Power of his resurrection. Why is the resurrection so crucial to the Christian faith?
Study and Discussion Questions
- All of the Gospels place a heavy emphasis on the resurrection of Jesus. Why?
Comment: The centrality of the resurrection for Christian life is pointedly described in this remarkable quote from C. S. Lewis:
“The earliest converts were converted by a single historical fact (the Resurrection) and a single theological doctrine (the Redemption) operating on a sense of sin which they already had — and sin, not against some new fancy-dress law produced as a novelty by a “great man,” but against the old, platitudinous, universal moral law which they had been taught by their nurses and mothers. The “Gospels” come later, and were written, not to make Christians, but to edify Christians already made.” – The Screwtape Letters , ch. 23, par. 3.
- Miserable without resurrection? In 1 Cor 15:17-19 Paul states that we would be of all people most miserable if it were not for the resurrection hope. Is that true for all Christians? How would Christians be “motivated” if it were not for the resurrection hope?
- Why does the modern mind find the resurrection hope such a difficult one?
- The boundary between what we know and what we don’t. In 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, Paul touches on that mysterious boundary between that which we know and see and that which we cannot know or see. The resurrection is a good example of that tension between a concrete hope and a world which knows little of such a hope. Are there other aspects of the Christian faith that also involve that boundary between the known and the unknown?
Comment: Another C. S. Lewis quotes highlights the “reality” of the resurrection hope in ways that are helpful for those who cannot grasp the enormous changes that must take place in our universe for it to happen. In his Letters to Malcolm, Lewis exclaims, “What the soul cries out for is the resurrection of the senses” (p. 121). A few paragraphs later he continues the thought:
“Then the new earth and sky, the same yet not the same as these, will rise in us as we have risen in Christ. And once again, after who knows what aeons of the silence and the dark, the birds will sing and the waters flow, and light and shadows move across the hills, and the faces of our friends laugh upon us with amazed recognition. Guesses, of course, only guesses. If they are not true, something better will be. For ‘we know that we shall be made like Him, for we shall see Him as He is’” [1 John 3:2]. (p. 124)