THE RESURRECTION is the keystone of the arch on which our faith is supported. If Christ has not risen, we must impeach all those witnesses for lying. If Christ has not risen, we have no proof that the crucifixion of Jesus differed from that of the two thieves who suffered with him. If Christ has not risen, it is impossible to believe his atoning death was accepted.

D.L. Moody, "Jesus Arose: So Shall We" (sermon)

IF THE FIRST Christians had not believed that Christ rose from the dead there would have been no church and no New Testament… . If Christianity had been founded merely on the moral teaching of Jesus, it would no doubt have flourished for a short time as a well-meaning deviation from orthodox Judaism. It would quickly have lost its identity amid the innumerable varieties of religion and philosophy which occupied the minds of the ancient world.

William Neil, The Life and Teaching of Jesus

IN THE RESURRECTION of Jesus from the dead, we see God's decisive victory not only over death but over all God's other enemies as well. In that one climactic event, we see the certainty that someday, in the kingdom of God, there will be no more violence, war, jealousy, or death… . These forces are still alive and at work in the world, but because of the victory that God won at Easter, their doom is certain.

Stephen T. Davis, Risen Indeed

THERE ARE TIMES when I feel that he has withdrawn from me, and I have often given him cause, but Easter is always the answer to My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!

Madeleine L'Engle, The Irrational Season

THE GREAT JOY that the disciples felt when they saw the risen Lord, that "burning of heart" that they experienced on the way to Emmaus, were not because the mysteries of an "other world" were revealed to them, but because they saw the Lord… . They announced what they knew, that in Christ the new life has already begun, that he is Life Eternal, the Fulfillment, the Resurrection and the Joy of the world.

Alexander Schmemann, O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

DEATH is the ultimate weapon of the tyrant; resurrection does not make a covenant with death, it overthrows it. The Resurrection, in the full Jewish and early Christian sense, is the ultimate affirmation that creation matters, that embodied human beings matter.

N. T. Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God

THE RESURRECTION is God's way of revealing to us that nothing that belongs to God will ever go to waste. What belongs to God will never get lost—not even our mortal bodies.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, Our Greatest Gift

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Related Elsewhere:

Past Reflections columns include:

Jesus' Cross (March 15, 2004)
Lenten Inventory (Feb. 25, 2004)
Following the Star (Dec. 23, 2003)
Advent (Dec. 10, 2003)
Wisdom for Ministry (Nov. 10, 2003)
Discerning God's Will (Oct. 6, 2003)
Work and Vocation (Sept. 17, 2003)
Bumper Sticker Theology (July 30, 2003)
Songs from the Soul (July 8, 2003)
Walk Humbly (May 28, 2003)
Mercy (May 8, 2004)
Cross and Resurrection (April 16, 2003)
Justice (March 18, 2003)
Sex, Love, and Marriage (Feb. 14, 2003)
Mountaintop Spirituality (January 23, 2003)
Word Made Flesh (December 20, 2002)
Desert Springs (November 25, 2002)
Matters of the Mind (October 16, 2002)
Bumper stickers (August 6, 2002)
Preaching (July 18, 2002)
Prayer (June 24, 2002)
Suffering and Grief (May 20, 2002)
Writers and Words (April 18, 2002)
Crucifixion (March 28, 2002)
God's Mission (February 13, 2002)
On Enemies (January 8, 2002)
Life After Christmas (December 26, 2001)
Love & Marriage (November 13, 2001)
The Word of God (October 22, 2001)
Leadership (October 11, 2001)
Suffering (September 13, 2001)
Change (August 14, 2001)
Living Tradition (July 18, 2001)

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