Even though it is without question that the event of the resurrection has occurred in history, it cannot be investigated historically without some degree of difficulty. When a historian looks at the question of the resurrection, they often do so based on what they deem to be the constancy of space and time. What is happening is that the concepts and methods are relying on a decaying base of space and time and therefore separating an eternal event from actual history. If history shows this event has never happened and can never happen then it is presumed that such an event is never likely to happen. However, what we have before us in the New Testament are witness accounts to this event showing us that indeed something remarkable has happened. It is a one time event for all time. Thus this event takes centre stage over everything else in history, present and in the future. It is an event that is continuous, eternally present to all. Therefore it is this event beginning with the Incarnation and culminating in the resurrection that must have say in every aspect of our lives. Jesus Christ is the interpretive tool for every aspect of creation. This event does not change and is not dependant on mere opinion to be valid or invalidated. Light is the new constant and this Light of Life is the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought in a new creation and it is up to us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds and conform to the new way of being.
With revelation, we receive the unveiling of the way things are in Jesus Christ. The historical fact of Jesus Christ that has been testified through witnesses in the New Testament is not a long ago event. It always is eternally present. The whole cosmos and everything in it lives in the power of the resurrection. Its personal power is ever present and ever at work and we must continually renew ourselves and be transformed by its renewing power. This present time we live in appears to fade away into the past into nothing. Yet what we are being drawn forward to the future of the living power of Jesus Christ. In simplistic terms, Jesus is alive so therefore the whole of creation is saved into the living power of Jesus Christ!
It is important we do not make the mistake of separating the resurrection event from the place it occurred. Because it occurred in our history and in creation means it had a direct impact on the space and time through which it occurred. Space and time has been redeemed and is interwoven into eternity in as much as our humanity is also interwoven into eternity in the very being of Jesus Christ. There was a time in earth’s history that Christ was born. God as Jesus Christ of Nazareth lived in time and space and in fact was the very source through which it lives moves and has its being. There was a point in time that marked the end of Jesus’ life. He was buried for three days. On the third day, the tomb was empty. If the resurrection was just a spiritual thing then why was the tomb empty? Something happened with Jesus’ body. The empty tomb at the very least is clear evidence that the human being who died is the very same human being who rose from the dead with the very same body. However, this body has survived the ravages of death and is created all over again so that it lives forever more! The effects of the fall no longer has the last word. Jesus is the response to the fall and the answer that gives us overwhelming and steadfast hope not just for humanity but for all creation. We are destined for glory!
There is a common misunderstanding of time as being the centrepiece and axis through which all thought is based and interpreted. Therefore God is outside time. This results in a separation of God from an actual existence in earth’s history. If we can keep time and eternity separate, then everything that is integral to time has to be interpreted separately from God who is outside time. Time comes to us from the future and disappears into the past showing how corrupted it is by the fall. Time is also fallen along with the rest of humanity and creation and it also had to be redeemed. As a result of the resurrection we now see how eternity and time are now inseparably linked. In addition to this, the death of Jesus appeared to mean that time ran out for Him. However, the resurrection has shown that time now appears to have taken on a new form where eternity has power over time and is the last word. For each one of us, time takes its course and is trying to do whatever it can to run us into the ground. It is from dust we were created and it is to dust we shall return. But as we return to dust, eternity brings us back to life with the very same resurrecting power of Jesus Christ. For us time will take on a whole new form but in such a way that no one can really describe. What we see here from the resurrection is time took on a whole new meaning at the Incarnation. Time tried to do to Jesus what it successfully does to everyone else. In the case of Jesus, time failed to achieve its final outcome and thereby cemented in human history a whole new way of being, a whole new creation in His resurrecting power that began at the Incarnation. True time as a result is eternity where Jesus Christ has redeemed us to where we ought to be.
With the quest for the historical Jesus that is often discussed in theology classes in seminaries we have to be careful not to divorce the reality of who Jesus is testified to be. If we divide Jesus into ordinary human history and push aside his divinity then we are doomed to failure to understand the reality of what the New Testament is trying to show us. If we put this quest into two groups, one historical, the other, theological or divine, we are splitting Jesus down the middle. There might be a tendency to not take Jesus’ divinity into consideration and thereby through logic we turn Him into some super human being whose qualities provide inspiration to live in like manner as the supreme example for us to follow. On the other hand, if we do not take seriously the humanity of Jesus and focus on His divinity, this might push too Him far away from us. On the contrary, we have to hold the two together. The Eternal Word became human. His divinity and His humanity became one where His acts as a human being spring from the core of His divine Being. Divine Being and Human act are in unity. The whole of Space and Time and all creation are caught up in this Divine Human Being, Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Therefore we must include in any sort of discussion regarding Jesus Christ the fact that we have been delivered into redeemed time and not slip back into the Latin heretical way of thinking that tries to chop and divide everything they can lay their hands on.