A joyful Easter to my readers. He is risen! Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
[Digression: Someday, I'd love to go to a funeral that included a rousing sermon all about Jesus' resurrection and about how our resurrection as Christians is assured by the historical fact of Jesus' resurrection. Wouldn't that be great? When I'm old I should try to convince some preacher to give such a sermon at my funeral, despite the fact that I wouldn't, strictly speaking, be there to hear it. End of digression.]
Herewith, some music. This is the same music that I linked here, but some of the youtube versions have disappeared from where they were three years ago, so these are current links.
"Worthy is the Lamb" and "Amen" by Georg Frederic Handel:
"Christus Dominus Hodie Resurrexit" by Glad. (If you aren't familiar with the Christian a capella group Glad and if you like classy men's a capella music, you have much edifying enjoyment ahead. Look up more of their music.)
A musical Easter post here wouldn't be complete without some Southern Gospel. "Because He Lives" sung by the Gaither Vocal Band:
As readers know, it is my position that Jesus' resurrection is the evidential center, the heartbeat of Christianity. When God the Father raised Our Lord Jesus from the dead with great power, this was a sign. This was not a mystical event that can be seen and believed only by the eyes of faith. It was a miracle. It spoke to the world. When people ask, "Why can't God be more obvious?" it behooves us to remind them: God has been obvious. He raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus showed himself to his disciples by many infallible proofs. They recorded it for us. That's pretty darned obvious.
Jesus' resurrection is thus an indispensable point where metaphysics and epistemology come together in Christianity. We can be saved because Christ arose in both senses of "because." Metaphysically and theologically, Jesus' resurrection was the necessary completion of his saving work. It is because Jesus lives that we shall live also. He had to destroy the work of the Devil by destroying death.
Epistemologically as well, we can be saved because Jesus rose from the dead, for it is by his glorious resurrection that we know that his death was not just another death, not just another act of injustice, not just an emblem of man's cruelty to man, but rather that it was the means of our redemption. Let there be no mistake: Had Jesus remained dead, his death would have redeemed no one. And had he remained dead, we would have no reason to believe that his death redeemed anyone. We would be, as St. Paul says, of "all men most miserable."
Here are some past posts on this subject:
What Not to Tell a Young Enquirer about the Evidences of the Christian Faith
Evidential Ammo for the Christian Soldier
Is "Jesus Rose from the Dead" a Self-Committing Proposition
The Ascension and the "Objective Vision" Theory of the Resurrection
And here is Tim's and my 2008 article, a preprint copy posted by permission of the publisher, on the evidences for the resurrection.