We are an Easter people, and Hallelujah is our song

I wish all those reading this a happy and blessed Easter. Hallelujah, Christ is risen.

This is really my post number 41 in the 40 blogs of Lent, because the story of the crucifixion does not end in a tomb.

A rock tomb, with sunlight streaming in through the open doorway. On the left draped over the shelf where bodies are laid there is an empty burial cloth.

Easter, the resurrection of Jesus, is how the story of the death of Jesus ends. Death is not able to hold him and on the third day God raised him up.

Death has no hold on us either. This is how Paul describes the resurrection in the book of Ephesians:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But[b] God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Ephesians 2:1–6 ESV UK

There was a time when we were dead, says Paul, This means we are no longer dead. Easter brings a promise that if Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, then we will be raised from the dead, but it is better than that, we are by God made alive in Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:13). Not will be, but are.

In the last twp posts, on Good Friday and yesterday, I said that forgiveness has been brought forward into the present and judgement have been brought forward in the death of Jesus on the cross. In the resurrection of Jesus, our resurrection has also been brought forward — we are raised in Christ.

We are raised in Christ but we are raised for a purpose. That is to raise other people up, to make them closer to how God made them to be. Feeding the hungry and thirsty, welcoming the foreigner, clothing the naked, tending the sick and visiting the imprisoned is part of this, as is preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, as is fighting for people’s rights. All are equal in the kingdom of God, but on Earth we need to fight for those who are less than equal here. There has bee a lot said about Black lives matter in this last year, including by retiring Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who said that if he had not been shielding he would have been on the Black Lives Matter protest.

All lives will not matter until black lives matter,
All lives will not matter until female lives matter,
All lives will not matter until LGBT+ lives matter,
All lives will not matter until autistic lives matter,
All lives will not matter until disabled lives matter,

You and I cannot do all that ourselves. The Bible passages do not say I or you (singular), they say we. I am not alone in Christ, and neither are you, it is the church which is to do this, your jod is to find what it is that is your part in this task, why don’t you ask him.

Christ is risen.
We are raised in Christ,
Let us raise each other up.

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