Here is a quote from James McGrath about the Easter of the disciples after Jesus's crucifixion:
Back in Galilee, some time later, the disciples had dreams, visions, encounters that persuaded them that Jesus was alive, that God had taken this individual who mistakenly thought the dawn of the Kingdom of God was imminent, and had made him Lord of that very Kingdom, which was yet to dawn fully.Here is a quote from Mike L., who comments on the book "Resurrection: Myth or Reality?" by John Spong:
That was Easter. When it occurred, and how it relates to the conviction that something monumental happened "on the third day", is hard to discern through the tensions and obscurities in the evidence.
Those experiences, rather than anything to do with the tomb, are at the heart of the Christian faith. While the events of the days that followed the crucifixion are shrouded in mystery and uncertainty, the Easter experiences continue to be part of human experience from then until today. And for those of us who have had such experiences, they do not prove anything about what happened to Jesus' body, or an empty tomb. But they do shine light on our existence, and the fact that we inhabit a universe where such experiences are possible fills us with awe, and wonder, and reverence. And it leads us to spend our lives seeking to do justice to the character of the universe and of human existence such experiences hint at.
Is Resurrection a myth or a reality? I believe something real happened in the lives of these real people that lead to these important stories. I also recognize that the Resurrection is a myth about a transcendent reality that could not be described through any other means.And here is a quote from John Shuck's Easter sermon:
The story of Jesus could have ended there. We are sorry for Jesus, but we are making progress. But the story didn’t end there. I don’t know how it happened. But his story became the focal point of a larger story that built around him. It grew. People began to tell each other: Rome doesn’t get the last word this time. Whether those who had the original idea had a spiritual experience, I don’t know. But people began to tell each other that God raised Jesus from the dead. The one that Rome executed, God raised. The Resurrection is God’s yes to Rome’s no.
The history of the church shows us that that story was bought and sold, tamed and distorted. The normalcy of civilization turned it into a way of controlling people through threats of hell and rewards of heaven. The Resurrection changed from a mystery to trust to a fact to be believed.
And yet, we still have echoes of the story’s transforming power in the gospels themselves. Despite the normalcy of the institution and of civilizations, people throughout our history to this day have found hope and power to say no to violence and injustice and yes to sharing, peace, and cooperation.