The Bible in Light of the Resurrection

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

Timothy J. Keller, in Hope in Times of Fear [affiliate link], writes this about what happened to Saint Paul when he began to look at everything in the Bible (for Paul, the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Testament) in light of Jesus’ resurrection:

Once Paul began to look at everything in the light of Jesus resurrected and vindicated by God, the Bible fit together and everything in the world and in his life looked different. Certainly he had not worked out all the answers to his original objections to Christianity. But once he realized Jesus was risen, he knew there had to be answers to all those objections. So he believed in Christ, began to preach, and proceeded to work out the details as he went along.

We should proceed the same way. Think of all the objections to Christianity regarding repressive sexuality or the record of the church’s injustices. Do any of these things, if true, mean Jesus could not h ave risen from the dead? That’s the first and foremost question to ask. Have we looked at the evidence for the resurrection thoroughly? All our objections actually hang on this issue. If he did not rise from the dead, who cares what the Bible says about sex or about the history of the church? But if he did rise from the dead, then Christianity and its gospel is true, and while we don’t yet have solutions to all those other objections, we can move forward knowing that answers to those questions exist.

If you are looking at Christianity, start by looking at Jesus’ life as it is shown to us in the gospels, and especially at the resurrection. Don’t begin, as modern people do, by asking yourself if Christianity fits who you are. If the resurrection happened, then there is a God who created you for himself and ultimately, yes, Christianity fits you whether you can see it now or not. If he’s real and risen, then just like Paul, even though he had none of the answers to any of his questions, you’ll have to say, “What would you have me do, Lord?”

The resurrection is not only a vital belief for Christian people, but it is a powerful reality that animates all of Christian life. Hope in Times of Fear makes a case for the resurrection, but also shows the ways it shapes our moral choices, relationships, vision of justice, and our future hope.