Posted by George Morrison

After years of trying to produce a secular state in Stalinist Russia there was a large political gathering one Easter. At a defining moment in the proceedings someone shouted the words, “He is Risen”. Out of the mouths of the thousands present came the Christian response, “He is Risen Indeed”! The life of God in the soul of man is not easily extinguished. Most civilisations have the view that the soul is immortal but, uniquely, Christianity claims that the body will arise too. Our identity will be with us in the next life. We will be known to one another just as Moses and Elijah, although they lived in different eras on earth, knew each other and spoke together on the Mount of transfiguration. Some may say, “Others have come back from the dead”. What makes Jesus so special? Was Jesus simply another Lazarus? But Lazarus and all the others eventually died had a funeral and a grave where their bones were laid. Only Jesus arose, never to die again. He is the first fruits of a new kind of human life, a life in which the body is made perfect, no longer subject to weakness, aging, or death, but able to live eternally. With such a glorious future you might think that no-one in their right senses would shun Christianity. The resurrection is the mega miracle that would clinch for everyone! Wrong! Jesus scotched that idea in his parable of the rich man in hell who thought his brothers on earth would repent if he was able to warn them of his fate. Jesus referred him to the scriptures, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ St Luke Chapter 16 verse 31. It is by believing what God has said in the scriptures that we are saved, not through witnessing miracle no matter how dramatic. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” St John Chapter 5 verse 24. Jesus resurrection is the first fruits – “He has Risen” will become “They have Risen” to the praise of His glorious Name.