What difference would it make if Jesus did not rise from the dead?
We would be following a martyr, instead of a victor. The church may never have developed without the reassurance of the resurrected Jesus. The message of his followers may have been one of revenge and bad news, instead of forgiveness and good news. He may have been regarded as only a wise and winsome man, but not the hope of mankind. Thousands of hospitals, orphanages, and relief organizations throughout the world may not have been built.
Would all hope be lost without this one last momentous miracle? Would he still be deity? Would we have hope in this life and the next? Would prophecy be undone? According to my understanding of scripture, the resurrection truly is the lynchpin in all of these things.
On the other hand, if there were no resurrection, perhaps we would have been spared a coercive and corrupt Christendom. Maybe the dark blotches of church history would have been expunged. Wars may have been diverted.
I wonder if we would be more focused on attempting to follow the example and teachings of Christ than trying to codify a system of axioms. Maybe we would place more emphasis on our actions and relationships, rather than our support of an organization.
If we lost kingdom come, would we still try to live out his kingdom now? Would we be more focused on his teachings, rather than just “crossing the line of faith”?
An understanding of Christ’s death and resurrection and our belief that he is who he said he was, is the starting line for following him. The problem is that we have made this along with the signing off on certain doctrinal beliefs, the finish line. We got enamored with making the church an organization and confused being good a church member with being a follower and lover of Jesus. We tried to make systematic theology out of the Bible and then made it an entrance requirement.
The incongruence between Christ and Christendom, Jesus and the church, did not happen because of the centrality of the resurrection. It is the result of sinful people twisting, codifying, organizing, politicizing, and perverting what it means to follow Christ. The question of the resurrection serves to remind us of our over emphasis on the hereafter and our neglect of impacting the here-and-now. We have become enamored by the supernatural elements of Christ’s life, while discounting the gritty, down-and-dirty, and yes, revolutionary, aspects of his very earthy life and very amazing teachings.
Here are the other contributions for the Resurrection Hoax Synchroblog. Enjoy!
- Marta – On Faith Seeking Understanding, Truth, and Theology
- Carol Kuniholm – Risen Indeed? The Hermeneutic Community
- Tim Nichols – How Would Life be Different if Jesus did not Rise?
- Glenn – Kingdom Come or Kingdom Now?
- Sonja Andrews – The Resurrection and the Life
- Josh Morgan – The Role of the Resurrection
- Abbie Watters – What if the Resurrection were a lie?
- Minnow – Resurrection Impact
- Leah – Resurrection – Or Not!
- Hey Sonnie – The Resurrection Hoax
- Liz Dyer – The Resurrection I Firmly Believe In
- Ellen Haroutunian – Is There a Christianity Without the Resurrection?
- Jeannette Altes – What if…
- Christine Sine – If the Resurrection did not happen, how would the world be different?
- KW Leslie – Supposing Jesus is Dead
- Travis Mamone – If the Resurrection was a Hoax
- Kathy Escobar – Jenga Faith
- Jeremy Myers – What if Jesus Did not Rise?
I especially appreciate your final paragraph–thanks!
Thanks, Leah! It is a troubling and curious thing how following Jesus and the religion of Christianity seem so very different.
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