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The Third Sunday of Easter

Acts 3.12-19
1 John 3.1-7
Luke 24.36-48

The ancient world knew all about ghosts, visions, apparitions, and spooks. Ancient literature has plenty of people being found alive after being supposed dead, plenty of spirits of the dead returning to haunt, spy on, or chat with the living. Jesus’ disciples could easily have used such categories to explain their extraordinary experiences of the presence of the risen Jesus.

That they did not is powerful testimony to what actually happened. People sometimes suggest that Luke and John, writing late in the first century (so it is supposed; the evidence for this is not as strong as sometimes imagined), were at pains to make Jesus’ resurrection appearances more ‘physical’ than they had actually been, to combat the view that Jesus wasn’t truly human, but only ‘seemed’ to be (the heresy known as ‘Docetism’). Frankly, if that was what Luke was trying to do he made a very botched job of it. For Jesus to be touched, and to eat broiled fish, is one thing. Appearing through locked doors, disappearing after breaking bread at Emmaus, and finally withdrawing into God’s heavenly dimension – none of this strikes one as immediately useful in a fight against Docetism...

Taken from Twelve Months of Sundays Year B by N T Wright

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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