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The Somerset Guardian, 13th April 2022

All Christian belief depends upon the Resurrection, which is why the joy of Easter is even greater than that of Christmas. As St. Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile: you are still in your sins”.

Easter, therefore, shows how Christ conquered death.  He went to it willingly, accepting his fate, even though he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that the cup might pass from his lips, he ended his prayer by saying that his Father’s will be done. He was arrested and treated as a criminal even though he had done no wrong.  He was beaten and even his clothes were divided by lot among the soldiers. He then suffered the deliberately cruel and humiliating death of crucifixion, writhing on the Cross, that instrument of torture that became the sign of salvation.

Yet the power of death could not hold on to one who was sinless, it could not keep God incarnate in its bonds so he rose again physically not just as a spirit. St. Thomas’s testimony, so human and so powerful, who doubted and then saw the risen Christ left us with the reassurance “blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed”.

The events from Christ’s triumphal yet humble entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, the Last Supper when the sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted, the agony in the garden when Christ was effectively abandoned by his sleeping disciples, the Crucifixion and then victorious Resurrection are the most important events in history. Through knowledge and faith in them we are all saved and as St. Paul said “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?”.

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