Where were you when you heard that JFK had been shot? Or that the Berlin Wall had come down? Or that planes had been flown into the Twin Towers? These headline-making events have had a huge impact on the world in which we live. They’ve shaped foreign policy for governments and led to wars and changes which we might have thought impossible before they happened.
That was perhaps even more true for the not-so spectacular moments when penicillin was discovered, when electricity was invented, when the human genome was mapped and the moment when the world wide web launched. But not even those world shaping events have had the impact of the event we celebrate this Sunday.
That may sound an extraordinary claim- but it’s true. Without his resurrection, the teaching of Jesus would have quickly been forgotten, and the massive impact on our culture would have been lost. And that impact is incalculable. You see it’s only really in Christianity that the virtues of self-sacrifice, of service, of concern for the oppressed, of forgiveness, reconciliation and pardon are clearly taught and championed. It is no surprise therefore that schools and hospitals were largely instituted by Christians, nor that campaigns to end slavery and poverty and to bring justice and peace, have all flowed from people impacted by Christian ethics.
But of course, that isn’t all. It’s to the individual, as well as the world, that Easter makes such a difference. Because Jesus rose from death those who trust him will also rise, giving Christians a real and certain hope beyond death. The Resurrection also shows us that the cross worked: that ‘a pardon for sin and a peace that endureth’ is available to all who come to Christ.
That’s why the resurrection of Jesus is such a world changing, life giving, eternity shaping event. So come along on Sunday and let’s celebrate together!