If you had been there on that first Easter morn, you could have photographed the risen Jesus of Nazareth. He didn't live within people's hearts then. He was walking around. His resurrected feet printed the sod. If you had been with the disciples when he came to them in the upper room, you could have touched his hands and his feet; you could have seen the scar from the spear in his side. You could have handed him a piece of fish and felt his hand touch yours as he took it.
There is only one religion that connects the prose and the passion, and that is Christianity. Christianity offers mankind all the scope the imagination and the heart could desire--God become man as a baby with a virgin mother, sin taken away mysteriously by means of the God-man's shameful death, His vindication by a glorious resurrection, the possibility of new life for each of us and the remission of sin, the final promise that all shall be made new.
For this very reason, too many Christians have played into the hands of the skeptics, fearful that the prose might cancel the poetry, separating the "Christ of history" from the "Christ of faith" and assuring the faithful that they can have the latter in whom to rest their hearts and on whom to feed their imaginations even if the former is...a bit lacking.
Some writers are offended by the "physicality" of the resurrection accounts and attribute them to later additions. But there is nothing in the accounts themselves that suggests that. Indeed, the confidence of Peter on the day of Pentecost is best explained by precisely such physically grounded appearances as those recounted in the gospels--a resurrected Lord who eats and even cooks on a fire of coals for others to eat, who is tangible and invites his disciples to touch him and who, says the first chapter of Acts, shows himself to them repeatedly over forty days by many infallible proofs.
John 21, one of the longest accounts of Jesus' interactions with his disciples after his resurrection, throws in the irrelevant detail that the disciples caught 153 fish that morning. Attempts to give this detail heavy theological or allegorical meaning are laughable. The detail is there because that's how fishermen think. In this particular case, John was also struck by the fact that the net didn't break.
Here, in these truths, you can indeed rest, and upon them you can stake your lives, because they are not cloudy truths. Christianity has its mysticism and its mystics. Indeed, St. John may well have been one of them. Yet it is in John that we see most of all that mysticism and empirical hard-headedness are not at odds but rather go hand in hand. John who tells us, "He that feareth is not made perfect in love," which I, for one, feel is far beyond me, who tells us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," is the same author who tells us that there were 153 fish and that the net didn't break, that the fire on which Jesus cooked was made of coals (not wood?), and, oh, by the way, the servant whose ear Peter cut off was named Malchus. John the mystic is John the man of detail, the man with something akin to a photographic memory, the man who remembers, when Judas opened the door and went out to betray the Lord, "And it was night."
Well might he say, "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which our hands have handled, of the word of life. For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us."
It is all one to John. The Logos who was from the beginning and the man who cooked and ate the fish. In the mind of John there is no division between the prose and the passion.
So, on this basis, I invite you to rejoice and be glad, for our Lord is risen indeed!