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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

‘Now I should remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me.’ (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)

Paul goes on to criticise those in Corinth who are suggesting that there is no resurrection of the dead. Indeed, the apostles’ claim was that Jesus’ resurrection was more than an event in time, a miracle among miracles, but an event that has cosmic implications, as well as a personal hope for salvation. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross brought about an unimaginable change of relationship between God and the whole of creation. The relationship that had been destroyed by human sin has been restored by Christ’s obedience. Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians, explains this in the following words:

‘For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 15: 21-22)

It was the resurrection of Jesus that threw a completely new light upon the crucifixion two days before, and on the meaning of life and death as a whole. Jesus’ death, which to the eyes of the world was one of suffering and defeat, was, in truth, a defeat of death itself. In other words, the death of Christ brought about ‘atonement’. In the Jewish tradition this word referred to an individual’s reconciliation with God by means of repentance and confession of ones’ transgressions. In the Christian tradition the word ‘atonement’ takes on a subtlety different meaning, referring to the reconciliation of God and humanity brought about by the redemptive life and death of Jesus.

Through Christ humanity is now restored to what God originally intended, and which was destroyed when Adam and Eve turned away from God’s love and grace and sought their own glory. The season of Lent, which precedes Easter, is an opportunity for us to repent, to turn away from sin, and to turn towards the risen Christ, that we might joyfully celebrate the victory over death on Easter Day.  

With my prayers for a holy Lent, and a blessed Easter

Fr Colin

Lent, Holy Week and Easter

Central to the faith that we profess is the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These events cannot be separated from one another. As Christians we believe that Our Lord died on Good Friday, was buried in a tomb, and rose again from the dead on Easter Day. In the Gospels we read that on the third day the tomb where Jesus’ body had been laid, was found to be empty. And although the empty tomb appears to be enough for at least one of the disciples to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead (John 20:8-9), in reality an empty tomb proved nothing. Grave robbers were not uncommon in first century Palestine. It was the appearance of the resurrected Christ to his disciples that transformed a frightened group of men and women into courageous evangelists of the ‘Good News’ (which is what the Greek word gospel, means).

The earliest written account of the resurrection of Jesus comes in the first letter of Paul to the fledgling Church in Corinth, believed to have been written around 53-54 AD, possibly as much as 15 years before the first Gospel was written down. In Chapter 15 of that letter Paul gives a summary of the resurrection belief in these words:

Easter 2023 issue

From the Vicar, Fr Dr Colin Lawlor

Alfreda’s new hat,
courtesy of the Knit and Natter Group