The Resurrection of Jesus: An Unlikely Easter Conversation

by Mikel Del Rosario

The Truman ShowPlease Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

One Easter, a relative cornered me at a family reunion and wanted to talk about the resurrection of Jesus. Let’s just call her my dear Aunt Sally. Some people try to stay away from politics and religion a parties. Not Aunt Sally. 🙂

Aunt Sally was Religious Studies major and she started off by telling me that Jesus didn’t come back from the dead in any real sense–that the story of Jesus’ resurrection just emerged over decades after the crucifixion. She said that Jewish peasants who missed Jesus and needed a Messiah figure basically made the whole thing up–probably because it helped them feel better emotionally and things like that.

But she said something else, too. She said that it doesn’t really matter if the resurrection of Jesus actually  happened. After all, can’t we draw inspiration from a story even if it’s not true?

In this post, I’ll share how you can respond to these two challenges:

  1. It doesn’t matter if Jesus really rose from the dead
  2. The story of the resurrection of Jesus emerged over decades after the crucifixion

Does it really matter if the resurrection of Jesus is a total lie? I’ll bet you’ve heard this kind of question before: “Can’t we draw inspiration from a story even if it’s not true?”

Jesus and the Truman Show

This reminds me of an old Jim Carrey movie: “The Truman Show.” If you’ve seen the film, you might remember that Truman basically lived the perfect life. But he had no clue that he was part of this fantasy world that was made up by the people who produced the Truman Show. Truman had no clue his view of the world was built on a total lie.

Now I guess you could say, “What does it really matter?” I mean, he’s happy, right? But Truman got suspicious and he tried to figure out what’s going on. And I don’t blame him. I mean, what would you do? Wouldn’t you want to know if your best friends were a bunch of fakes? If your idea of the world was based on a total lie? I would. That’s because the truth matters–especially when we’re talking about spiritual stuff.

The apostle Paul thought so, too. Here’s what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:14-17 (ESV):

“If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain…and your faith is in vain…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

Paul wasn’t a fan of drawing inspiration from fiction. He was convinced that if Jesus didn’t come back from the dead in any real sense, the entire faith tradition is a waste of time–and that the Christian religion is based on a total lie. As a Christian, I’ve got to be OK with saying that if the resurrection of Jesus was faked, we’re in the same kind of spot that Truman was. We wouldn’t have hope in anything real. In fact, we’d be totally hopeless. Our worldview would be based on a total lie…

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The Resurrection of Jesus: An Unlikely Easter Conversation

 

RECOMMENDED READING:

The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus

The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus

The Poached Egg Apologetics