v 32 Peter said ‘God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.’
The resurrection of Jesus is at the heart of this Good News.
Yesterday’s reading inevitably raises the question ‘Yes – but what should I be telling them about Jesus?
In recent months you may well have felt that all the news has been dominated by one central issue, CoVid-19. The political strap line ended with these words ‘Save Lives’. Nobody wants to die after all, so saving lives was at the heart of the priorities. All very laudable and understandable of course. Behind all that however lurks the terrible fear of death – the great unmentionable in ordinary, everyday conversation. Our hopes and dreams for the future focus on this world; death is the destroyer of all hope. So the world spends trillions of pounds on trying to find cures for every known (and unknown!) disease. The unstated purpose is ‘Let’s try to stave off death and live a little longer. Death is viewed as the sad end of everything. (I smile a little wanly when I hear news reports that suggest we could save 1,000 lives a year if…… What is really meant is that we could prolong 1,000 lives a year – for what purpose?)
So the dominating theme of the story of Jesus is His resurrection! Death is not the end of everything. Hope stretches beyond the grave and on into an eternity in the presence of God.
Death is not a sad end we must labour to prevent (we can’t after all can we!)
The good news of Jesus is not about living better, or doing better things for humanity, it is about the assurance that Jesus rose from the dead, and we too will rise again to new life. Death is a gateway, not a fearful blank wall!