And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain, for you are yet in your sins. Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ, are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:17-19, DR)
One of the most frequent accusations I received during my conversion to Catholicism was that we don’t believe in the Resurrection. This was, of course, leveled only be the most ignorant and uninformed of protestant objectors, based solely on the Corpus on the Cross of the Catholic’s Crucifix. The fact that our crosses have a body on them (while Protestant crosses are empty) clearly means that we don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead (despite the fact that we profess this very truth in the Creed every Sunday)! Mercifully, my Protestant friends and family who came to my Confirmation at the Easter Vigil Mass never made that mistake again, nor could they! Whatever their disagreements with Catholic theology, there was no denying that we know how to celebrate Easter!
Of late, I have been quite interested in, and admittedly a little enamoured with, the controversial psychology professor from the University of Toronto, Dr. Jordan Peterson. While he is not a professing Christian, many of his political and moral views dovetail with ours, and so many hail him as a rather prophetic voice—especially since his is a voice that refuses to be silenced or coerced by the social engineering agendas of the Canadian government. Moreover, Peterson has a deep reverence and respect for the Judeo-Christian tradition. He studies and even lectures on the Scriptures, though interpreting them primarily not as historical narratives, but as myths or myth-type stories interpreted through such lenses as Jungian archetypes and whatnot. While I’ll grant that a great depth of meaning could be gathered from using such interpretive tools (indeed, many of his insights have resonated deeply with me), simply leaving the Easter story at the level of myth is ultimately unsatisfying (to say the least). Peterson himself has stated that he would need to study the question of Jesus’ resurrection for about 3 years before he could make a decision as to its historicity. I for one pray that he makes the time for that study.
In the meantime, for those readers who would appreciate a boost to their own faith in Jesus’ resurrection, I would recommend checking out Matt Fradd’s latest podcast at Pints With Aquinas (#100). Matt offers a succinct defence for our belief by pointing out the facts that all hold to be undisputed (that Jesus was crucified, that His tomb is empty, that His followers claimed He rose again, and that they were willing to die for this claim). Fradd then offers the main attempts to explain away these facts, and then refutes the attempts as failing to account for all four facts.
Ultimately, the fact is that Jesus did rise again. He lives today, and that means that, unlike an historical figure like Buddha or Aristotle, and most certainly unlike a Jungian archetype (as great as they are), we can actually know Jesus, and know that He loves us!
Rather than being the most miserable of men, this truth should fill us with the greatest joy!
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!!
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