by Bishop Thomas John Paprocki
It seems that some people, including a good number of Christians, think the reference to Christ’s resurrection is just a metaphor, that is, they would say that Jesus did not actually rise from the dead, but was “resurrected” only in the metaphorical sense that he was kept alive in the memories of his followers. The problem with this understanding of our Lord’s resurrection is that it does not make sense in light of the experience of the first Christians, especially their martyrdom. People do not die for metaphors. The first Christians went willingly to their deaths rather than deny the truthful reality that Jesus had physically risen from the dead. If they were simply speaking metaphorically that Jesus was still alive in their thoughts and memories, and that the life they hoped for after their own deaths was only a figure of speech, I do not think they would have been so hopeful and confident about the implications of their dying as martyrs.