January 21, 2021

N.T. Wright on the Significance of the Resurrection

Posted by Chaplain Mike.

N.T. Wright speaks of the resurrection as the beginning of the new creation.

History matters because human beings matter; human beings matter because creation matters; creation matters because the creator matters. And the creator, according to some of the most ancient Jewish beliefs, grieved so much over creation gone wrong, over humankind in rebellion, over thorns and thistles and dust and death, that he planned from the beginning the way by which he would rescue his world, his creation, his history, from its tragic corruption and decay; the way, therefore, by which he would rescue his image-bearing creatures, the muddled and rebellious human beings, from their doubly tragic fate; the way, therefore, by which he would be most truly himself, would become most truly himself. The story of Jesus of Nazareth offers itself, as Jesus himself had offered his public work and words, his body and blood, as the answer to this multiple problem: the arrival of God’s kingdom precisely in the world of space, time, and matter, the world of injustice and tyranny, of empire and crucifixions. This world is where the kingdom must come, on earth as it is in heaven. What view of creation, what view of justice, would be served by the offer merely of a new spirituality and a one-way ticket out of trouble, an escape from the real world?

No wonder the Herods, the Caesars and the Sadducees of this world, ancient and modern, were and are eager to rule out all possibility of actual resurrection. They are, after all, staking a counter-claim on the real world. It is the real world that the tyrants and bullies (including the intellectual tyrants and bullies) try to rule by force, only to discover that in order to do so they have to quash all rumours of resurrection, rumours that would imply that their greatest weapons, death and deconstruction, are not after all omnipotent. But it is the real world, in Jewish thinking, that the real God made, and still grieves over. It is the real world that, in the earliest stories of Jesus’ death and resurrection, was decisively and forever reclaimed by that event, an event which demanded to be understood, not as a bizarre miracle, but as the beginning of a new creation.

Source: The Resurrection of the Son of God, p. 737


  1. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Quoting N.T. Wright. You should know better than that, Chaplain Mike 😉

    But, in all seriousness, great quote. It helps remind us that God, in Christ, is reconciling the world to him. And that Jesus is recapitulating all things. Good job on choosing the quote!


  2. I agree great quote used today! Made my Easter that much more enjoyable!

    Peter of


    “Get Interactive with God with our Live Online Sermons”

  3. We need more N.T. Wright and his modern edification of the true value of the resurrection, just like his topical predecessor Oscar Cullmann did.

    What we think about the afterlife plays out more importantly with what we do with now then what happens after. If we plan to escape from this rotten cage we call a mortal body just like Socrates did at his death, then we scorn the gift that the created body that was given to us by the creator, and made in His image. When He had finished creating all there is, He said it was good. We are fallen now, but we find new life in the salvation that Christ brought to us.

    The resurrection is and always has been a bodily one that we hope for.

    And as it says, God will come to earth and be the temple, because His home is with the people(Rev 21:3), not the other way around. Why do ‘we’ insist on getting our ‘reward’ immediately? I agree that we shall be comforted by the warm embrace of Jesus, which is what I would call paradise, but I wouldn’t call that where God is, because why would we go there if He is says His home is here?

  4. I love Wright. Great stuff!

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