Now before you label me a “heretic” or accuse me of preaching something “antithetical to the gospel,” let me be clear up front: I believe in the historical resurrection of Jesus the Christ, meaning I believe that he literally died on a cross and on the third day (according to the Jewish calendar) literally rose from the dead into a newly resurrected body.
Yes, this is a matter of faith versus hard evidence, but I have come to that conclusion based on a combination of historical research and personal experience with the living, risen Savior.
For all my cynicism, deconstruction, and questioning of conventional religious narratives, that is a message I am willing to commit my life to.
I also believe that all the events surrounding Jesus’s life that we customarily label as “miracles” (e.g., the virgin birth, water into wine, feeding the 5000, healings, etc.) really did happen.
I must also confess up front that my title is a bit of a misnomer. What I’m really challenging in this article is the modern Western notion of “miracle.” I suppose a more accurate title might be Why the Resurrection Was Not a Modern Western Notion of a “Miracle,” but that, quite frankly, is just not as sexy – or as good of clickbait. ????
When people in the modern West use the term “miracle” what they typically mean is something happened that shouldn’t have happened according to the laws of nature. In Christianity it usually is portrayed as God, seated in the heavenly realms, temporarily inserting himself into our natural realm in order to break those laws of nature.
We often use “miracle” synonymously with “supernatural,” meaning outside natural law.
But as I have argued many times before, in using the term “supernatural” (a term not even found in the Bible) we have created a false line separating the spiritual world from the natural.
Why is it false? Because nothing is more natural to the universe than God, and the spiritual world is every bit as much a part of the laws of nature as the observable, “scientific” world itself. Continue reading