From the perspective of naturalism into which most moderns – including Christians – have been from birth inculcated, the Resurrection can make no sense. It’s not just that the naturalist thinks the notion is false, he cannot but think it incoherent with the principles of reality as they are plainly manifest to him, as plainly as the nose on his face. From his perspective, the Resurrection, and for that matter the whole religious impulse and rigmarole, arise from a grotesque misprision that is “not even wrong.” The whole thing looks to him like a willfully insane mistake.
Once begin however to take seriously the fact that Nature Cannot Explain Itself, and the Resurrection becomes just as plausible as chickens. Because Nature is insufficient to itself, some Supernature or other is required, upon whose order the regularities of Nature supervene. That Supernatural Order – or Logos, as it has long been called in Greek – is not governed by the order of this world, but vice versa.
If there is a Supernature – as there must be – then the Resurrection can be real, and there should be no more difficulty about our taking it on board and reckoning its meaning for our lives than we suffer in contemplating the American Revolution or this morning’s breakfast.
If this world is all there is, then we’re all as good as dead already, and it doesn’t matter in the end what we do, really. In that case, our ethics must begin and end with “whatever.”
If on the other hand this world has a supernatural environment, then it is to that environment that it is and must be more or less conformed, as we too therefore ought to be. If this world has an environment, then it can matter, e.g., whether we have and raise children rightly in this world, or whether we treat our neighbours justly. It can matter whether we live or die, and it can matter how well we live and die. If this world is environed, then life is an enchanted quest, magical, fitted for heroes; and, too, we are well fitted to it, able if we wish to become as gods – or demons. There’s the rub, alas; and the danger, the excitement, the life and thrill of the hunt, hooray!
Suppose for a moment that the Resurrection was real, as real as hammers and nails. I don’t mean to suggest that you should consider the idea the way you might contemplate an abstract thesis in philosophy, but that you should visualize as vividly as possible the risen Christ, Jesus whom you know, standing before you solid, meaty and strong, and your fingers coming away bloody from the wound in his side. Think of it as real. He was dead – you saw his body – and now you can hear his breathing. He is smiling at you, and waiting.
Take it, all, as real, just for a moment. Take it, and chew on it, and swallow. Is it real indeed, do you find? What ought you then to do? What now shall you do?
Go in peace, to love and serve the LORD. Thanks be to God.