My question on Friday was “can he rise from the grave?”
The Resurrection is Everything. It is the proof of Friday. On the cross, Jesus says “it is finished”, gives up his spirit and dies. I would argue that at that point it looks like a loss. Why else would the disciples be so downcast?
The Pharisees thought they had won. As he hung on the cross, they had mocked him. They also knew he had said he would rise from the dead after three days, so they took plenty of earthly precautions. Even going so far as to enlist the Romans to supply the troops to protect the gravesite against tampering. The Pharisees were confident in their work, they had openly mocked a dying man and then kept his dead lifeless body under guard to prevent tampering that made it “look” like he had risen from the dead. This means only the real deal will do.
Two followers of Jesus had prepared his body, wrapping it with spices. Over a hundred pounds. These spices stick to the cloth and the body. As I understand it, the spices almost burn themselves into the flesh of the body.
It’s all a lot like a magician asking for help securing the chains before he escapes from the cage of death, or some such thing. Except this is the full meal deal. Jesus is dead. His body is a bloodied and gory pulp. His heart is ruptured inside body, the blood and water mix that poured out after his side was stabbed proves that. He is beyond even the current ages medical technology to save.
And yet he walks out of the tomb. He is seen by 500 witnesses. These witnesses testify to what they’ve seen. Then Saul of Tarsus starts hunting them down to be killed. And Jesus appears to him. And we are blessed by Paul, the revised Saul.
The Resurrection makes all of this possible. The mechanics of atonement and the right theology of kenosis are interesting intellectual debates. Do you think those first believers had as complex a theology as we do? They went and did as they were commanded. And they Loved Jesus and one another. Please spare me the overblown rhetoric about the cross. Let’s follow the Risen Lord!