Robert Jenson on resurrection

We must ask, What are we necessarily affirming about Jesus when we say that he, unexpectedly, lives? What is the basic difference between a living person and a dead one? And surely we must say: the decisive difference between a living person and a dead one is that the former can surprise us as the latter cannot. Socrates, although he remains dead, is still powerful. But if I am surprised by him, this is because of previously inadequate knowledge. Whereas if Jesus lives, he is an agent in my life, and one whom I must expect to act freely, whom I could know perfectly and yet not always anticipate. […]

That Jesus lives means that his love, perfected at the cross, is now active to surprise us. That Jesus lives means that there is a subject who has us as his objects, and who wills our good in a freedom beyond our predicting.

from Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, (OUP, 1997): 198-9.

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