The Resurrection - what's in it for me?
We have a late Easter this year, so you will be reading this long before Lent is over.
In the Church’s year, the crucifixion and resurrection have yet to happen, so it seems a little pre-emptive for me to be writing about it in this month’s letter. But Christians celebrate Easter not because it is relevant only for one day a year, or even the 40 days of the Easter Season, but because it has relevance for us each and every moment of our lives.
So let’s ask ourselves what difference the resurrection does make to the life of a Christian.
Paul Hardingham of Parish Pump puts it like this: the resurrection means:
· my past is forgiven
· my present is under control
· my future is secure.
We all know what it is like to do something which doesn’t go right and want to start all over again. Sometimes it’s too late; sometimes we can restore what we’ve done and make something even better; sometimes we can just ditch what we’ve done and start again. With God, there is always a new start possible. It’s never too late to seek forgiveness and an opportunity to start again. And we discover that each time we start again, God helps to make us into a person better than we were before.
We’ve probably all had times too when life feels out of control for some reason. Perhaps others are making decisions for us, perhaps our health is poor or someone close to us is facing death, perhaps our life is just too busy and we can’t juggle all the balls we seem to need to keep up in the air, perhaps we have money worries or we are lonely. Because the love of God which brought Christ back from death is available to us all God will give us strength to get through anything in life, provided we trust. Sometimes that means just hanging on by our fingertips, but God will give us courage to face anything. St Paul reminds us that “I can do all things through God who gives me strength” (Philippians 4.13). It reminds me of the prayer: “Lord, help me to remember that nothing will happen today that you and I cannot handle together.”
One place where we really are out of control is death – there’s a 100% certainty that it is something we will all face. But for a Christian, because of the resurrection, death is not the end. We have a place assured for us in heaven which will last for ever. Our future really is secure.
That’s not something we can prove by science. Science and religion are not incompatible, but they do address different questions. In the same way that we cannot prove our love for another person through science, nor can we prove God’s love that way either.
To have faith means to trust in God, God’s love and God’s promises.
Perhaps this year, you might like to ask what difference the resurrection can make to you. Or why not ask yourself today? It’s not something only for Easter Day.
With best wishes