Speaking to the Soul – April 11

Christianity is a resurrection religion

The angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” Mark 16:6-7

Long ago, I remember an old man telling me of an experience he had as a teenager. It happened during the first world war, when many of the young men from his village had gone to fight in France. Some families received the terrible news that their sons had been killed, but one family heard that their son was “missing believed killed”. Everyone encouraged the family to believe that their boy would be found but, as weeks turned to months, all hope was lost.

Then, much later, at the end of the war, my friend was cycling into his village and saw that a huge crowd had gathered. Such a thing was unheard of in that sleepy community. In the centre of the crowd was the mother of the missing soldier. She was dancing and shouting: “He’s alive!” as she held a telegram informing her that her son had been taken prisoner and would soon be returning home.

Just imagine the joy of that mother and the celebrations that followed. Then multiply it by 1,000 to understand some small part of the amazement of the women who found the empty tomb on Easter morning. They had actually witnessed Jesus being killed. They knew that the Romans were professional killers. They had no doubt that Jesus was dead. But the angel tells them to completely change their thinking. Jesus had conquered death and was alive. This staggering news changed everything. The world would never be the same again.

My greatest fear with the resurrection is that we can get used to it. Many of us have heard about it since we were children. But we need to allow it to shock us and amaze us as if we were hearing about it for the first time. For our hope for the future is totally founded upon the fact that Jesus rose from death. As John Stott wrote: “Christianity is in its very essence a resurrection religion. The concept of the resurrection lies at its heart. If you remove it, Christianity is destroyed.”

As Christians we are a resurrection people. And that should fill us with joy, peace and hope not just at Easter but every day.


How has the resurrection of Jesus impacted on your life?


Lord Jesus Christ, I praise you because you are the same yesterday, today and forever. Amen