As I understand the New Testament, these accounts and statements about Christ being raised, now alive, and “Lord of all,” are by no means mere appendages to the gospels or other writings. On the contrary: accounts of experiences of the Resurrected Christ form the decisive nucleus of the New Testament. If Christ had not been experienced as alive and Lord, there would be no Christian faith, no life in union with Christ. As the Apostle tells his disciples in Corinth, “If Christ had not been raised, you would still be in your sins....If for this life only we hoped in Christ, we would be the most pitiful of human beings.”
The term “resurrection” is not, I suggest, the most precise word to communicate the experiences of Christ raised. “Resurrection” translates the Greek word anastasis, which literally means, “standing again.” The New Testament generally employs verbs such as “Christ was raised,” or “Christ appeared to...” What is more decisive than terminology is the fact that whereas the Creed speaks of “Resurrection” as a fact, the earliest Christian documents connect the Risen Christ with a concrete person who was granted the experience, or “the vision.” In other words, later doctrinal developments objectified an event that was a real spiritual experience. This is why the creeds and doctrines come across as relatively dry and sterile, whereas the New Testament documents are alive with fresh, vivid experience. Christ Jesus was experienced as alive after he had been crucified and died in the body.
Compare the Nicene Creed with St. Paul’s summary in I Corinthians. The Creed: “He was crucified, died, buried, and ... rose again.” The Apostle Paul: “Christ was crucified for our sins, buried, and risen, and appeared to Cephas... and last of all to me.” The Apostle does not treat Christ’s resurrection as an abstract fact, but as a real spiritual experience that occurred between the unknown God and a chosen human receiver, such as Cephas (Peter), or Paul. Even clearer is Paul’s account of his conversion: “God was pleased to reveal His Son in me” (usually translated “to me.”)