The Wonders of the Resurrection

Time to take a break from all things Skripal and look at something rather more wonderful and momentous – the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Below is the text of a sermon I am preaching at Christ Church Salisbury on Easter Sunday, mostly based on 1 Corinthians 15. It’s long. But hopefully not too long! Let’s begin with a few rather grand statements: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most momentous and pivotal point in history. It is the earth-shattering […]

Finding the Real Jesus on Resurrection Sunday

It is no exaggeration to say that Jesus is the most (wilfully) misunderstood and (wilfully) misquoted person in history.  At no time is this more clearly seen than around Easter and Christmas, when people who normally show no interest in him come forward to use him as a figurehead for their particular social or political cause. One Tweet I saw, for example, claimed that “Jesus was a radical whose anti-greed message of peace & love scared Establishment of his day.” […]

Happy Resurrection Day

  Nobody prior to the resurrection anticipated it. The Jews of the 1st century believed in a general resurrection at the end of time, something that is clear from Martha’s statement to Jesus about Lazarus, that “I know he will be raised on the last day”. But they had no concept of a resurrection in the midst of time. You can read this time and time again in the reaction of the disciples when Jesus tells them what is to […]

Why is This Friday so Good?

You are in the first century and you are part of a conspiracy trying to produce tracts persuading people that a certain man was God’s Messiah (Anointed One, or Christ). Here’s a few tips to make it authentic: 1. Avoid putting in anything other than an ordinary birth narrative. Remember, your audience is just not going to go in for any claims of Messiahship from someone whose circumstances of birth might be shrouded in controversy. 2. At all costs avoid […]

The Light of the World is Risen Indeed

If Friday was Good, Sunday was better. Friday was the day that saw the Light of the World crucified on a tree, and the Land plunged into darkness. “And so the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.” It was good, however, because that death was not in vain. It was the payment for the sins of His people, and it marked the end of the Old Creation. The next day was […]

A Very Good Friday: The Irony of Ironies

As an atheist, I found the idea that Christians (at least in the Anglo-Saxon world) refer to this day as “Good” Friday rather amusing. How on earth could the commemoration of a man’s death be considered “Good”. Weirdos! As a Christian, I still wonder how this day can be described as “Good”, but from a completely different perspective. On the one hand, there is nothing Good about the death of Jesus Christ. It is the most horrendous death of all. […]