Response: Truly, He is Risen!
First, as we read the Easter stories, we note the strange absence of Scripture in them. When you read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ last days — of his arrest, his trial, and his crucifixion — you find Old Testament echoes, quotations, and allusions all over the place. The Psalms, Isaiah, Daniel, Zechariah, and other books have provided material that has then been woven into the structure of the narrative. …
The second strange feature of the Resurrection stories is the presence of women as the primary witnesses. Whether we like it or not, women were simply not regarded as credible witnesses in the ancient world. …
The third strange feature, which goes with the third modification of the Jewish resurrection belief, is the portrait of Jesus himself. …
The fourth and final strange feature of the Resurrection narratives, which may call into question many of the Easter sermons that I and others regularly preach, is the absence of any mention of the future Christian hope. … — Easter, Unedited, Excerpts from Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened, by Craig A. Evans and N. T. Wright [Westminster John Knox Press, 2009], posted 4/09/2009 09:12AM
Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,
Let’s give the traditional Easter greeting/response a try (use comment section):
Greeting: Christ is Risen!
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!
I never thought about the fourth item on that list. I guess that’s why a lot of the Easter sermons I heard borrow more from Romans than they do from the gospels.