Jesus did not die in bed.
Daniel Migliore, class lecture, Princeton Theological Seminary
Christ has not only spoken to us by his life but has also spoken for us by his death.
Søren Kierkegaard's Journals and Papers
Make no mistake: if He rose at all/It was as His body.
John Updike, from "Seven Stanzas at Easter"
Why did christianity arise, and why did it take the shape it did? The early Christians themselves reply: We exist because of Jesus' resurrection. … There is no evidence for a form of early Christianity in which the resurrection was not a central belief. Nor was this belief, as it were, bolted on to Christianity at the edge. It was the central driving force, informing the whole movement.
N. T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus
It is not experiences that create faith, but faith that creates experience. The firm lodestone of faith is not provided by the inner experiences of the Spirit, good and important though these are, but by the community with Christ, in the living and dying and rising again with him.
Jürgen Moltmann, The Source of Life
I don't preach Jesus' story in light of my experience as some sort of helpful symbol or myth that is helpfully illumined by my story. Rather, I am invited by Easter to interpret my story in the light of God's triumph in the resurrection. Only because we worship a resurrected Lord can we risk preaching.
William H. Willimon, "Easter Preaching as Peculiar Speech," in Exilic Preaching
Golgotha, the place of the skull, where nails smashed through the wrists and feet of Jesus, the teacher from Nazareth in Galilee, can stand for the skulls of every genocide. Betrayal by friends, self-preserving denial, making sport with prisoners, the mockery of crowds, spectators drawn to the spectacle, the soldiers doing their duty and dicing for his clothes, a mother in agony, and a knot of women helplessly looking on—it happens time, and time, and time again.
Richard John Neuhaus, First Things
We live and die. Christ died and lived!
John R. W. Stott, What Christ Thinks of the Church
The theological power of the [Cross] derives not from how Christ's crucifixion differs from all other crucifixions but from its essential similarity. … Christ died in precisely the same way that so many other thousands of God's children had already died and would die in the future—many because of their loyalty to him. … As he was given to us by means of the most common of births, he was taken from us by the most common of deaths.
Don C. Skinner, A Passage Through Sacred History
Copyright © 2001 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
See last year's Reflections on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, as well as similar Holy Week Reflections columns from 1999, 1998, and 1997.
Other Christianity Today articles on Holy Week include:
Amassed Media: Talk About the Passion | The best online resources about the history, significance, and experience of Holy Week. (Apr. 19, 2000)
'Hell Took a Body, and Discovered God' | One of the oldest and best Easter sermons, now 1,600 years old, is still preached today. (Apr. 17, 2000)
The Benefit of the Doubt | The disciple Thomas reveals an important truth about faith. (Apr. 7, 2000)
How Green Is Easter? | Celebration of Jesus' resurrection is more than being glad about the return of spring (Apr. 5, 1999)
Did God Die on the Cross? | As Jesus' life was a divine person's totally human life, so his dying was a divine person's totally human death. (Apr. 5, 1999)
Grave Matters | Take away the Resurrection and the center of Christianity collapses (Apr. 6, 1998)
Jesus v. Sanhedrin | Why Jesus "lost" his trial. (Apr. 6, 1998)
Where Have They Laid My Lord? | A pilgrim's tale of two tombs. (Mar. 3, 1997)
The Great Reversal (March 17, 1989)
Maundy Thursday | By Walter Wangerin, Jr.
Good Friday | By Virginia Stem Owens
Holy Saturday | By Eugene H. Peterson
Easter Sunday | By Philip Yancey
The Scars of Easter | He knows the wounds of humanity. His hands prove it. By Paul Brand with Philip Yancey (Apr. 5, 1985)
Past Reflections columns include:
- Overcoming Addiction (Mar. 12, 2001)
- African-American Voices (Feb. 1, 2001)
- Forgiveness (Jan. 25, 2001)
- Incarnation (Dec. 4, 2000)
- Listening (Nov. 30, 2000)
- Death and Eternity (Oct. 24, 2000)
- Quotations of Time and Eternity (Oct. 11, 2000)
- Quotations to Contemplate (Sept. 21, 2000)
- Christian virtues (Aug. 22, 2000)
- Beauty, Prayer and Loving God (Aug. 1, 2000)
- Prayer, Silence and Other Topics (June 31, 2000)
- Getting, Giving, and Generosity (June 13,2000).
- Easter Sunday (Apr. 3, 2000)
- Good Friday (Apr. 3, 2000)
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