Ramsey on the Resurrection

More from Archbishop Michael Ramsey’s God, Christ and the World (p. 78):

The Resurrection is something which ‘happened’ a few days after the death of Jesus. The apostles became convinced that Jesus was alive and that God had raised him to life. It is not historically scientific to say only that the apostles came to realize the divine meaning of the Crucifixion for them or that the person of Jesus now became contagious to them. Something happened so as to vindicate for them the meaning of the Cross, and to make the person of Jesus contagious to them. The evidence for a stupendous happening, which the New Testament writers mention, was the survival of the Church, the appearances of Jesus in a visible and audible impact on the apostles, and the discovery that the tomb was empty. The several elements in this threefold evidence no doubt had different degrees of evidential weight for different people, and they have such varying degrees still. As to significance, if it were the existential encounter of Jesus which alone mattered, then the empty tomb would have little or no significance. If, however, Jesus has a cosmic meaning with cosmic effects then the empty tomb has great significance, akin to the significance of the Incarnation itself.


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