Easter for Progressive Christians

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Few stories in the entire pantheon of literature evoke as much emotion as the gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. For many Christians, these are the quintessential texts, the ones that define Christianity, their personal faith, and the whole of human existence. That’s a lot to put onto a few simple stories! 

When using this study, therefore, it will be helpful to have a sense of where participants are coming from. Are they a mixed group with ideas that are all over the theological map? Do they tend to approach the stories as metaphor and take the stance that the resurrection could not possibly have happened? Do they take it literally and believe that things must have happened exactly as they are recorded? Do they feel that there is some point to reading these stories, even though they leave us with more questions than answers?

People’s ideas may differ – slightly or greatly – and that’s okay. The point is not so that everyone comes out with the same belief, nor is it to convince anyone, at any time, that they must believe one thing or another. The purpose of this study is to explore these powerful faith stories so that they might in turn inform and enhance our daily living.

This guide does not set out to “prove” or “disprove” that Jesus physically rose on Easter Sunday. Instead, it invites participants to engage with the biblical stories of Christ’s resurrection to try to understand what the gospel writers meant to tell us, what they wanted us to take from these stories. After all, they did not set out to prove a point of history; they wrote them down because these stories had transformed their own lives, and the lives of many others at the time. Hopefully, reading and exploring these stories can enhance our lives too. Ultimately, how we experience Christ today is what matters – not what might have happened 2,000 years ago.