The Post-Easter Jesus

The Post-Easter Jesus is the Jesus of Christian experience and tradition.

~ Marcus Borg

Christian Experience

Christian experience is born in the Easter experience.

Resurrection, Matthias Grünewald, 16th centuryEaster does not have to include something happening to Jesus’ body.

The foundational meaning of Easter is that Jesus’ followers experienced his continuing presence as a living reality.

An empty tomb is one way to talk about that experience.

The community speaks of Jesus as:

  • Light of the world
  • Bread of life
  • Messiah
  • The way, the truth, the life
  • The only way

Jesus in stained glass windowThese are images and metaphors people used to describe their experience of Jesus.

They are profoundly true though not literally true.

Jesus did not speak of himself in these ways.

They are vivid testimony about how the community experienced and thought about Jesus.

The post-Easter Jesus can also be the word, light, and bread, of God for us.

Christian Tradition

The post-Easter Jesus is also the Jesus of the developing Christian tradition.

icon of JesusThis involves a process, it emerges over time.

  • From a non-exalted historical Jesus
  • Through early christological metaphors
  • To christological narrative
  • To christological doctrine

The Nicene Creed (written 325 C.E.) is the indiginization of early Christian beliefs into the Hellenistic thought of the early 4th century and crystallization of thought of a particular time and place.

Christ Enthroned. Colisonné enamel and gold. Russian, in the style of 12th century works.

Trinitarian language says God is one known to us:

  • as God the creator
  • in the person of Jesus
  • in the presence of the spirit

The emergence of Jesus Christ in Christian tradition amounts to a cumulative claim.

For Marcus Borg, as a scholar and as a Christian, Jesus is an epiphany of God, a manifestation of the sacred, the decisive disclosure of God.

The pre-Easter Jesus is a spirit person, wisdom teacher, social prophet.

The post-Easter Jesus is the light of the world, the bread of life.

In Jesus we see what God is like.

Jesus is the icon of the invisible God, a mediator of the sacred, the face of God.

Questions to ponder...

How do you summarize the post-Easter Jesus?

Who is Jesus for you today, as you experience his presence in your life?

NextWhat Difference Does it Make?

Implications for the Christian life of taking this portrait of Jesus seriously.