Surpised By Hope

N. T. Wright on the Point of the Resurrection in Luke

"The resurrection isn't just a surprise happy ending for one person, it is instead the turning point for everything else. It is the point at which all the old promises come true at last: the promises of David's unshakable kingdom; the promises of Israel's return from the greatest exile of them all; and behind that again, quite explicit in Matthew, Luke, and John, the promise that all nations will be blessed through the seed of Abraham. ... But if Jesus has been raised, then this is how the Old Testament has to be read: as a story of suffering and vindication, of exile and restoration, a narrative that reaches its climax not in Israel becoming a top nation and beating the rest of the world at its own game but in the suffering and vindication, the exile and restoration, of the Messiah -- not for himself alone but because he is carrying the saving promises of God. ... If Jesus is raised, Luke is saying, he really was and is the Messiah; but if he's the Messiah, he is God's messenger, God's promise-bearer, carrying the promises made to Abraham, Moses, David and the prophets -- promises not only for Israel but also for the whole world. ... For Luke, the point of the resurrection is that the long story of Israel, the great overarching Scriptural narrative, has reached its goal and climax and must now give birth, as it always intended, to the worldwide mission in which the nations are summoned to turn form their idolatry and find forgiveness of sins." (Surprised By Hope, 236-238.)