At the centre of the Apostles’ Creed stands the core affirmation of Christian faith and the heart of the Church’s proclamation: Jesus rose from the dead. In fact, according to the witness of the gospels it is probably better to say that God the Father raised him from the dead by pouring out the Holy Spirit on him. No one witnessed the event of the resurrection but God!
The very first written testimony we possess, that of Mark’s Gospel, depicts the women who went to the tomb being told that he had risen but leaves it like that – there are no appearances of the risen one. Just an empty tomb and the message that he had been raised…
The later gospels record his appearances to Mary Magdalene (see below) - who mistook him for the gardener - and then to the other disciples. Yet even they were not dramatic events but simple encounters in which he ate with them and forgave them for betraying him. After his resurrection Jesus was changed – he could come and go at will – but he was also still the same. He still bore the scars of crucifixion, the proof of his love for us.
The message of the resurrection is one of hope. For God’s faithful people life is changed not ended. Death is never the final word of our human existence. United to Christ by faith and baptism in this life, we will live with him for ever.
Creator of all,
you wash away our sins,
give us new birth by the Spirit,
and redeem us in the blood of Christ.
By his resurrection, renew your gift of life within us.
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord.
Risen Lord Jesus Christ, we believe in your word.
At the breaking of the bread
may we recognize you as the fire that burns within us,
and bring your light to the world. Amen.