Easter Crackers

EASTER CRACKERS

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Yes, I kid not. You can now buy Easter Crackers! Now that is crackers! Snowflakes can also buy Hot Non-cross Buns, with no cross, so as not to offend other faiths!
But to return to Easter Crackers, there is nothing more crackers than claiming someone rose from his grave nearly 2000years ago. It was crackers in Jerusalem then and is crackers now. We know that when a person has been crucified, impaled by a spear they are not going to rise from the dead. Everyone knew that in Jerusalem in 30AD whether the Romans, Jewish authorities or the disciples. Quite simply ;


Dead man don’t rise


The Gospels emphasise that neither the women nor the disciples expected Jesus to rise and they all needed a lot of convincing. John’s Gospel (chap 20) makes this very clear. First the women didn’t realise, nor did Peter and John whom they told of the missing body. Mary Magdalene then thought the risen Jesus was the gardener, and then doubting Thomas rejected any idea of resurrection. They were all slow to cotton on.

However once they were convinced the early disciples spread the news and the infant church started and slowly spread. The message of the Christians was not some shadowy existence beyond death, whether being in “a better place” or “pie in the sky when you die.” It was more than that. Combined with the death of Christ the resurrection showed a complete change, or even volte face, on how we see both life and death.

Apart from Jews with their strict moral code, few in the Roman Empire bothered about morals except the Stoics, whose moral standards have much in common with Christians and Jews. However they had no appeal for most. Christianity had the long term edge as it was universal in scope (unlike the Jewish faith from whence we were hew) and had both a common touch and addressed the spiritual yearnings of people.

By focussing on the death and resurrection of Jesus, Christianity went beyond simply morals as it transforms the life of both the individual and society. We look first to forgiveness and a new start through Jesus’ death on the cross and then in His rising again we have a transformed life starting from now and continuing into the beyond, which affects both us as individuals and the whole of society.

That is why Good Friday and Easter are so important to Christians – much more important than Christmas. We focus on the Son of God who entered into all the mess of human life to forgive us by his death – something we only understand in part, then on the one who rose again, conquered death and gave us that ultimate hope both for now and all time.

Maybe this is Easter Crackers but it is true and it works.
But it doesn’t seem to for all !!
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