‘Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!’ (Easter Day, 31 March)

Today we cry with confidence, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” Let us rejoice in the annual reminder that our Saviour is alive and has overcome death and sin. We might ask ourselves: how can this possibly be? Surely, no sensible, clear-thinking person would believe that a human being could be raised from the dead!

When I was teaching at a Grammar School, I taught Chemistry, Science, Mathematics and Religious Education. I remember one Year 9 boy who said to me, “You are weird, Sir!” When I asked him why he thought so, he replied, “Because you teach Science and Religion!” In his mind at least, the two disciplines were incompatible. The reality is, however, that there are many learned scientists who also believe in the risen Christ. I suspect that the reason that they can, is the same as it is for me. They do not deny the laws of physics, chemistry and biology; rather, they believe in a God who can work outside of those laws because God is the creator of all. It is not hard to believe that God could raise Jesus from the dead, if you believe that that same God created a universe ex nihilo (out of nothing). Do I understand how God did either? No, I don’t. But I have studied enough science to know that the extent of what we don’t understand far exceeds what we do understand.

The resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a great mystery. But it is a glorious mystery! As Paul wrote, “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Romans, 6:3-5)

Because God raised Jesus from the dead, through baptism we share in both his death and resurrection. His glory becomes our glory. How wonderful!

A blessed and happy Easter to you all.