Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Monday, August 07, 2006

What if we found the body of Jesus?

I am reading "Another Roadside Attraction" by Tom Robbins. This is his first novel that he wrote in the late 60's. In the story, one of the characters finds the body of Jesus in the basement of the Vatican. The character believes that if this becomes known it will destroy Christendom. That is all I will say about the novel so I won't spoil it for you.

I wonder if it would make that much difference if, beyond a shadow of a doubt, we found the body of Jesus or we determined that Jesus did not physically rise from the dead? What if we were certain that he died like the rest of us will some day. Would that shatter your faith? What would your faith be about?

I don't think we need to find the body. Critical study of the Bible and the study of comparative religions have combined to shatter the historicity of the resurrection. I would guess that many who call themselves Christian regard the resurrection symbolically. For many of us, the resurrection is a myth or a metaphor. We may understand the meaning of this metaphor differently. Perhaps it means that what Jesus lived for lives on in his followers. Perhaps it means that justice will have the final word. Or perhaps it is a reminder in fable that what we see isn't all there is and that mystery surrounds us.

Regardless how we interpret it, many Christians do not believe or think they should believe that the resurrection was an historical event. On the other hand, many Christians think that the resurrection was an historical event. As far as I am concerned, both types of Christians can co-exist and celebrate life together in worship.

What do you think? What does resurrection mean to you? Or to put it plainly, if we found the body of Jesus, would it make a difference?