Bishop Martin's Easter message

We have all had experiences of resurrection, of having our lives, or the lives of those we care about, restored to us, returned to us. Having our lives given back, writes Bishop Martin Seeley in his Easter message this year.

 There was that point after the devastation of losing our beloved spouse, or parent, or sibling or, agonisingly, our child, that point when we felt our life returning, when we could go out again, meet people again, feel ourselves again. The pain did not go away, nor the profound sense of loss, but we had found we could live again, with the pain and loss. Or there was that moment when we were assured the treatment had been successful, and we were now clear. Suddenly, after living in the shadow of what might have been, we had been given our life back. That immense sense of relief and gratitude will always stay with us. These are moments of life restored, of resurrection, for us.

 So too are those moments when a dreadful situation at work, or in our neighbourhood, that has been hanging over us, sapping us, draining us of life, and for which we can see no way out, those moments when the situation becomes resolved, and the weight is lifted, and our sense of ourselves, and looking forward returns.

 We all have tasted resurrection in our lives, and we can each think of many different examples, that may include, perhaps, being forgiven for something we had done that hurt someone deeply, or even, forgiving someone who has hurt us. Our life returns. And we long for those moments for people who are suffering around the world.  We long for the lives to be restored for the Israeli hostages in Gaza, for the hundreds of thousands in Gaza suffering malnutrition and constant fear of attack; for the people of Ukraine who long for their lives to be restored and peace to return; for people around the world in danger and conflict. We know what resurrection is for ourselves, and we long for it for others.

 So what does Jesus’ resurrection mean in all of the challenges and trials we face, and our world faces?  What does his return to life mean for us?

Because of who Christians believe Jesus was, that he was (and is) God, when Jesus died this was not just he who died, but it was the death of hope, of goodness, of love for humanity. It was human hatred, fear, pride and arrogance that killed him, the source of all our troubles. His death meant they had won. So his startling return to life, his resurrection, is the restoration of hope, goodness and love and their unquenchable power.  And more than return and restoration, it is their transformation into being all that ultimately matters.

 When I think of Jesus’ resurrection, I know in my heart that I can live in the present because the future is taken care of.  Hope, goodness and love endure – that is the heart of faith. Jesus’ resurrection transforms the frame in which we live our lives. Not only do we experience those moments of resurrection, of restoration in our own lives, but  all life is held in the frame of hope, goodness and love. Which means I approach the troubles of this life and this world differently.

First, I do not doubt that hope, goodness and love are present in the most desperate situations of pain, anguish and conflict.  Jesus’ resurrection means they must be there, and it is my job to play my part in fanning their unquenchable flame into the fire that dispels the evil and shows it has no lasting power.

Secondly, Jesus’ resurrection is the basis of every day of my life. I live out of the conviction of hope, the reality of goodness, the unbreakable power of love.  I don’t get it right a lot of the time, but I know where my foundation lies, and it lies in the resurrection of Jesus.


Page last updated: Wednesday 3rd April 2024 11:54 AM
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