What separates Christians from the rest of the pack…

“Life [had] replaced logic.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

(a soon to bloom peony / Julie Cook /2018)

The image of the bloom used in today’s post is that of a peony.
I call this peony my resurrection plant because I bought it two summers ago, in July.
It was a very expensive plant.
Yet anyone living in the deep South knows you don’t sink a lot of money into a
plant, dig a hole in the hot dry ground, plop in said expensive plant and expect it to live…
especially in July and especially in a summer experiencing a full-blown drought.

I wrote about this plant last spring and the reason as to why I call it a resurrection plant—
of which you can read from the following link…
but that is not the true gist of today’s post


Today’s post is a reminder of what the Resurrection is all about…
and if you are a Chrisitan, it’s a reminder of what that exactly means to you.

The reminder rests in the fact that we’ve just celebrated Easter…

Easter being holiest celebration, besides the birth of Christ, within the Christian Chruch…
Some would argue that it is the sole holiest celebration…but I suppose we can’t have a
resurrection of our Savior without his immaculate conception and birth…
all of which supersedes the ability of man’s small mind to grasp and process…
hence so much of the consternation in mankind since that very first miraculous morning.

After watching the latest edition of Anglican Unscripted featuring our favorite
rouge Anglican Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Gavin Ashenden, I’ve come to realize that
there are many in our fold who really don’t know what they think about
the Ressurection…
And what is even more startling, many members of the clergy don’t quite
know what to make of it either…

In a nutshell, it is the what which separates Christianity from every other religion.

How in the world can you offer anyone, let alone speak of such things as
Hope, Salvation, Grace, if you can’t find the words to say that you believe, without
a doubt, in the Ressurection of Jesus?

You can’t.

Because the Resurrection is the defining key to our faith.
It is the impetus to faith…the belief in that which is a mystery, undefinable,
and greater than oneself.

Without the Resurrection,
Christianity is nothing… nor is it any different from a myriad of other belief systems.

C.S. Lewis explained this very point in 1950

I heard a man say,
“The importance of the Resurrection is that it gives evidence of survival,
evidence that the human personality survives death.”
On that view what happened to Christ would be what had always happened to all men,
the difference being that in Christ’s ease we were privileged to see it happening.
This is certainly not what the earliest Christian writers thought.
Something perfectly new in the history of the Universe had happened.
Christ had defeated death.
The door which had always been locked had for the very first time been forced open.
This is something quite distinct from mere ghost-survival.
I don’t mean that they disbelieved in ghost-survival.
On the contrary, they believed in it so firmly that, on more than one occasion,
Christ had had to assure them that He was not a ghost.
The point is that while believing in survival they yet regarded the Resurrection
as something totally different and new.
The Resurrection narratives are not a picture of survival after death;
they record how a totally new mode of being has arisen in the universe.
Something new had appeared in the universe:
as new as the first coming of organic life.
This Man, after death, does not get divided into “ghost” and “corpse”.
A new mode of being has arisen.
That is the story.
What are we going to make of it?
The question is, I suppose,
whether any hypothesis covers the facts so well as the Christian hypothesis.
That hypothesis is that God has come down into the created universe,
down to manhood—and come up again, pulling it up with Him.
The alternative hypothesis is not legend, nor exaggeration, nor the apparitions of a ghost.
It is either lunacy or lies.
Unless one can take the second alternative (and I can’t) one turns to the Christian theory.

C.S. Lewis,
“What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?” (1950)

So if you claim to be a Chrisitan and yet find yourself unable to acknowledge the mystery
and the might behind the resurrection of Jesus Christ, you need to rethink your allegiance.
And if you are a member of the clergy and find the words and concept uncomfortable,
you need a new profession because the calling, was not for you….

17 comments on “What separates Christians from the rest of the pack…

  1. Wally Fry says:

    Some would argue that it is the sole holiest celebration

    I actually would myself. The resurrection is the single most important event in human history, it being the final culmination of the work Jesus came for. Belief in the literal and physical resurrection of Christ is central to any true Christian faith. Failing to understand it and believe it renders one, quite simply, not Christian. Without it, our faith is incomplete and void. Without the Resurrection of our Savior, we remain dead in our sins. Only His conquering of death enables us to conquer it also.

    Only Christianity even makes such a claim. Buddha, Mohammed, Joseph Smith….those among other “founders” of religions died, stayed quite dead; furthermore, their adherents make no claims otherwise.

    Yeah, it matters a wee bit.

  2. Lynda says:

    Easter and the Resurrection comprise the most important celebration for Christians. The crucial statement is that Jesus not only was resurrected but that Christ defeated death. We believe that very strongly. Do we understand it? Not really but we accept it because there were witnesses to this event and Jesus promised this to us. This is part of the Apostles’ Creed which is accepted in most mainline denominations: I believe in…Jesus Christ…who…rose again from the dead. I believe in…the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.” Thanks be to God!

    • So to have, in the case of our across the pond, rouge Anglican friend to note that clergy could not find the words of affirmation is both incredulous and absolutely wrong— yes our creed states it as so!! A mystical mystery yes but one we embrace as followers of the risen Christ

  3. Amen,Julie! The resurrection is about so much more than we even realize. I just love that saying, “Jesus didn’t die just to get you into heaven, He died to get a bit of heaven into you.” So, we are new creatures and eternal life begins right here and right now.

    I actually adore some 95% of clergy, pastors, flaws and all, challenges, imperfections, wrongheadedness, but you have to grasp the resurrection and know grace. That part is mandatory. Sadly a few don’t and they make a real mess of things.

  4. PS, I also just love how he said, “they’re in awe of their intellect.” That’s a concept I try to speak of often, having once been quite sane, well reasoned, and not too keen on the miraculous myself. 🙂

  5. SLIMJIM says:

    Timely given that I see many have written about the Resurrection the last few days including myself

  6. oneta hayes says:

    So much mystery requiring so much faith, BUT of all mysteries, it is the most easily believed for a person who considers with a willing and open mind. If one starts with “I am here” and science says nothing ever “goes away” it just changes, then faith takes hold and Christianity wins. Oh, one other thing – it bothers me not all, that God is smarter than I. 😀

  7. Excellent, dear Julie! The resurrection is the key event upon which our faith is built!! Love C.S. Lewis’ words as well! ❤ and hugs!!

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