Session 4 of “The New Testament You Never Knew.”
Occasionally a happening occurs that has great significance for our lives. The assassinations of JFK and MLK, Jr. upended the world of adolescence for some of us, as had the cruel reality of the Holocaust as WWII ended stunned our parents’ generation. Times like those and the reality that the current Israeli-Hamas War revives that memory and could spill over into a broader conflict make fear a daily obstacle to personal tranquility for many of us. Anxieties like these are not new.
Instead of noting how a wedding, the birth of a child, a new job, or a frightening diagnosis can mark a whole new season of change for us as individuals, today we will explore how Christians of the First Century coped with the horror of Jesus’ death, and how cowering in fear yielded to astonishing courage and boldness as rumors spread that Jesus was not dead, but had been raised from the dead. Was there a solid basis for the stories of disciples finding the tomb empty, and telling stories of appearances of a Resurrected Jesus to many of them? Is St. Paul’s declaration that the Resurrected Christ appeared to him “as one born too late” yet so vividly real that his life was completely changed believable today? How did the idea of Jesus Resurrection compare with other ideas concerning death and after life in the cultures of Roman and Jewish peoples before and after Jesus’ time?
In the introduction to this week’s session the authors note “In the history of the world, there is one specific moment that stands out among the rest—a moment that unleashed amazing power, joy, and hope. It marked the beginning of an entirely new understanding of life and eternity. This moment draws a line in heaven, earth, and human hearts. Three words mark the start of this era, which continues today and will last forever: ‘He is risen!’”
Many thanks to Marty Keeling for leading Week 3’s session on October 29th! Please remember that due to copyright issues, we are not streaming or recording this series, so plan to join us in person after worship in Rooms 13-14.
The future dates for the event are:
Nov 12, 19, 26
Dec 3, 10, 17