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Life after death

I once taught in Yorkshire school which was built at the end of the village street, and faced Saddleworth Moor. A place notorious even now, for the murder and burial of several children in that lonely wilderness.

Sometimes, when our pupils were playing in the school yard, their cheerful shouts and laughter seemed out of place against the sombre background of the moor, with its hidden graves. The elderly caretaker stood with me one Spring day, as the skylarks rose high into the sunny sky, and she said, "There is always a resurrection, you know. Whatever happens, life returns." I remembered a quotation by Virgil Kraft, "Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world."

I am certain that the birds were singing on that first Easter morning when the women came to the grave-cave in the garden, finding the stone rolled away, and Jesus risen from the dead! The empty cave would have been filled with light. When the angels moved the stone, darkness was removed and light flooded in. There would have been flowers in the garden; and was there even a fragrance of Heaven itself, to enhance the sweetness of flowers on a lovely new morning?

Now---consider the stark cruelty of the death of Jesus. The callous indignity of the cross emphasises the trauma of vanquished hopes. He declared Himself to be The Messiah. He announced Himself as The Way, The Truth, The Life, and this torn and beaten body broke his promises into fragments of splintered flesh and blood.


On the third day, Jesus came back to life. Those angels could have used the same words as did my caretaker:

'Whatever happens, life returns.'

This is the message of Easter. In a world of sorrow, sadness, savagery, suspicion, second rate society, sin--- there is always the hope of the resurrection. Jesus claim to be the Saviour of the world is sealed, ratified, affirmed, for time and eternity, because He rose from the dead, and He is alive for evermore. Hallelujah for Easter!

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