April 2022

s death the end of the road for a l of us? It’s a question that I am often asked, especia ly by families who have lost a loved one. And my answer is “No! I don’t believe death is the end because I believe that life goes on beyond the grave, but in a different dimension…” The reason I say that is because of what Jesus taught his disciples before he was arrested and ki led, and because of what happened the first Easter.

Jesus was preparing his disciples for what was going to happen to him; he did this as they journeyed towards Jerusalem and in the last days prior to his arrest. So what did he say?

Just before Jesus and the disciples began their journey from Caesarea Philippi, Jesus was in conversation with them and asked them “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They come up with various answers but Peter declares, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” From that time on Jesus began to explain to the disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that on the third day be raised to life.

Later, when they were in the area around Jerusalem, and when the time was coming nearer that he would be taken from them, he begins to explain that he is going to prepare a place for them, then come back and take them to be with him. This is the conversation when Thomas wants to know where he is going and how he/they would know the way to find him. Jesus tels them that “in his Father’s house there are many rooms . . . and that they would find their way because Jesus himself is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

At the time of Jesus’ death, the disciples don’t seem to have remembered what Jesus had said to them previously. When he was arrested– they run away in fear. Peter goes to the courtyard of the place where Jesus is being held – and then three times he denies he knows Jesus. John hangs around with Jesus’ mother, Mary, and the other women, and saw Jesus crucified. Then on the third day they are al hiding behind locked doors for fear of the Jews; that they might be next!

Jesus came in the evening to al the disciples and showed himself to be very much alive. He had previously appeared in the morning to Mary Magdalene in the garden; some of the disciples had seen the empty tomb where Jesus had been laid, and they hadn’t understood what had happened.

But they did when he was standing there in front of them and they were able not just to see, but to touch him too! Jesus appeared to the disciples a number of times before he ascended back to heaven, teaching them and helping them to understand the Scriptures.

Easter is such an important time for Christians. It is the time when we remember that Jesus (the Son of God who was born and lived life as a human being) was crucified on Good Friday, died and was buried, but three days later on Easter Day was alive. It is because Jesus overcame death we have the hope of eternal life for each one of us. What happened at Easter restored some of what God intended for us in the beginning; we sha l fu ly know and experience life at the end of time.

or me, Easter means I can live a life of love – loved by my Heavenly Father, and belong to God. I can live my life in relationship with God, through Jesus, knowing that I am forgiven a l the things that I have gotten wrong, and living a life of joy and peace(even when life is not easy and there are many troubles in life). Easter also focuses my hope: I have a purpose on earth, receive the gift of eternal life and can look forward to life with God at the end of it.

This is the Good News that Jesus came to earth to share. To know the love of God who gave everything that we may know him for ourselves. This is what we shal be celebrating this Easter in the churches in Belton and Burgh Castle. Do join us – at the Sunrise Service (5.30am) at Burgh Castle Roman Fort, or in Burgh Castle Church (9.30am), Belton Church (10.30am) or at Messy Muddy Church in the Rectory Garden at 4pm. We have Good News to share! Happy Easter.