A reflective commentary regarding The Christian Challenge to Empire, November 24, 2018 by Bionic Mosquito regarding God in Public: How the Bible Speaks Truth to Power Today, by N. T. Wright
The bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ in the narrative of the gospel is not merely a challenge to empire, it is a physical and metaphysical veto judgment that overrules empire and affirms individual sovereignty.
More than a veto judgment that affirms the authority and power of individual sovereignty, the resurrection is a joyful view of reality, freedom and victory over death. Like the awe and wonder inspired by the present-tense miracle of life itself, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a justice and awe inspiring reply to the rulers of this world, and it is a final assurance of justification to the just who live by faith. The gospel narrative makes a mockery of unjust empires and all who serve them. The judgment is authoritative and powerful. Behold Jesus risen. Are there any questions? Yes! Laugh out loud and rejoice with fear! If there are no questions someone is not paying attention. There is no excuse. Reality is the first and final judge.
Consider the gospel as a judgment of evil empires. "He made a show of them openly." Observe the empire's mouths now shut in fear of their now overturned judgment. Observe the unjustly accused disciples now pointing their fingers justly accusing the empire which "by wicked hands have crucified and slain" a "man approved of God". Observe this proclamation of judgment and its echo throughout history. "I am who I am." Check your premise. "Repent or perish." Rejoice in triumph recognizing, reflecting and proclaiming this reality. Again I say rejoice. The unjust shall perish, however, "The just shall live by faith."
Read the book of Acts. The resurrection and subsequent human acts either happened or did not happen. There is no middle ground. I'll paraphrase the Christian challenge to servants of the civil/religious empire. "With wicked hands and evil intent you framed, flogged, crucified, murdered and buried a righteous man without reason except to cover your sins with his blood. Now he is risen from the dead and you have good reason to fear. Reality is in your face. You don't have the power or the authority to keep a dead man dead. You buried the truth and sealed the tomb. Now he is risen from the dead, your sin is exposed, and you dare forbid us to preach in his name. Think again. Repent. Recognize reality. Your life is his gift to you. Confess and accept forgiveness or perish. It's your choice. By your judgment you will be judged."
Face reality and live. Believe it or not, Jordan B. Peterson tells this story well. The good news, the logos of reality, is the "archetypical narrative". It is the story of righteousness incarnate, reality in human form, facing and overcoming evil. Reality calls us to embrace this history. The same logos that comforts the afflicted continues to afflict the comfortable. The final judgment of reality is now pending yours.