Easter Changes Everything

I. Easter's Original Context
Jesus is defeated: a blasphemer, a false prophet, a criminal.
The Father is implicated: approving, absent, powerless, indifferent, or bad.
(Pastor Cheryl Fletcher: "If Jesus Christ isn't God, then there is no God.")
The disciples are hopeless: the rules haven't changed after all.

II. Easter Phenomena
The Empty Tomb
(Not a late or unreliable tradition; see Matt 28:15, 1 Cor 15:3-5.)
Fear and confusion result.
Resurrection Appearances
(Not a spirit! Luke 24:37-39, John 20:19-20, 1 Cor 15:35-57.)
Fear turns to joy, silence to proclamation.
Teachings of the Risen Jesus
The risen Jesus leads the Church to new awareness of his significance (Luke 24:44-48, John 14:26).
Disciples reflect further on Jesus using the OT and Jesus' life story
(C.H. Dodd, The Apostolic Preaching and According to the Scriptures).
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
Jesus' disciples receive his Spirit from the Father (Luke 24:49, John 20:19-23, Acts 2, Gal 4:6-7, cf. 3:1-5).
III. The Church's Revolutionary Conclusions
Jesus is alive: the fundamental Easter confession of the Church.
Jesus was right all along: resurrection is God's vindication of him
(Snape in Harry Potter).
Jesus is Lord (Phil 2:11), demanding our total allegiance.
"God is one, but not alone": God is triune
(Hilary of Portiers on John 20:28).
Jesus has won (Rev 1:18): God's love triumphs over sinners and our tactics of division
(Hans Urs von Balthasar, Mysterium Paschale).
Resurrection is new creation, not resuscitation (again, 1 Cor 15:42-44)
Illustration: Grünewald's Isenheim Altarpiece.
The eschaton ("end-times") has begun.
Resurrection confirms the materiality of salvation: thus sacraments.
Jesus' Church has faith, hope, and love in the Spirit (Rom 5:1-11, 8:11).
Jesus' offices and mission are now the Church's (John 20:21).
Thus cross-and-resurrection ground all Christian doctrine:
From "Terminus" to "Atlanta": the end becomes the hub.
A hymn illustrating the apostolic paradigm is "I Know that My Redeemer Lives."