Resurrection subjective?

A friend of the Owl wrote to ask, What does the resurrection of Jesus really look like? The Gospels give various answers. Jesus joins two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus; it looks like they are going back dejected to their old jobs. They don’t recognize him until he breaks bread at table with them (Luke 24: 13–35). Jesus comes into a room whose door is locked (John 20:19). Jesus eats fish on a beach with his men (John 21:1–14). Thomas, at first incredulous, can actually touch Jesus’ wounds (John 20:24–28). Not one of the Gospels describes Jesus actual rising from the tomb. All the resurrection appearances in the scripture take place away from there.

The wording of our friend’s question is revealing: What does Jesus’ resurrection look like. The actuality of the event is important. There are paintings like that of Piero della Francesca in Borgo Sansepolcro that depicts Jesus stepping out of the sepulchre, to the amazement of the soldiers on guard. He is heavy, tired, and still bleeding. It is meant to show that he was really dead.

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