Easter Reflection

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Posted by Bethany School

 

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I was sent an email yesterday to encourage me to switch the delivery date of my cleaning products as the processing date was scheduled for the Easter weekend and they were worried that the delay would inconvenience me. The email started with a riddle, ‘what makes Easter easier?’ None of the things that I could think solved the riddle. The answer they were after (and which Mr Cooper got very quickly) was ‘change the T to an I.’ This got me reflecting on Easter and the events remembered in the week preceding it. The Christian message is that Easter is the key event, and central to the story is the belief that Jesus died on the cross so that our sins can be forgiven. If we remove the T from Easter, and replace it with I, yes it makes things easier, but it also involves us putting ourselves, or ‘I’ at the centre. The Christian story remembers and celebrates that, fundamental to the story, Jesus died on the cross. He puts the ‘t’ in the middle of Easter and so the focus should be on him and not us.

Not that I did not appreciate the email, and maybe I overthought the significance, but I thought that it was interesting.

In Chapel this week, we looked at the significance of the resurrection. But before we got there, we did consider the question, ‘did the resurrection happen?’ Before exploring the significance, we had to give thought to this as an historical event. We watched a clip by Lee Strobel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT4Cj-Pi4m0 ) where he gives four pieces of evidence to suggest that the resurrection happened. In year 7 RS lessons, we considered some of the challenges to the resurrection and here Lee Strobel makes a good case for the resurrection.

We then looked at the significance of the resurrection. We read a passage from 1 Corinthians, part of which says ‘if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.’ Christianity hinges on this moment, as Paul says, if Jesus does not rise from the dead, then Christians are, of all people, to be pitied most for they are wasting their time. But the Church, 2000 years later, still proclaims that Jesus rose. So why is it significant?

It proves Jesus is who he says he is – it is the ultimate proof that Jesus is who he claimed to be – the Son of God. Without the resurrection all the stories and teachings and miracles are nothing but empty words. With the resurrection they become the very words and actions of God.

  • It means Christianity is worth it – if Jesus rises from the dead, then Christianity is based on truth, Jesus has indeed restored the relationship between God and humans, and it is a living faith which leads the way to God.
  • It means that we should follow Jesus’ teachings – we have looked at love of God and love of neighbour recently, these teachings, if Jesus rose from the dead, are God’s commands, and therefore we should be thinking seriously how we put them into action.
  • It means there is an afterlife – Jesus rose from the dead; death has lost its sting. Jesus spoke about heaven - to the criminal crucified with him ‘today you will be with me in paradise’ and Christians believe that he ascended 40 days after the resurrection to the right hand of the Father. Jesus is the firstfruit, and all who declare with their mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in their heart that God raised him from the dead, will be saved and raised to eternal life.
  • It leads to change – just as the disciples went from cowering in the upper room to proclaiming the gospel no matter what the cost after seeing the risen Jesus, so too Jesus’ resurrection changes people today. When his wife became a Christian, Lee Strobel spent time researching the Christian faith and the resurrection to try to disprove her newfound faith. The more he researched, the more he spoke to Theologians and Philosophers, the more he found out that the resurrection was true. He decided to follow Jesus, and many millions of people today have their lives changed by encounters with the risen Jesus.
  • It brings hope – in a world of conflict and despair, the resurrection reminds us of the hope with have in God. That, despite the situations we find ourselves in, things will work out for the better. Good Friday is good because of Easter Sunday; and we live in hope in our world that things will work out and goodness will be restored. As Paul wrote, ’ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’.

I hope that you have a restful Easter, that you get to spend time with family and friends and that you know the peace and hope of the risen Jesus.

Heavenly Father,

We thank you for the resurrection of Jesus, and how this proves that Jesus is the Son of God. Thank you that it gives us hope.

Help us to live in the hope you give us, and help us to live lives that have a positive impact on others and make a difference in our community, showing kindness, respect and tolerance to all.

Amen

If you want to find out more, I recommend a couple of Lee Strobel books:

The Case for Christ - https://www.eden.co.uk/the-case-for-christ

The Case for Easter - https://www.eden.co.uk/the-case-for-easter/