This is from Simply Christian:
Nor was it the case, as some writers are fond of saying, that the idea of resurerection was found in religions all over the ancient Near East. Dying and rising "gods," yes corn kings, fertility deities, and teh like. But even supposing Jesus's very Jewish followers knew any traditions like those pagan ones nobody in those religions ever supposed it actually happened to individual humans. No. The best explanation by far for the rise of Christianity is that Jesus really did reappear, not as a battered, bleeding, survivor, not as a ghost (the stories are very clear about that), but as a living, bodily human being.
(I am skipping the next paragragh that talks about the nature of Jesus's body)
That kind of conclusion is always frustrating from a scientific point of view. Science, after all, rightly studies phenomena which can be repeated in laboratory conditions. But history doesn't. Historians study things that happened once and once only; even if there are partial paralledls, each historical event is unique. And the historical arguement is quite clear. To repeat: far and away the best explanation for why Christianity began after Jesus's violent death is that he really was bodily alive again three days later, in a transformed body.
I am not suggesting that this (or any other arguement) can force anyone to believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. It is always open to anyone to say, "well, I haven't got a better explanation for the rise of Christianity; but since I know dead people never rise and never could, there must be some other explanation." That is a perfectly logical positions. The trouble is, ofcourse, that believing that Jesus was raised from the dead involves, at the very least, supending judgement on matters normally regarded as fixed and unalterable; or to put it more psitively, it requires that we exchange a worldview which says that such things can't happen for one embracing the notion of a creator God making himself known initially in the traditions of Israel and then fully and finally in Jesus, says that Jesus's resurrection makes perfect sense when seen from that point of view. Faith can't be forced, but unfaith can be challenged. That is how it has always been, from the very beginning when people have vorne witness to Jesus's resurection.
There are, in fact, partial parallels to this kind of thing precisely in the world of contemporary science. Scientists now regularly ask us to believe things which seem strange and even illogicial, not the least in the areas of astrophysics or quantum mechanics. With something as basic as light, for example, they find themselves driven to speak in terms both of waves and of particles, though these appear incompatible. Sometimes, to make sense of the actual evidence before us, we have to pull our worldview, our sense of what's possible, into a new shape. That is the kind of thing demanded by the evidence about Easter.
Pages 113 and 114
N T Wright, Simply Christian
hope you liked that