The earliest testimonies to Jesus’ resurrection are exasperatingly divergent. (Almost all scholars agree that these are the earliest testimonies: 1 Corinthians 15, Mark 16:1-8, Matthew 28, Luke 24, John 20-21.) Attempts to harmonize them inevitably look forced. But they display some common themes:

1) After his shameful execution Jesus somehow started showing up.

2) His showing up somehow engaged all the senses.

3) His showing up was more elusive than simply meeting the same person who had been executed.

4) His showing up began to enliven his followers not only with his own life but with no less than the life of God.

Resurrection faith for today’s Christian is awakening trustfully to the message of how Jesus still enlivens his followers not only with his own life but with no less than the life of God. This present awakening makes the common themes of these other testimonies about what happened back then plausible to those who share it, but it does not and cannot prove them. They can all be explained away by someone who does not share this present awakening. But those who do share it still have every reason to regard them as plausible.