Resurrection!

A random thought about the resurrection. Appropriate, since today is Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the resurrection.

I’m a physicist. As such, I’m used to the world functioning according to a set of established laws. We may not know all of them, but the world is, by and large, predictable. Things happen, and they obey the laws of physics, and I and other physicists are content - except about things which we haven’t explained yet, or devised laws which enable us to predict what’ll happen next time that thing, or something similar, happens.

There are exceptions to the laws which govern the way the world works. Arguably, one such notable exception is the resurrection of Jesus. People have tried to dismiss the resurrection as a figment of people’s imagination, and have tried to come up with all sorts of explanations as to why it couldn’t have happened. Actually, once you really dig into the arguments, and the evidence, it’s pretty hard to dispute that it happened. I’m not going to do that digging, here and now. Maybe another time. For now, please just accept (even if you find it personally difficult) that Jesus died, and that on the third day (the crucifixion happened on the first day - no mathematical concept of zero back then) he was resurrected… In that something very strange happened - his dead body came back to life, with ‘him’ ‘inhabiting’ it… Although His resurrected self was (or is?) strange in some of the ways in which it ‘interacts with' the world - He seems to be able to do things which don’t seem to us to be ‘normal’ - like passing through locked doors.

Until now I have always just assumed this resurrection was a sort of ‘one off’ - a miracle - and left it at that. It/He has broken the laws which govern the universe… The world doesn’t work like that. Our world doesn’t work like that. Our understanding of the present reality is that dead people don’t suddenly become not-dead. I’ve always just sort of shrugged my shoulders at that and assumed that God had 'broken the rules’. It does seem a bit odd, because God always seems quite keen on things being orderly.

But actually, that breaking of the laws, that unexpected outcome, does cause me a problem. I’m a physicist remember. I like things neatly obeying the rules. Clearly I’m not the only one. The disciples weren’t expecting it - they were in hiding for fear of the authorities. And, for the meanwhile, they largely stayed that way - hence Jesus needing to do the appearing in locked rooms thing.

But what if, rather than the resurrection being an ‘anomaly’ in the present world, it is, in fact, a turning point - the point at which the new creation - the New Earth and the New Jerusalem begin to come into being? That makes it a defining moment in history. Perhaps, in that new creation, resurrection (dead bodies coming to life) is not an anomaly, but the norm (indeed, if the bible is true, that has to be the case - Jesus is simply the first of many). What if the new creation does not obey the laws of nature as we currently know them, but instead has a completely fresh set of laws?

I’d always assumed that, once I got to heaven (or was resurrected?), somehow, with my new ‘resurrection body’, I’d have a much better chance of understanding how the world (our current world) works. But what if it’s all changed once the general resurrection happens? What if, as seems to be the case judging by Jesus’ resurrection, the whole of reality is ‘reinvented’ - all that stuff which I spent so long, first of all studying, and then researching so as to further mankind’s knowledge, is suddenly ‘outdated’ and outmoded - it simply doesn’t matter any more, because the whole reality and the way it works, changes?

Things that we see as miracles now (wondrous happenings which go against the accepted laws of the universe) - culminating in the resurrection of Jesus, might stop being miracles, and become ‘normal’ happenings under the new set of laws - and, who knows, things which are possible, and normal, now, may become impossible, because they don’t obey the laws of the new reality.

I have no reason to suppose this is the case...

Except...

The first Easter Day, when Jesus, who had been dead, became alive again, and appeared to those around him - walking, talking, eating, drinking...

Happy Easter!

Copyright Phil Hendry, 2016