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At Easter we don’t celebrate a myth or a great psychological symbol. We celebrate a historical event.
This Sunday is Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord.
It’s important to understand what the Church claims. The Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, famous on YouTube, speaks of psychological and symbolic ways he appreciates the resurrection as a great freeing principle, but he says the question of the actual rising of Jesus from the dead is “murky and complicated.”
He’s wrong. The question is simple: Was there a point in history in which Jesus Christ was dead and then a point at which he was alive again?
On that question, the evidence is very strong: Yes. Jesus literally rose from the dead.
1: The argument from Christ’s weakness.
It is important to look at the way the New Testament story is told. In several ways, this does not look like a “resurrection myth,” like the story of the Phoenix, which skeptics like Peterson point to.
Jesus is not presented as an all-powerful mythic figure who triumphs over foes. He looks rather weak, in fact. “Father if it is possible, let this cup pass from me,” he says. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” he cries out.
After the crucifixion, the heroic figure of Jesus isn’t what loomed in his followers’ mind: His weakness did. The Apostles came back because something extraordinary happened: Their defeated leader rose from the dead.