Rev'd Charles - March 2018

posted 13 Apr 2018, 04:49 by Richard Jones

View From the Vicarage 

Back 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 and backpack, he had 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. 

 Not surprisingly, 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. You see the eye witness testimony of those who saw Jesus crucified and then placed in a tomb (Mathew 27:57-66, Luke 23:50-54) was that three days later the tomb was empty, and the body was gone (Luke 24:1-3, John 20:1-10). But then hundreds of people reported seeing him alive again (John 20:11-21:25, 1 Corinthians 15:1-8) The fact is that Jesus’ body has never been found and that is why there is no special place to visit where he is buried.  So unlike the prophet Muhammad (571- 632) whose body rests within the walls of the mosque in Medina, or Lenin (1870-1924) whose embalmed corpse lies in a crystal casket in a mausoleum in Red Square Moscow, or Winston Churchill (1874 -1965) who is buried at St. Martin’s Church Bladon or Elvis Presley (1935 -1977) who lies at Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee, Jesus is not so much dead and buried, but alive and living in the hearts and lives of all who acknowledge him to be Saviour and Lord (1 John 4:13-15). That is why although Christianity is rooted in real historical events it is not stuck in the past. It is a living faith because Jesus is alive (Luke 24:5). 

 But what difference should this make to Christians today? Well, in place of fear in the face of death there can be confidence because of the victory of Christ (1 Corinthians15:57). And in place of concern for self there should be compassion for others that they too might come to know the love of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20). For Christ “died for all, so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but only for him who died and was raised to life for their sake” (2 Corinthians 5:15).  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!” Therefore let us live as those who have been redeemed by the cross, restored by the resurrection and renewed by the Holy Spirit for Jesus said “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11).