READ  Isaiah 52:7-10   &  Luke 24


On the Sunday after Jesus death and burial, the women went to the tomb with spices to annoint him for burial - they'd had to wait for the Sabbath to finish and so they got there early in the morning. But when they arrived, he wasn't there. The tomb was empty! They were greeted by an angel who gave them the shocking news that Jesus, was in fact, alive. The women hurried back to tell the others and later Jesus surprised his grieving disciples by appearing in their midst.

What a shock! Imagine what it must have been like. The one you loved, the one you'd been pinning all your hopes on was dead, and then out of the blue he appears in front of you. I guess the disciples would have gone through the whole range of emotions - fear, shock, amazement and then joy!

Easter is the foundation on which the whole of our faith rests, which is why I love this festival. Without the resurrection, Jesus Christ is just another dead prophet, like the prophets of other religions. Without the resurrection death wins, and we have no hope. Without the resurrection, those of us who call ourselves Christians might as well not bother. This is basically what Paul is saying in 1 Cor 15:12-19 

We tell everyone that Christ was raised from death. So why do some of you say that people will not be raised from death? If no one will ever be raised from death, then Christ has never been raised. And if Christ has never been raised, then the message we tell is worth nothing. And your faith is worth nothing. And we will also be guilty of lying about God, because we have told people about him, saying that he raised Christ from death. And if no one is raised from death, then God never raised Christ from death. If those who have died are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised from death, then your faith is for nothing; you are still guilty of your sins. And those in Christ who have already died are lost. If our hope in Christ is only for this life here on earth, then people should feel more sorry for us than for anyone else.

So, thank God for the resurrection.

Because Christ has been raised from the dead, we can be confident that death doesn't get the final say. Life wins! And we have a sure and certain hope for a future where there is no more death, no more tears, no more pain. There will be no more sickness or suffering or sorrow. Those who die in the Lord will live. Their bodies will be raised to resurrection life, full of joy and light. 

And that, is what Easter is all about.

It's the first ray of light after a dark, dark night, an indication of what is to come. It's the assurance we so desperately need especially in these dificult days of sickness, death and lockdown, that everything is going to be OK after all. 

And so today,  I wish you a Happy Easter. May the joy and hope of that first Easter morning fill your hearts today and every day until we meet our Lord face to face, and spend eternity with him.


These reflections have been based on a holy week reading plan, from Muscardine Press.