Easter Sunday

If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins.’ 1 Corinthians 15:17.

Strong words from the apostle Paul - but they convey powerfully that, if we are followers of Jesus, our faith is totally dependent upon the truth of Resurrection Day.

The joy of this began to dawn on me during my childhood. I am so thankful for Christian parents who taught me, both by example and through words, that Jesus is the only sure foundation for life in a world of uncertainty. Although I  made a few conscious responses to his love during my school years, it wasn’t until my late teens that I recognised my own rebellious tendencies. A friend explained the gospel to me and I realised I needed forgiveness.

Paul confirms that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. Romans 10. 13 and “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person” 2 Corinthians 5.17

This news is for sharing!

Following Luke’s gospel account of Jesus’ crucifixion, death and burial, he describes how the women who had accompanied Jesus all the way from Galilee went to his tomb on the first day they were allowed (the day after the Sabbath). Not surprisingly their first reaction on finding angels and an empty tomb was terror. The angels jogged their memories and they recalled that Jesus had indeed told them he would be raised to life, so the women took their astounding news to the eleven disciples (who didn’t believe them!). Luke names Peter only as running immediately to the tomb to check, “...and then he went home, amazed at what had happened.”
We can only imagine the immense bewilderment and fear Jesus’ followers must have experienced at this turn of events. Dare we tell anyone? Who will believe us?  Will we be arrested and killed? Perhaps hope and joy also began to surface as they remembered Jesus words at their final meal together, “… it has been determined that the Son of Man must die…”  and “…I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in my kingdom” Luke 22.22 and 29.

Luke summarises, in Acts 1, “ During the forty days after he suffered, (Jesus) appeared to the apostles …and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive.”  We all need the power of the Holy Spirit to share the gospel effectively.  The apostles’ lives are transformed after Pentecost; they demonstrate and proclaim God’s Kingdom - and the church of Jesus Christ is born!

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 3.10

As we celebrate today, let’s recommit ourselves to being witnesses:
Lord Jesus are you calling me to new ways of demonstrating and proclaiming your Kingdom of love, reconciliation and justice?

- Catherine Horton
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