Come downstairs and say hello

“Spiritual truth has come ‘downstairs.’ The resurrection concerns time and space and things that can be scrutinized. A man known as Jesus of Nazareth walked on this earth. Today, Jews believe he was not their Messiah: he lived and died, but did not rise again. Muslims believe Jesus to be one of the great prophets, but no more than a prophet, and certainly not the greatest. They believe he lived, but that, as an esteemed man of God, Jesus could not have been crucified. It just seemed to some that he was. Christians believe – and the Bible claims – that Jesus lived, died, and rose again from the dead. These three claims – Jewish, Muslim, and Christian – are more than different. They are contradictory. They cannot all be correct…This is about history and reality as we know it. It is about someone’s physical body, and whether it lies decomposed in the soil of Palestine or is exalted in heaven today. The resurrection intrudes into the world of ‘downstairs’ – here, where we live – and makes claims. It pulls the claims of these three religions on this point down into the world of the verifiable…

“Christianity is concerned with history. It claims that God not only controls history, but that in the person of Jesus he has stepped into history and acted within it. Christians claims about Jesus are not beyond scrutiny. Christian faith is based on what God has done ‘downstairs.’ His actions don’t belong in the world of ethereal, nobody-can-really-know abstractions. Someone is right and someone is wrong. The resurrection overturns relativism.”

-Sam Allberry in Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life (P&R, 2010), pp. 115-116

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