In his book The Jesus I Never Knew, Philip Yancey contemplates what would have happened if Jesus never rose from the grave: there would probably be a collection of His teachings, and maybe even a statue in downtown Jerusalem. But, Jesus did rise!
As Yancey says, Easter changes everything.
Yancey, one of the most influential Christian writers of our day, asks himself (and his readers) a good question: What if the resurrection never happened? What if Jesus is actually dead and buried in Palestine? The fate and reputation of Jesus would be like that of Confucius or Socrates.
But, Yancey also asks, What if the resurrection of Jesus is true? Hear how he answers his own question:
In many respects I would find an unresurrected Jesus easier to accept. Easter makes Him dangerous. Because of Easter I have to listen to His extravagant claims and can no longer pick and choose from His sayings. Moreover, Easter means He must be loose out there somewhere. Like the disciples, I never know where Jesus might turn up, how He might speak to me, what He might ask of me. As Frederick Beuchner says, Easter means “we can never nail Him down, not even if the nails we use are real and the thing we nail Him to is a cross.”
Did you know Easter meant so much?
Easter means Jesus is alive.
Easter means He is “out there somewhere.”
Easter means He is dangerous.
The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey. Zondervan, 1995, Pages 225-226.
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(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)