Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Mystery of Easter

"What you call a fact depends on the theory you bring to it."
Albert Einstein (source unknown)

Lesslie Newbigin (Proper Confidence):
"The simple truth is that resurrection cannot be accommodated to any way of understanding the world except one in which it is the starting point."


"The problem of making sense of the gospel is that it calls for a change of mind which is as radical as is the action of God in becoming man and dying on a cross."

Walter Kunneth (Theology of the Resurrection):
"We may say without exaggeration: at the tomb in Jerusalem the ultimate choice will be made between two totally different world-views."

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Mystery of Easter):
“In Jesus Christ we believe the God who has become human crucified and resurrected. In the incarnation, we recognize God’s love for his creation; in the crucifixion, God’s judgment over all flesh; in the resurrection, God’s will for a new world.”


“Certainly we assume the grave was empty. But only one thing is important: God has declared himself to Christ and has touched him with his eternal life. Now Christ lives because God lives and because God’s love lives. That is enough for us. We can brood over the ‘how.’ We cannot change the ‘that.’

"But if God lives, then so too love lives, in spite of the cross – then we don’t live in sin, then God has indeed forgiven us. He has declared himself to Jesus, but Jesus has declared himself to us. If Jesus lives then our faith gains new meaning. Then we are the most blessed of human beings. A Yes of God to our guilty humanity, a new meaning for all our doing – that is Easter."

Not being deserted by God – but being full of God, not humans and their titanic victory over Godhood, but God and his mighty victory over humankind, over death and sin and indignation – that is Easter.”


“Christ did not come into the world that we might understand him, but that we might cling to him, that we might simply let ourselves be swept away by him into the immense event of the resurrection”

Thomas Merton (He is risen):
“The risen life is not easy; it is also a dying life. The presence of the Resurrection in our lives means the presence of the Cross, for we do not rise with Christ unless we also first die with him. It is by the cross that we enter the dynamism of creative transformation, the dynamism of resurrection and renewal, the dynamism of love.”

N. T. Wright (Simply Christian):
“If Easter makes any sense at all, it makes sense within something much more like the classic Jewish worldview: heaven and earth are neither the same thing, nor a long way removed from one another, but they overlap and interlock mysteriously in a number of ways; and the God who made both heaven and earth is at work from within the world as well as from without, sharing the pain of the world – indeed, taking its full weight upon his own shoulders. From this point of view, as the Eastern Orthodox churches have always emphasized, when Jesus rose again, God’s whole new creation emerged from the tomb, introducing a world full of new potential and possibility. Indeed, precisely because part of that new possibility is for human beings to be revived and renewed, the resurrection of Jesus does not leave us passive, helpless spectators. We find ourselves lifted up, set on our feet, given new breath in our lungs, and commissioned to go and make new creation happen in the world.”

More on the significance of Resurrection here and here.

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