A Happy Easter! (It dawns on 21stApril).
And now, down to business: there are two places in Jerusalem which claim to be the actual place of Christ’s tomb and, therefore, the actual spot where he rose from the dead. One of these looks and feels authentic but can’t be, (archaeological reasons); the other feels a bit fake but is genuine (archaeology again). This genuine one is the holy sepulchre. Really genuine? Yes, were told (Luke) that “the women saw the tomb” (the memory would therefore last) “and how his body was laid”.
Later, the pagan emperor, Hadrian, decided to hide the site and built a pagan temple on top of it. This, of course, had the unintended effect of marking the spot for all time.
But there are many other tangible signs of the Resurrection of Christ – the astonishing life and vigour of Christianity, its saints, its martyrs, the hope it plants in people’s hearts despite the world’s suffering, the continuing celebrations of mass at our altars where Christ comes to us in bread and wine and his one sacrifice is offered in our midst.
No wonder Leonards Wilson, later Bishop of Birmingham, when tortured by the Japanese, found comfort in the hymn
Christ, whose glory fills the skies
Christ, the true, the only light
Sun of Righteousness arise
Triumph o’ver the shades of night….
Yours with Easter greetings,
Graham Bryant (retired assistant priest)