain in the Tides foundation? What’s in it for them? And why is Pope Francis’s administration lining up in lock step all across the spectrum with the global agenda of George Soros?
Don’t take my word for it … do your own digging … it’s all out there in the public domain.
I have been reading “Resurrection of the Son of God V3: Christian Origins and the Question of God”, by N. T. Wright. Fortress Press. I quote from a couple of reviewers: “‘A monumental achievement in its scope, depth, and execution … a landmark in scholarly studies of the resurrection.’ Gerald O ’ Collins, The Tablet.
‘The most monumental defence of the Easter heritage in decades … The Resurrection of the Son of God marches through a clearly organized case that confronts every major doubt about Easter, ancient and modern.’ Richard N. Ostling, Associated Press.
For me, this is indeed “monumental”, the best book about the Resurrection I have ever had the pleasure to read. To end this post I am going to quote from the Preface. I have edited and slightly re-arranged the paragraph order and structure into bite sized bits which I find easier to read online but the thoughts and words are all N.T. Wright.
“… in order to determine what happened on one particular day nearly two thousand years ago we find ourselves obliged to call and cross-examine a wide variety of witnesses, some of whom are simultaneously being questioned by advocates of other answers to the question.
The debate has frequently been bedevilled by oversimplifications, and to avoid this we shall have to set things out reasonably fully. Even so, there is no space for a full-scale history of research on the subject. I have chosen certain conversation partners, and regret that there was no room for more. My impression from reading the literature is that the primary sources themselves are not well enough known, or carefully enough studied.
The pilgrim who visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem faces several puzzles. Is this after all the place where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and buried? Why is it inside the city walls, not outside as one had supposed? How does the present building relate to the original site? How did the place come to be so different from what the New Testament leads us to expect (a garden with a tomb in it, close to a hill called Golgotha)?
And, even supposing this is roughly the right place, is this the right spot? Is this rocky outcrop, now enclosed within an upstairs chapel, actually the top of Golgotha? Is this marble slab really where the dead Jesus was laid? Is this highly ornate shrine really the site of the tomb? And—a different sort of question, but a pressing one for many visitors—why are different groups of Christians still squabbling about who owns the place?
These puzzles, though, do not noticeably affect the appeal of the place. Despite archaeological, historical and ecclesiastical squabbles, the church retains its evocative and spiritual power. Pilgrims still flock to it in their hundreds of thousands.
Some of them still question whether it all really happened. Did Jesus of Nazareth, they ask, really rise from the dead? Whether or not they realize it, they join a different throng on a different pilgrimage: the jostling, overheated crowd of historians investigating the strange reports of events at the tomb of Jesus on the third day following his execution.
Here they are confronted with a similar set of problems.
The story of Easter, like the church at its supposed location, has been demolished and reconstructed again and again over the years. The tantalizing narratives in the gospels are as puzzling to the reader as the building is to the visitor. How do they fit together, if at all?
What precisely happened? Which school of thought today, if any, is telling the story truly? Many have despaired of discovering what, if anything, happened on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet, despite perplexity and scepticism, billions of Christians around the world regularly repeat the original confession of Easter faith: on the third day after his execution, Jesus rose again.
So what did happen on Easter morning? This historical question, which is the central theme of the present book, is closely related to the question of why Christianity began, and why it took the shape it did.”
15. But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)