Happy Easter 2015
Jesus Appears to Thomas
It is important to understand precisely what Easter Sunday truly means. The entire construct of the Christian faith, based though it is on logic, evidence, and a highly perceptive understanding of Mankind's failings as a species, really comes down to a promise. Through the Lord God and His Son, the Christian faith promises an eternal release from death and damnation for those who believe. And as final and absolute proof of the validity of this claim, Christ Himself was sacrificed for the sins of Mankind- thereby granting Man a reprieve from God's wrath and one last chance to earn true redemption.
Any Churchian can tell you these things- it's written right there in the textbook, after all, and it doesn't take any great imagination to go look up what the book actually says in plain black text on white pages. And for Churchians, simply parroting what The Book says is as far as their faith extends. They pay little more than lip-service to the true nature of the Christian faith, and there is no point in paying attention to such folk.
But a Christian acknowledges what a Churchian cannot- namely, that if the Resurrection is not true, then the entire Christian faith is nothing more than a sham. It is false, and anyone who follows it is deluded beyond any hope of redemption.
If indeed the Resurrection did not happen, then untold billions of people throughout history have believed in and followed the most terrible and malicious lie ever told. If the Resurrection were ever to be disproven, then those who follow the Christian faith would ultimately be hypocrites and fools of the worst possible kind.
Fortunately, from the Gospels onward, we have a veritable mountain range of evidence telling us that not only was the Resurrection real, but that it was the greatest miracle that humanity has ever been blessed to receive. Indeed, the more closely one examines the accounts of the Resurrection of Christ and the evidence at hand, the more inexorably and inevitably is one drawn to the conclusion that the Resurrection was literal and actual fact.
Because the miracle of the Resurrection did, as far as nearly 2,000 years of evidence, analysis, debate, and investigation can tell us, absolutely take place.
And therein lies the power of the Christian faith. It comes from the fact that the Messiah delivered precisely what He had promised- an eternal reprieve from death and despair. Against Him, no evil could ever prevail, and not even death itself could hold claim to Him.
This day is also a chance for doubters, or at least those who are undecided about Christianity, to understand what the Christian faith is all about, and why it is as close to Truth as we will ever get. These are people like the doubting Thomas- people like me- who have difficulty believing, even when the Truth stands literally right in front of us. People who can come as close to accepting the message of Christ as we can, and yet have trouble taking that last step to becoming baptised and joining the fold, for fear of being hypocrites.
On this day, I ask you to pray for those of us who are almost, but not quite, there yet- those who want to believe, and yet are held back, for whatever reason.
Finally, this day is an opportunity for Christians- real Christians- to recognise that you have a lot of work to do. An awful Time of Testing is upon you. Evil is on the march once more, and it regards the rest of us as mere inconveniences to be swept aside. Our culture is falling apart before our eyes; our most treasured institutions, including the Mother Church itself, are choking and dying under the rapidly rising tide of filth that threatens to overwhelm them. Our leaders lie to us and lead us to slaughter; our people are distracted by meaningless baubles and shiny toys; our children are left to suffer in the wasteland that our sins and the follies of our so-called "tolerance" have created.
Yet even now, even in this terrible darkness, there is light and there is hope. On this day of days, we have real, tangible evidence of that proof. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Christ is risen!
O God of Earth and altar, bow down and hear our cry,
Our Earthly rulers falter, our people drift and die,
The walls of gold entomb us, the swords of scorn divide,
Take not Thy thunder from us, but take away our pride
From all that terror teaches, from the lies of tongue and pen,
From all the small speeches that comfort cruel men,
From sale and profanation of honour, and the sword,
From sleep, and from damnation, deliver us, good Lord!
Tie in a living tether, the prince and priest and thrall
Bind all our lives together, smite us and save us all!
In ire and exultation, aflame with faith, and free,
Lift up a living nation, a single sword to Thee
-- G. K. Chesterton, 1906