Saturday, April 18, 2009

Christos Anesti! Alithos anesti!

Today is the day I, and the (majority of) Eastern Churches, celebrate Easter. Easter is the celebration of Christ conquering death and antoning for our sins. One of the earliest creeds we have, received by Paul no later than 37AD from the Apostles of Jerusalem the historicity of the crucifixion and resurrection is established. It states:

For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures,
and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures,
and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive,though some have fallen asleep.
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.
Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.

1 Corinthians 15:2-9 (NET)

I have attached an article by William Lane Craig on the historicity of the resurrection:

Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence
for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

William Lane Craig

After an appraisal of recent scholarship on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Professor William Craig contends that "the resurrection appearances, the empty tomb, and the origin of the Christian faith - all point unavoidably to one conclusion: the resurrection of Jesus".

Source: "Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Truth 1 (1985): 89-95.

"Man," writes Loren Eisley, "is the Cosmic Orphan." He is the only creature in the universe who asks, Why? Other animals have instincts to guide them, but man has learned to ask questions. "Who am I?" he asks. "Why am I here? Where am I going?"

Ever since the Enlightenment, when modern man threw off the shackles of religion, he has tried to answer these questions without reference to God. But the answers that came back were not exhilarating, but dark and terrible. "You are an accidental by-product of nature, the result of matter plus time plus chance. There is no reason for your existence. All you face is death. Your life is but a spark in the infinite darkness, a spark that appears, flickers, and dies forever."

Modern man thought that in divesting himself of God, he had freed himself from all that stifled and repressed him. Instead, he discovered that in killing God, he had also killed himself.

Against this background of the modern predicament, the traditional Christian hope of the resurrection takes on an even greater brightness and significance. It tells man that he is no orphan after all, but the personal image of the Creator God of the universe; nor is his life doomed in death, for through the eschatological resurrection he may live in the presence of God forever.


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