Dispatch One Hundred Thirty-Eight

Posted: April 20, 2015 in Thirty-Third Bundle
Tags: , ,

LUKE 24:36b-48

36Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.

44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

Apparently, then, a rumor had been circulated to the effect that Jesus’ own followers had heisted his body and then professed his resurrection from the dead. But doubts were emerging from within the unstable Christian community itself, with some suggesting that the witnesses had seen “only a ghost.” In other words, there was nothing more going on than the possible sighting of an apparition, which may or may not have been the actual ghost of Jesus, but not his living presence.

Or had it been an hallucination? How better to dispel such doubts than to provide the episodes and testimonies of those who did see Jesus alive (again) and well, or to compose the actual meeting where the Jewish conspiracy against the truth of the resurrection had been hatched in the first place?

In the end, however, the Christian’s belief in the resurrection of Jesus cannot depend on an empty tomb, an exposed plot, or even on the testimonies of people who claimed to have been witnesses of the miracle. It is not possible, finally, to get from external evidence and eye-witness reports to the experience of “Christ who lives in me,” as the apostle Paul translated the mystery.

Your stone must be rolled away.

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