Today is Easter Sunday. All around the world, millions of Christian congregations will celebrate the Resurrection (with a capital R) of Jesus of Nazareth.
It is the single biggest religious celebration in the world – bigger than Islam’s hajj or Hinduism’s mela, which garner much greater media attention. So how could I avoid writing about it?
You know the story -- Jesus went to Jerusalem, upset the local authorities, was arrested, tried, tortured, and was put to death. As the historic Apostles’ Creed puts it, he “was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again…”
In the majority of Christian congregations, the preacher will treat the Resurrection as a literal, physical, honest-to-gawd fact.
The narratives were intended to offer legal proof of their claim -- under Jewish law, two eye-witnesses were considered sufficient proof. The Bible offers dozens of witnesses; thousands, according to Paul.
Legal proof does not equal scientific proof. In science, the results of an experiment can only be considered valid if they can be replicated. One-shot results are either accidents, or frauds.
Clearly, the Easter Resurrection is a one-time-only event.