Rector’s Letter March 2016

JeffersonBack From The Dead

A few years ago, BBC2’s ‘Horizon’ programme reported on what has been called the archaeological discovery of the century. In the early 1990’s high in the Alps, two climbers stumbled across a mummified body inside a glacier.

At first, it was assumed that the death must have been recent. Only later did it emerge that this body had been entombed for more than 5,000 years.

As the body was examined, it became clear that he was aged between 35 and 40 years, he was roughly 5’2” tall and weighed around 7 stone. It appeared that he had first been wounded by an arrow, and then overcome by the extreme weather, and in a state of total exhaustion, he had sought shelter in a gully. Putting down his axe, bow and backpack, he laid his head on the rock. Soon his clothes froze to the rough ground and he was no longer aware that he was freezing to death.

Well, that discovery aroused an astonishing level of interest . . . but what would arouse even more interest is if the body of Jesus Christ could be found.

For the testimony of those who saw Jesus crucified and then laid in a tomb was three days later, the tomb was empty, the body was gone and hundreds of people reported seeing him alive.

The disciples, who were hiding behind locked doors for fear of being arrested, were transformed by their experience of Jesus’ resurrection, so that in place of fear there was now faith, in place of paralysis there was now power – and within a few years Christianity began to spread throughout the whole of the Roman Empire.

And it is the resurrection which vindicates Jesus’ claim to be the only “Way to God, the Truth about God, and the Life” – real life (John 14:1-6) for “no-one goes to God,” said Jesus, “except by me.”

That is why although the discovery of the Ice Man may be interesting, it will hardly transform your life, nor determine what will happen to you after your death – whereas the resurrection of Jesus is the greatest event the world has ever known.

For once we place our faith in Him and ask His forgiveness for ignoring and rejecting Him, He breathes His new life into us, and enables us to live in the certainty of enjoying a resurrection life with Him when we die.

So although the Ice Man is indeed a unique archaeological discovery, the greatest discovery we can make is that “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again!”
May you know the joy of the Risen Christ this Easter.

With best wishes,

Charles Jefferson