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what to do with the risen Jesus?

The movie Risen (2016) creates a story in which the Roman soldier who supervised Jesus’ crucifixion stumbles upon the risen Jesus. The fictional encounter leaves the soldier numb and disoriented, mumbling “How can this be?” Then he’s haunted by a question—a question every one of us must answer: What do you do with the risen Jesus?
There are perhaps five common responses to the resurrection.

One, ignore Jesus’ resurrection. Just keep busy. Immerse yourself in the tyranny of the urgent. Don’t bother yourself with esoteric questions regarding extraordinary claims. You’ve got a life to live, a career to promote, kids to raise, a mortgage (or two) to pay. And any way, your perspective isn’t going to make any difference in the greater scheme of things. So why deal with it?

Two, dismiss Jesus’ resurrection as myth. We’re told that religions depend on myth, all of them. Jesus’ resurrection is no more real than Mount Olympus where the pantheon of squabbling Greek gods were said to live, no more reliable than the quests of the Hindu gods. Religious myths are for small minds and weak minds. Our hi-tech, scientific, data drenched culture has no room for myths. Everything is measurable and so explainable. What’s not explainable simply cannot be.

Three, deny Jesus’ resurrection as fabrication. Science, biology assure us that dead things do not come back to life. And while it may be unlikely, science has no way of measuring if life continues in some form after the material body dies. Still, the dead do not return to this life, to the flesh-and-blood existence in this material reality. Doesn’t happen. Can’t happen.

Fourth, avoid Jesus’ resurrection by demanding verifiable data. This was in fact the requirement of one of Jesus’ own personally chosen followers. He knew victims did not survive crucifixion, Romans never botch that job. And ghosts don’t have skin and bones. Even the most clever substitute couldn’t authentically display the crucifixion scars found on the body of the dead Jesus. Eye-witnesses can be confused, tricked, delusional. Without the evidence of crucifixion scars to see and touch and measure, the resurrection story is just an incredible story.

Fifth, believe Jesus’ resurrection. Belief is what God is looking for. Jesus announced, “
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” This is not a blessing on the gullible, but a blessing on faith. ~

Dan Nygaard