A totally new mode of being has arisen in the universe”

C.S. Lewis:

Then we come to the strangest story of all, the story of the Resurrection. It is very necessary to get the story clear. I heard a man say, The importance of the Resurrection is that is gives evidence of survival, evidence that the human personality survives death.” On that view what happened to Christ would be what had always happened to all men, the difference being that in Christ’s case we were privileged to see it happening. This is certainly not what the earliest Christian writers thought. Something perfectly new in the history of the universe had happened. Christ had defeated death. The door, which had always been locked, had for the very first time been forced open. This is something quite distinct from mere ghost-survival. I don’t mean that they disbelieved in ghost-survival. On the contrary, they believed in it so firmly that, on more than one occasion, Christ had had to assure them that He was not a ghost. The point is that while believing in survival they yet regarded the Resurrection as something totally different and new. The Resurrection narratives are not a picture of survival after death; they record how a totally new mode of being has arisen in the universe. Something new had appeared in the universe: as new as the first coming of organic life. This Man, after death, does not get divided into ghost” and corpse.” A new mode of being has arisen. That is the story. What are we going to make of it?1

  1. From the essay, What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?” In Undeceptions, 1950.

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April 16, 2017 · church · strangest story of all · cs lewis · resurrection · cross

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