Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday: victory, triumph, hallelujah!

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me
(Mt 28:1-10).

Could it be true? He is risen? Who moved the stone? Has evil been overcome? Has death lost its sting?

Fairytales and nonsense. Fiction and myth. Delusion and psychological crutch.

We no longer live in a world where carpenters get resurrected – even those from Nazareth. And so the most seismic preternatural event in the history of mankind and the most crucial celebration of the Christian calendar has become just another day for a lie in, for shopping, football and DIY. Every valley is not so much exalted as made deeper and impassable. The path of faith is harder and the mountains of opposition are getting higher. The United Kingdom is now subject to such an oppressive secularism and militant atheism that freedom of religion is a thing of the past. Not, of course, freedom of worship: that remains. But it is a personal pursuit in the private realm. Christians in the UK are now oppressed to the extent that we may no longer worship Him in spirit and in truth in our daily lives: we may no longer be a living sacrifice; we may no longer run the race and we tread carefully even as we walk it, for fear of offending someone inadvertently with ‘hate speech’ or transgressing some fundamental precept of ‘equality’.

God is dead. It is time to grow up, become enlightened, take responsibility and put aside childish fantasies and superstition. And if He be not dead, He is but one in the state’s emerging pantheon, no more than merely equal to the false prophets and idolatrous gods of the non-believer.

Today is the day to remember that Jesus is not merely equal to Moses, Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha or Nanak. Christus Victor: the resurrection split history in two; it divided BC from AD. While the others are still dead and in their tombs, Jesus is alive. Hallelujah!

And still the whole earth resounds with the joy of that event 2000 years ago. He is risen indeed! Hallelujah! Just as God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and gave them the Promised Land, so He delivered mankind from sin and death that we might have eternal life. The blood of the first Passover which spared Israel’s firstborn foreshadows the second Passover and the Lamb who died that we might be born again.

To have mourned at the cross, despaired at the death, wept at the graveside, and then to have met the Risen Christ must have been an inexpressable joy. Perhaps Handel glimpsed it; maybe Beethoven; but mere words about rejoicing with the angels and archangels seem inadequate. How can His Grace possibly write about it?

His Grace wishes all of his readers and communicants a most joyous and blessed Easter.


Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"for shopping"

Sadly not.

24 April 2011 at 09:54  
Anonymous Stuart said...

It would seem that today has sparked some to note the march of secularism, atheism and "equality".

I find that odd, on this special day.

24 April 2011 at 09:56  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

I see Cardinal O'Brien is issuing a call to 'arms' to deal with the 'enemy' (that'll include me, I guess).

together with the almost obligatory shot these days at gay rights. He can certainly have enemies if he so chooses.

24 April 2011 at 10:02  
Anonymous graham wood said...

"Now vengance has been taken
On all the foes of man.
And Christ does end in triumph
The conflict He began.
Sin, death and hell and satan
Their mighty victor own,
And believers stand forgiven
before their Father's throne.

Amen and Alleluia

24 April 2011 at 10:20  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

YG, and to you also.

24 April 2011 at 10:28  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Thanks for these wonderful posts this weekend YG, Godless commerce has certainly got its claws of selfish greed and corruption into the Sacred.

"for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow" Praise be!

For did our Fathers lightening bolt not also bring our folk forth from the very soil beneath our feet, in this our Sacred Land let us all be united in Christ against a common foe. Hallelujah!

24 April 2011 at 10:36  
Anonymous Martin Marprelate said...

Amen to that! I participated in the Easter Vigil yesterday evening and re-affirmed my Baptismal Vows at the Font.

"Faith of our fathers' living still in spite of dungeon, fire and sword!"

May God Bless all who post here, believer and sceptic alike, on this Day of all Days for Christians . Alleluia!

24 April 2011 at 10:43  
Anonymous berserker-nkl said...

As neither an Atheist or a fully paid up member of Christianity but an Idealist in the Kant/Berkeley mould, I must say I found the scripture very moving.

I quote:
And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Maybe I am taking it to literally but why the earthquake when the Angel descended from heaven. Does the earthquake roll back the stone? There is no mention of the women actually going inside the sephulchre to check if Christ was still there and not risen. Or do they have such faith that they believe the Angel absolutely.

24 April 2011 at 11:16  
Anonymous Voyager said...

There is no mention of the women actually going inside the sephulchre to check if Christ was still there

You will have to do some reading and not wait to be spoon-fed. They went to anoint the body with now do some research....

24 April 2011 at 11:26  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

While the others are still dead and in their tombs

Mohammed is dead but his religion is alive and kicking; on Good Friday, it very nearly scored a spectacular triumph over Christianity in Indonesia. A peaceful Easter to all.

24 April 2011 at 11:55  
Anonymous len said...

The Resurrection. The whole point of Jesus`s mission to Earth!. Not to start a 'new religion' but to re-claim what was lost.

" The whole Adam life of nature is absolutely fallen.
It cannot be improved.
It is fallen and poisoned by the serpent in root and branch.
The whole scheme of redemption lies in the fact that God must begin again, so to speak, and make a new creation. Through the Cross He plans to bring to an end the old Adam life of the fallen race,and build a new creation in the midst of the ruins.
(J Penn -Lewis)

24 April 2011 at 11:55  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

..and on this wonderful, blessed day of days, may we remember that 400 years ago this month, the Holy Bible was made fully into the common tongue of our nation, so that we may know the truth and be set free by it.

For without it, how could we have known the truth of what Our Lord suffered for our sake and what we must do to believe and be saved.

As Tyndale replied, in words to those that accused him of creating ‘a filthy foam of blasphemies’ and which have echoed down the centuries.

‘If God spare my life,’ he said, ‘I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou dost.’

Tis truly a glorious day to remember and give thanks to Our God.

Hebrews 12:2
'Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.'

Read more:


24 April 2011 at 12:03  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Khristós Anésti!
Happy Easter Your Grace and to all you communicants.

24 April 2011 at 13:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder whether Keith Green's "Easter Song" will have been selected and sung in any of our British churches this Easter Sunday.

Keith Green died in an air accident in his early thirties but his music continues to challenge both believers and unbelievers in these postmodern days!

Beryl Polden.


24 April 2011 at 14:08  
Anonymous Paul said...

Happy Easter to all...May Jesus be in our hearts...

24 April 2011 at 15:12  
Blogger English Viking said...

Berserker nkl

Read the other 3 Gospels for more info.

Your Grace,

Nice song.

24 April 2011 at 15:45  
Anonymous Aetheling said...

Well I'm certainly celebrating Ēostre, the Anglo Saxon Goddess of fertility and rebirth. We get eggs, and chicks and daffodils and all that other lovely stuff that the Christians seem to have stolen and politicised.

24 April 2011 at 15:51  
Anonymous Caedmon's Cat said...

A Blessed Easter to you, Dr Cranmer and all your communicants. God bless you.

24 April 2011 at 16:05  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Well I'm certainly celebrating Ēostre, the Anglo Saxon Goddess of fertility and rebirth.

Oh you pagans......still trying to worship the seasons......

24 April 2011 at 16:17  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Your Grace, Happy Easter to you and yours. Easter Blessings also to fellow communicants.

24 April 2011 at 16:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it."

He rolled back the stone - and sat upon it!!

Total dominion over the best that humankind can do to sideline our omnipotent God.

Easter Blessings

24 April 2011 at 17:10  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Halleujah indeed , christ showed evil can be defeated , oddly enough without AV, although he may have used First Past The Cross.

I perhaps could add another reason to vote No to AV is that you get politicians moaning about it to the electoral commission on easter sunday (nothing will be sacred under AV voting as it would be dangerous to hold any strong anti liberal views).

A happy Easter , may we all find the soul its happy meal of the ressurection and salvation.

24 April 2011 at 17:24  
Anonymous Oswin said...

DanJo @ 10:02 surprisingly it isn't all about you; but Happy Easter to you, and to all other beside.

I've just come from leaning on my garden-gate, smoking a reflective 'pipe' in the afternoon sunshine, listening to both curlew and cuckoo. Small moments of heaven...

24 April 2011 at 17:36  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Aetheling said...24 April 2011 15:51

Fertility symbolism in the bible has been staunchly opposed by those who sought political power.

They forget the Agrarian societies these beliefs first belonged to and the strong influence the fertile crescent culture may have had.

Josephus, noted Jewish historian and Bishop of Jerusalem, stated that the Temple of the "Jews" in Jerusalem was actually the Temple of the Greeks and was the
Temple of Hercules.

24 April 2011 at 20:20  
Anonymous non mouse said...

celebrating Ēostre, the Anglo Saxon Goddess

And I do so because Anglo-Saxon Christian scholars brought literacy to English. In so propagating the Word, those Anglo-Saxons enabled the preservation and growth of our learning, language, and culture. I celebrate the beauty and wonder of their achievement, which has spread so far beyond our Holy Isles.

And if that process of the Word in English is enriched, decorated, and made joyful by the symbolism of Easter Eggs and Runny Babbits, so be it. All are part of His Creation.

Further still, I celebrate His Grace's enlightened contribution to the purpose of the Word - both earlier, and of late.

So Happy Eastertide, once more.

PS. On miracles and earthquakes: my Scripture teacher said that the significance of miracles lies not only in their happening, but in synchronicity. God effects events - when and where they will fulfill His purpose.

wv: entlesse

24 April 2011 at 21:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Easter Day is a time to celebrate the living God, take hope, joy and inspiration...not to bang on about secularisation again.

With all due respect, stop being so threatened by other religions and start enjoying and rejoicing in the faith you possess!

May everyone rejoice in Christ's resurrection over the coming year.

24 April 2011 at 22:32  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Cranmer, thanks for the posts this week. More edifying than those preached from countless pulpits/platforms.

And wonderful to hear the transcendent tones of Keith Green.


24 April 2011 at 22:59  
Anonymous stedmancinques said...

'I got me flowers to straw thy way,
I got me boughs off many a tree,
But thou wast up by break of day,
And brought thy sweets along with thee.

The sun, arising in the East,
though he bring light, and the East perfume,
If any offer to contest,
With thy arising, they presume.

Can there be any day like this?
Though many suns to shine endeavour,
We count three hundred, but we miss,
There is but One, and that one ever.'
George Herbert

Alleluyia, He is risen.
He is risen indeed, Alleluyia!

24 April 2011 at 23:39  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Oswin: "DanJo @ 10:02 surprisingly it isn't all about you; but Happy Easter to you, and to all other beside."

You obviously didn't read the link then. And look, if you're going to wish me a happy easter then I wouldn't bother having a pop just before it, it makes you look very fake and superficial.

25 April 2011 at 07:38  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

non mouse said..."And I do so because Anglo-Saxon Christian scholars brought literacy to English. In so propagating the Word, those Anglo-Saxons enabled the preservation and growth of our learning"

Lets not forget the Lion and Unicorn rampant on the Royal coat of arms, in medieval times it took a book of bestiary to help explain Christian theology in this our Cherished Isles, links between beast imagery and belief can be traced back to palaeolithic cave art.

Let the Godless Marxists stick that amount of unbroken custom and tradition in their pipe and smoke it ;o)

25 April 2011 at 07:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DanJo leave Christians alone and they will leave alone. What was the need for registered sodomites to screw the livelihood of an aging Christian couple? Couldn't the buggers find another find another venue for their filthy lifestyle, say in the glens with Pan fluting soothing music up their fundaments? Or among the Patels, renowned Muslim motel owners? I'm sick and tired of homosexuals claiming that they merely want to be left alone, when their aggresive brethren do all they can to drive Christians into the woodwork, even to the extent of orphaned children of a loving home. Cdl O'Brien may not know much about economics, but about the sodomite agenda he is spot on.


25 April 2011 at 09:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...even to the extent of depriving orphaned children of a loving home...

25 April 2011 at 09:13  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Thanks "Ivan" for your Easter message. It's a secularist's dream to see stuff like that.

25 April 2011 at 09:58  
Anonymous len said...

Jesus often got into trouble with the Pharisees because he kept company with' sinners'.
Jesus kept company with prostitutes, those despised by Society and even tax collectors!.
Jesus message was one of love and forgiveness.
One of the things God abhors is 'self righteousness'it is the only thing,THE ONLY THING, that Jesus condemned.

Jesus never condoned sin, because He is the only one who can defeat sin, he is the ONLY one who can Judge sin!.

To condemn people is Satan`s job, should we (Christians ) side with Him , or should we preach the Gospel,
The Gospel is the GOOD NEWS!!!!.
It certainly is not the good news that you are a sinner going to hell and Christians despise you!!.

I sometimes despair of what so called 'Christians' are saying to the unsaved.

25 April 2011 at 10:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Secularist my a*s, MK Gandhi, Nehru, Manmohan Singh these are examples of secularists - none of whom promote perverted, diseased lifestyles.


25 April 2011 at 10:51  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Despite our very different beliefs, Len, I respect your approach and commitment. We're living in a time of carrots rather than sticks, I think.

But back to Cardinal O'Brien. He refers to a booklet by the Christian Institute in his sermon:

Skimming through that, one could easily replace gay people for Christians in their stories. We've been persecuted, abused, murdered, discriminated against, and denied our rights ... all in the UK. The police have been rather less than helpful, historically. And media stereotypes are dreadful as a general rule. On top of that, we've always been the target of undue attention by the church as an easy hit over sexual morality because we're a minority.

However, times have changed and continue to change. We're probably going to end up as a formally secular society. Possibly even a republic. We're certainly very diverse now. And gay people have their rights recognised in law. So, I think much of what we're seeing is just an adjustment which needs to find its level.

The Christian Institute and Cardinal O'Brien really ought to be pushing for equality (by which I mean like things treated alike rather than the so-called Marxist version) instead of trying to fight for social conservatism using gay people and Muslims as their punch bags. We're all in this together, to borrow a topical phrase.

25 April 2011 at 10:59  
Anonymous Oswin said...

DanJo : 07:38 - still smarting I see?

Never mind how I look to others, just take a trawl through your endless, attention seeking, monopolising cant.

25 April 2011 at 17:26  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

What's happened to your wish for me to have a happy Easter, Oswin? I should be grateful I suppose that you're not wanting to 'repatriate' me like you do with British Muslims, lovely man that you are.

25 April 2011 at 18:13  

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