Thursday, September 14, 2006
Without a resurrection?
What would you do, what would happen to your faith if the bones of Jesus were found?

Over the weekend a group of us watched The Body, a 2001 film directed by Jonas McCord and starring Antonio Banderas. It's the story of an agnostic archaeologist who uncovers the bones of a crucified man that date to the first century and the pious priest sent by the Vatican sent to quell the ensuing controversy.

As a film, it's not very good. Think straight-to-video, B-movie quality. The premise, however, sparked a lot of good conversation. What happens to faith if Jesus did not raise from the dead? What happens if Jesus was just a nice guy with some admirable teachings we'd all do well to follow?

Turns out, if you throw the resurrection out the window, you have to toss the Incarnation and Trinity out the window as well. And then, you're needing to redefine the very definition of "Christian." If Jesus is not raised from the dead, then he is not God and therefore there is no God the Son, and we're left with a Father and Holy Spirit. If he is not God, then God the Father is a distant deity who would not stoop down and take on human flesh. If Jesus does not raise from the dead, there really is no good news to tell. If Jesus Christ is not alive, then he is not Jesus Christ, but merely Jesus of Nazereth.

Audrey pointed out 1 Corinthians 15, where specifically in verse 14, Paul writes, "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." Chris brought up the issue of atonement and whether the death of Jesus becomes just another sacrifice according to the Levitical law. Chip mentioned the issue of Eucharist and what it might mean in a world without Resurrection. Then he talked about a vision he's had once. And man, this was good. If ever I could be an artist and draw and paint, it would be this picture. He saw the crucified Jesus, dead and lying on a table prior to burial. He reached out and pinched a finger-ful of lacerated flesh and it became bread. On the arm of Jesus was literal tap. It was a living Eucharist.

So what would I do if the bones of Jesus were found? I would take my bat and ball and go home. That's what I would do.

Yeah, this is what happens when semenarians get together to watch a movie.

posted by Peter at 12:05 AM
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