‘HAPPY Easter’ is a wonderful greeting – but why?
The traditional Church greeting is ‘Christ is risen’, to which the congregation responds, ‘He is risen indeed! Alleluia!’ That’s the reason for me – Jesus is risen from the dead.
It is a wonderful fact supported by the evidence of hardened fishermen who were used to dealing with things they could touch and know were real.
This is no emotional fairy tale. Death loses, Jesus wins and that, for me, is what makes Christianity true, worthwhile and meaningful. It has always driven my faith, my ministry, my work and my life. The Resurrection of Jesus is simply why I am a Christian.
Jesus’s resurrection guarantees forgiveness, and is the only reason why believing in heaven makes any sense.
The first Easter was deeply personal. Jesus met Mary Magdalene, Peter, John and the other disciples, real individuals who knew him well and were not going to be taken in by a conjuring trick or some kind of wishful thinking.
Christians are meant to be resurrection people, so our churches should be bright, joyful, helpful places where people’s needs are met and which demonstrate unmistakably the love of God for the world as it is, with all its deficiencies and sadnesses.
I love Easter eggs – partly because I am a great fan of chocolate, but also because the shape reminds me of the stone that was rolled away from Jesus’s tomb on Easter morning – not to let him out, but to let us into the reality, hope and joy of the Resurrection.