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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus encounters the women on the road to tell the disciples of his Resurrection, early evidence for the reality of his rising. 

Far too many contemporary scholars attempt to explain away the Resurrection, turning it into a myth, a legend, a symbol, a sign that the cause of Jesus goes on. But this kind of speculation is born in faculty lounges, for few in the first century would have found that kind of talk the least bit convincing. 

Can you imagine Paul tearing into Corinth or Athens with the message that there was an inspiring dead man who symbolized the presence of God? No one would have taken him seriously. Instead, what Paul declared in all of those cities was anastasis (resurrection). What sent him and his colleagues all over the Mediterranean world (and their energy can be sensed on every page of the New Testament) was the shocking novelty of the Resurrection of a dead man through the power of the Holy Spirit.

A dead man who stayed in his grave would be, necessarily, a false Messiah, and his teaching, however inspiring, could never hold off the power of death.