In my previous post I started to discuss the eschatological implications drawn by Jesus’ followers once they became convinced that he had been raised from the dead. I pointed out that the very fact that they interpreted their visions of him as evidence of “resurrection” shows that they must have been apocalyptic Jews prior to his death (as I have argued on other grounds ad nauseum on the blog!). And I also suggested two of the key conclusions they drew with respect to eschatology (their understanding of what would happen at the end): they came to conclude that Jesus himself was the Son of Man that he had been proclaiming as the future judge of the earth, and they came to believe that they were living at the very end of time.
In this post I am not going to talk about Jesus as the Son of Man – that will require several posts that I will take up soon. But I do want to talk about this business of Christians thinking that they were living at the end of time.
I sometimes ask my students what they think is the significance of Jesus’ resurrection. And I get all sorts of answers, some of them not very well thought out, even among students who are long-time church-going Christians. For some of them Jesus was raised because that was predicted in the Bible (my response is: but why was it predicted? What was it to accomplish?); others that it was to show he was the messiah (my response: but why didn’t any Jews believe that the messiah had to die and be raised?); others that, well, it was to show that you can’t keep a good man down (my response: well … there is no response…..)
It’s an interesting question what….
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