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    Resurrection Hope in Times of Uncertainty

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    As the glow of Easter Sunday fades into the rearview of the western calendar, it’s easy to forget that the Easter season stretches across a full seven weeks. National news and the reality of a pandemic-laden world may have washed away the lingering notes of “Alleluia” from social media, but the season of resurrection remains.

    At Valparaiso University, this time of renewal is juxtaposed with news of staff furloughs and the stark realities of isolation, prompting deeper reflection on the meaning of resurrection hope.

    The Christian belief in resurrection is not just the cornerstone of Easter but a belief that underpins all of Christianity. The narrative of Jesus rising from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion is central, illustrating a triumph over death and a promise of life eternal.

    As the Gospels describe, women witnesses like Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb, only to find an angel and an empty sepulcher, and eventually, they encountered the resurrected Jesus himself.

    Yet in contemporary times, grappling with such miraculous claims can evoke skepticism, even among the faithful. The Bible itself acknowledges the hesitancy to believe, as with the disciples’ initial reactions of doubt and astonishment, when Jesus stood among them post-resurrection, as recounted in Luke 24:36-43. They needed proof, a tangible sign, before they could reconcile the truth of the resurrection with the reality they knew — a poignant reminder that belief often tussles with doubt.

    Despite these scriptural precedents, the resurrection narrative faces scrutiny. “What if Jesus did not die as a result of the crucifixion?” skeptics may propose, or “Could there have been a case of mistaken identity?” Debates surrounding the historicity of the resurrection are not mere theological exercises but probes into the bedrock of Christian faith.

    Dr. Clay Jones, during a debate at Biola University, approached this inquiry with an evidentiary stance, eschewing assumption for historical scrutiny. Treating the New Testament as a collection of historical narratives, he explored converging lines of evidence pointing to the resurrection as a plausible event within the framework of ancient history.

    The debates and questions concerning the resurrection are, in truth, less about the past and more about the present. How does resurrection hope resonate against the backdrop of a global crisis, where death tolls rise and the fragility of human connections is laid bare? As Valparaiso University confronts the concrete implications of the pandemic with furloughs and financial strains, it becomes a living crucible for testing the mettle of resurrection faith.

    This tension between present suffering and future hope is the crucible of faith for many. The university’s pastor suggests that instead of letting the mourning of these days define them, one can watch for the “sequels of the Resurrection” — moments where life prevails over assumed death.

    Resurrection, then, is not merely a historical claim but a lens through which one views the world, finding glimpses of life’s victory in acts of care, service, and community.

    In a time of staff furloughs and the constraints of a pandemic, it may seem indulgent to speak of resurrection hope. However, the promise of renewal and life after death has never been about denying reality but about confronting the gravest of human experiences with a stubborn hope.

    This Easter season, as the news cycle churns on and isolation persists, the call to resurrection hope remains — a call to look for life in the face of death, for unity amid division, and for the sequels of the Resurrection that continue to unfold in the world around us.

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