Easter Day - Resurrection Life

 

Dear friends

Today marks the centrepiece of our faith when Jesus destroyed the power of death by breaking forth from the tomb. Our faith rests on a physical restoration to life by Jesus, for as St Paul writes to the Corinthian Church:

‘If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man (Adam), the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man(Jesus).For as in Adam all die, so in Christall will be made a live’ (1 Corinthians 15:14, 20 – 22).

The experience of Jesus in being raised from the dead serves as the ‘first fruits’, the deposit, the down payment which provides a  guarantee of what is to come for all who are ‘in Christ’. Therefore those of us who have placed our trust and confidence in the saving work of Jesus and consider ourselves to be ‘in Christ’ have that wonderful hope that is steadfast and certain. This is that we too will share in resurrection life and enjoy the same experience as did Jesus.

This is the wonderful truth dramatically symbolised by the waters of Baptism. Being completely submerged symbolises our death with Christ and emerging from the water symbolises our risen life with Christ (Romans 6:4,5).

Paul writes to the Thessalonian Christians:

‘We do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep (i.e. die), or to grieve like the rest of men who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him’ (1 Thess 4:13,14).

 

This is the bedrock of our faith that we celebrate not only at Easter, but every day because in it is the hope that resurrection life brings.

Carriers of Resurrection Life

Not many of us have been in a situation where we may have witnessed a physical resurrection, but there is a sense in which we can all be those who ‘bring back people from the dead’.

Author, Megan McKenna writes:

‘Once when I was in the parish studying this scripture (Luke 7:11-17) with a large group, someone called out harshly, ‘Have you ever brought someone back from the dead?’ My response was: ‘Yes. Every time I bring hope into a situation, every time I bring joy that shatters despair, every time I forgive others and give them back dignity and the possibility of a future with me and others in the community, every time I listen to others and affirm their life, every time I speak the truth in public, every time I confront injustice – yes – I bring people back from the dead’.

We are ‘Easter People’. People of resurrection and hope – to be those who are life giving, called to live passionately and compassionately with others. Every time the life we carry overflows and touches others, we set the table for resurrection.

When we leave the past to God’s mercy and the future to God’s discretion and live in the present moment, we affirm our belief in the resurrection.

Beautiful Africa

On April 12ththe Watoto children’s choir will show us what it means to be carriers of resurrection life with their engaging and life enhancing performance. It will, I’m sure, be inspirational. So do invite friends and neighbours to come with you to the evening performance and let them catch the resurrection life on offer.

May we all have a Christ-centred, Joy-filled Easter.

With every blessing in Christ                Stephen