Late in the afternoon, after ensuring Jesus was dead by means of a spear plunged into his side, the Romans permitted a few brave followers to take down Jesus’ body, wrap it in some cloths and lay it in a cave-like tomb. The next day was the Sabbath, so nothing happened, but early on Sunday morning a few women returned to the tomb, intent on finishing the task of embalming the body.
What they found was astonishing. The tomb was empty, the grave cloths discarded. Suddenly, two angels appeared. Why do you look for the living among the dead? they asked. He is not here; he has risen!
And so, for twenty centuries, Christians have greeted each other on Easter Sunday morning, proclaiming the truth on which our faith hinges: “He is risen.” “He is risen indeed”.
Sadly, I find that an increasing number of the students I speak with in RaVE classes do not believe the Easter story to be true. Many do not believe in the existence of God. Some even doubt the existence of Jesus as a real historical figure. While this no longer surprises me, it continues to disappoint me, that so many modern young (and older) people should have uncritically accepted the rationalistic-naturalistic suggestion that truth is limited to that which can be scientifically proven. At St Paul’s School, such shallow thinking will always be challenged, guided as we are by the Ethos Statement of the Anglican Schools of Southern Queensland –
Anglican schools are unapologetically committed to the intellect: the relentless, fearless pursuit of truth; the discipline of academic rigour; meticulous scientific endeavour; critical analysis and philosophical accountability; unhindered artistic exploration and expression; bold ventures of entrepreneurial development and more.
I wish all members of the St Paul’s community a blessed Easter. I trust that you will have the opportunity to be refreshed and renewed over this holiday season. And, as you slow down, I pray you will pause to remember, with the billions of other believers around the world, exactly what was achieved by the crucifixion of Jesus – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” (1 Peter 3: 18)