You know when something momentous and unexpected happens. That coming to terms with the fact that life will never be the same again - well that’s Easter. Jesus crucified, buried yet risen. The greatest mystery at the heart of faith which changes everything, yet gives meaning to our own life and death.
Jesus alive but in a new way. Not a ghost! Resurrection is new not prolonging earthly life. People touch Jesus, he eats meals with them, there are many eyewitnesses (1 Corinthians (15:3–7 more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time) who become the early church and its first missionaries. Jesus is alive but different; which changes everything.
People who meet the risen Jesus react with joy, mixed with disbelief and wondering. Wouldn’t that be our reaction too? The gospel stories strike me as honest reporting – doubt’s natural to something so spectacularly unexpected and awesome as meeting the crucified, buried, Jesus risen and alive with us.
‘How are the dead raised?’ (1 Corinthians 37).
'When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.'
Easter is ‘Life, but not as we know it’. Jesus promises fullness of life, ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven, made whole, with the God who made us and loves us more than we can imagine. There’s no more to say but so much to experience when we share our life with him.
Jesus says ‘blessed are those who have not seen yet have come to believe’
That’s us! Thank goodness for Thomas. Thomas shows it’s OK to have questions and be open and honest with our friends about doubts. It’s how we grow in faith, which is a life long journey for all of us, with the support and encouragement of one another in church.
So lets reflect now on a poem prayer by Sheila Cassidy – doctor, writer, survivor of torture in S America.
God of our Fathers, Lord of life, we believe in you
We believe you lived a man like us
And we know you died a messy death
While your friends stood helpless by
Lord, we believe, don’t ask us how, you rose again –
Somehow transformed, glorious, immortal, yet still yourself.
We dare to believe, because of you, that we too shall rise,
most wonderfully changed.
Yet still ourselves, to be with you.
Lord help our unbelief.