Sunday 20 April 2014

Bible Book:

“Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’” (v. 7)

Matthew 28:1-10 Sunday 20 April 2014


On this Easter Day as Matthew's Gospel challenges us with thepowerful reality of resurrection churches everywhere join in theancient liturgy: "Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.Alleluia."

Jesus has been raised- not quietly but accompanied by anearthquake and an angel of the Lord. Yet the first to hear about itand be tasked with telling his disciples are the women who hadstayed with him right through his crucifixion. In a culture wherewomen were not valued, and where they could not be witnesses in acourt of law, this is more of God's radical overturning ofexpectation, hierarchy and culture.

As a teenager I read Michael Green's book The day death died (amazingly accordingto Amazon new copies of this little paperback are available forover £58 while secondhand copies start at 1p!). That little bookexplored alternatives to a physical resurrection. In the yearssince then I have still not read or heard anything to persuade methat any of the alternatives are at all probable.

However, a restricted focus that sees resurrection 'only' asJesus being raised physically from dead risks seeing resurrectionas just a bit of holy magic, almost dismissed from everyday life,relevant only to eternity, to what comes after death.

For Matthew's Gospel resurrection seems to be much more thanthat. The resurrection of Jesus is not 'just' about defeatingdeath, it is also about defeating exclusion, prejudice, injustice,hopelessness and inequality in the life before death. Hence, forMatthew's Gospel resurrection seems to fit well with the ChristianAid slogan "We believe in life before death" or possibly a revisedversion "We believe in life before, during and after death".

To Ponder

  • Instead of defending resurrection how might it help if weinvite others to suggest and defend alternatives?
  • What experiences of resurrection have you seen?
  • Where is resurrection most needed today?
  • Who, where and how is God calling you to go quickly and tell ofresurrection this Easter?
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