“It will not do … to say that Jesus’ disciples were so stunned and shocked by his death, so unable to come to terms with it, that they projected their shattered hopes onto the screen of fantasy and invented the idea of Jesus’ ‘resurrection’ as a way of coping with a cruelly broken dream. That has an initial apparent psychological plausibility, but it won’t work as serious first-century history.
We know of lots of other messianic and similar movements in the Jewish world roughly contemporary with Jesus. In many cases the leader died a violent death at the hands of the authorities. In not one single case do we hear the slightest mention of the disappointed followers claiming that their hero had been raised from the dead. They knew better. ‘Resurrection’ was not a private event. It involved human bodies. There would have to be an empty tomb somewhere.
A Jewish revolutionary whose leader had been executed by the authorities, and who managed to escape arrest himself, had two options: give up the revolution, or find another leader. We have evidence of people doing both.
Claiming that the original leader was alive again was simply not an option.
Unless, of course, he was.” -N.T. Wright, Who Was Jesus?
“When the barman rings the bell and calls ‘Time!’ it means that closing up has started. Any remaining business needs to be done now. Very soon it will be too late. In the resurrection of Jesus, God has called ‘Time!’ on the world. The end-time judgment has begun: a man has been raised from the dead. Now is the time to do business with God, to get in the right with him. Soon it will be too late.” -Sam Allberry, Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life, pg. 129
“In the light of the immediate and broader context of Paul’s teaching, that connection [between Jesus’ justification and his resurrection] is best understood as follows. As the representative sin bearer and righteous substitute (Rom. 3:25; 8:3; 2 Cor. 5:21), in his full obedience culminating in his death (Phil. 2:8), Christ’s resurrection is his own justification in the sense that the resurrection is God’s de facto declarative recognition, on the ground of that obedience, of his righteousness (cf. 1 Cor. 1:30). As an event, his resurrection ‘speaks,’ and it does so judicially, in a legal manner. For Christians, then, Christ’s justification, given with his resurrection, becomes theirs. When they are united to the resurrected and justified by faith, his righteousness is reckoned as theirs, or imputed to them.” Richard Gaffin, By Faith, Not By Sight, pg. 97
“The resurrection of Jesus is the guarantee and demonstration of what is to come for those who trust in him. Someone once said it was like watching slow-motion footage of a dam bursting. At first there is only a slight bulge in the dam wall as the water presses against a weakness in the structure. Then a crack appears, followed quickly by a small spurt of water. The spurt becomes a jet and before long the entire section of dam gives way and the whole lake empties through it. It started with just one small spurt. But in a way that small spurt guaranteed that the rest was to come. Where it went, the rest was sure to follow. The same is true of Christ and those united to him: where he goes we will follow. In his resurrection he is the first of many.” -Sam Allberry, Lifted: Experiencing the Resurrection Life, pg. 92