Easter Sunday: 4th April 2021

One of the consequences of geography is that we are 12 hours ahead of Europe and 16 to 18 hours ahead of North America. Therefore half the Good Friday Blogs came out yesterday: and today for many is Saturday. That is immaterial.

Christ is risen indeed.

Almighty God,
who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ
hast overcome death,
and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life;
We humbly beseech thee,
that, as by thy special grace preventing us
thou dost put into our minds good desires,
so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit,
ever one God, world without end.

Acts 10:34-43
34 So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36 As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), 37 you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

One of the things the reader should consider is that Paul was a direct witness of the resurrection. Paul was not. But Paul was a trained rabbinical jurist, and he put the evidence for the resurrection of Christ down in two paragraphs. The resurrection was not hidden. It was public. It is in the historical record. There is more textual evidence left from the ancient times for the gospel than for Caesar’s writings, or Aristotle, or Plato.

So to deny the resurrection is ignorance. Wilful blindness. The evidence will lead you to the cross and to the resurrection that follows it.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11
15 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

John 20:1-18
20 Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2 So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” 3 So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. 4 Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9 for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went back to their homes.
11 But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. 12 And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 13 They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” 14 Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.

Unlike Didact, I don’t try to break the browser on a weekly basis: it is on Sunday that I put as much worship and scripture in a post as possible. But he does write truth at times, and this is part of it. We should note that the spirit of this age is profounly destructive and evil. If you debase yourself as all the propaganda agents of this time want us to, you will be miserable now and damned eternally.

As Holy Week draws to a close and we look forward to celebrating Our Lord Jesus Christ’s ultimate triumph over Death and evil tomorrow, it’s worth taking a moment to understand how we got to this point.
By “this point”, I mean, of course, a world ruled by panic, pride, and terror (to quote from Kipling’s immortal Hymn Before Action). We got here because we failed to pay heed to the words of God, written in the Bible by the hands of His chosen prophets and executors.
Looking back at the history of the human race, one cannot help but be struck by how arrogant and blind we have become. “Drunk with sight of power, we loose wild tongues that have not Thee in awe”, as Kipling wrote in another one of his great poems – and that, indeed, is what we have done.
We deny the power of God in our daily lives, and the imperatives of His Law that He wrote on our hearts. We insist on turning over authority to preening princes and corrupt administrators, instead of holding God up as the ultimate arbiter of morality and law. And look how we suffer as a result.
The world around us careens ever further into madness and stupidity. The few of us who try to keep our wits about us and look at the world at least somewhat objectively are mocked, derided, and cast out of “polite” society. We question the “official” narrative, and everyone looks at us like we are crazy.
This is hard on all of us. I know. I’ve had to endure it myself, no matter where I go – and what I go through is a mere quantum of what more public figures endure on a daily basis, because I actually mostly keep my views to myself, as a general rule. (What you see on this site is my unchained persona, without restrictions or blinkers. It is not my best side, perhaps – but it is my true nature.)
What, then, are we to do about the fact that the world has gone insane?
My answer to this issue is to start small. As with all things, we make progress in incremental steps.
Start by giving thanks. That’s all. Even if you are in a wheelchair, or struck down with some terrible disease, the fact is that you have the capacity to appreciate the beauty of this world.
When you wake up in the morning after a restful sleep, offer thanks for that.
When you meet a friendly doggo in the street that insists on poking you with his wet nose and making friends, give thanks for that.
And when you experience the great joys of this life, in the arms of a loved one or in the company of a friend or simply walking through the beauties of nature, be thankful.
Ungrateful people are miserable people. They are awful to be around. They suck the air and energy out of a room. Be glad for your tests and be happy for the fact that you are on this Earth for a purpose.

The old catechism starts thusly: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever. It is by the cross of Jesus that the debt owed for our sins was discharged. We did not pay that penalty: Christ did. But it is by his resurrection that we have hope.

So today be thankful. For the beauty that remains in this world, for the love of our families and our brothers and sisters in the faith, and above all that Christ is risen indeed, and instead of being those who should be most pitied, we are those who have the greatest hope.

For we will be like him.