Long before the Gospel writers told the Easter stories of the empty tomb and the appearances of the risen Jesus, St Paul wrote his letters to the church, however they do not include those stories – no empty tomb, no upper room and the reason is that he wasn’t concerned with the when? or where? or even the how? Paul was concerned with reality of the experience in the present. ‘All I want to know is Christ and the power of his risen life.’ Philippians 3v10. Paul’s experience on the Damascus road caused him to rethink what he believed and entirely change his idea of God. Paul saw that there was now no limit to God’s power to create and to redeem. Not even death can thwart God’s purposes for us. The resurrection confirms to us that what God creates and loves, will not in the end be destroyed.
Easter proclaims to us that God has created us in flesh and spirit, precious to Him, and that He is someone who will not let us go. To be a Christian is to trust that God is able to recreate, to raise us up in a new way; in Jesus, I am called into a relationship with God which extends beyond death. No other event, no other experience, has so changed the face of history. The experience of the resurrection, the knowledge that Jesus was in their midst as a life-giving spirit, created the church. No Easter = no church. It is as simple as that.
In Jesus, crucified and risen, God does something quite new. As Paul also writes to the believers in Corinth –‘If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation,’ 2Cor.5v17.
Today, all over the world, millions of Christians are celebrating the resurrection, not as a past event, or something just recorded in the Bible, but as a now event. A reminder that a relationship with God, as experienced through Jesus, is just as powerful now, in opening our eyes and helping us to see the wonder of God’s creation and the power of His love.
Jesus Christ is risen today – HALLELUJAH!
***ANNOUNCEMENT! We are delighted to be able to reopen St Paul's church for in person services - in time for Easter! For details of our events and services during Holy Week, check out our Services at St Paul's and Church At Home Pages.****