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20th April: Eternal Easter

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again. Romans 6:9

Every doctor is familiar with childbirth. The bringing of another baby into the world can be just routine -- a job which calls for know-how and appropriate skill and care. It is easy to overlook the wonder of it, the emergence of a new life. But it is indeed wonderful. Wonderful also is the birth of a soul into the kingdom of God. It all looks back to the rising of Jesus from the dead.

During a visit to Leningrad in the early 1920s, Hugh Redwood went into the Cathedral. He describes the scene in his book God in the shadows. It was just before Easter. Despite the strong anti-God campaign being waged by the Soviet government, the great church contained many worshippers. One, who was clearly a lady, though her dress was poor, saw him watching her and addressed him in English.

'You are an Englishman, sir,' she said, ' and in England it is Easter now. But here we have no Easter, because Christ has been abolished by law. What wickedness! Christ is not dead, even in Russia. They think that they have taken him away, as they have taken away our Easter, but we shall keep Easter in our hearts, and there he will rise again...'

For many, Easter comes and goes. To some it means nothing. to some it brings a fleeting glimpse of hope, but then is put aside for another year. For the Christian who keeps Easter in his heart, it is present all the year round.

Christmas tells of a baby in a manger and of a supreme miracle. God was made man on a day in history. For the Christian who keeps Easter in his heart, it tells of new God-given life born in every human heart that opens itself to the living Christ.

Good Friday tells of a Man on a Cross, and a superb act of love. God offered himself as a ransom to save us. For the Christian who keeps Easter in his heart, it tells of pardon, peace and the power to live, freely bestowed by the living Christ. And because Christ is alive, it tells of hope -- not only hope for us who follow him but hope to take out to others who know no such hope.

Eternal God, living Lord, you have given us a living hope
by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Grant that we, being risen with him, may seek the things that
are above and may rejoice in eternal life and in certain hope.

Further reading: Rom 6:1-11.


A copy of this devotional is available in Italian on the website of AMICO, the Christian Medical Fellowship of Italy.

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