Thursday, 5 April 2007

Resurrection Thoughts Pt 2

Resurrection in the Bible is always physical (though we might say it is more than just that i.e. it is transformational). This has been very well-demonstrated by NT Wright in his book on the resurrection. Of course, evangelicals have always been very keen to emphasize the physicality of Jesus's resurrection over and against spiritualization of the resurrection. The bishop of Durham's infamous words (many years ago now) of resurrection being a "conjuring trick with bones" still echo in many an evangelical polemic. Yet, the irony of this may well be that while we have been keen to defend the physicality of Jesus's resurrection, we largely have spiritualized our own resurrection. For, our sense of new creation and the physicality of our future existence is very weak. We still speak of an etheral heaven and have little sense of a future body and a future new creation. It has to be said: this is a totally unbiblical concept. The resurrection hope is not simply life after death, but the hope of a new body in a new creation. This has a huge impact upon how we think about our bodies now and what we are hoping for in the future. So, for example, our secular culture deals with poor body image by getting a perfected body now. Everything is about trying to hinder the forces of decay and death acting upon us now. But the gospel deals with poor body image by looking to the resurrection. It's not the gym that gives me a great body, but Jesus.