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Why I Believe in Easter

April 20, 2019 by

woodcut of the legend of Rachoff
Woodcut by author’s father, Klaus Barth. Based on the story of Rachoff.

Easter is almost here, and I’ve just reviewed my almost-completed post and binned it. Wasn’t worth posting. It’s a warm day in Sussex finally, clear but hazy and the kids in the yard outside are running around barefoot. Bluebells a few days from peak, but a shimmer all through the chestnut wood. Cherry blossoms. Tiny breeze. Wood anemones, celandine, daffodils are all out. Picture postcard Easter weather. Bank holiday weekend coming up. And of course Easter has nothing to do with this.

I’m mulling over a discussion I had recently with a young atheist, a chap who was raised Christian but has come to the viewpoint that the whole thing is a story, a fable, rubbish. He’s too clever by half to fall for that sort of thing and I didn’t try to change his mind. Easter is of course all about redemption from sin and if you don’t want redemption, if you are happy with the condition you are in, then there is no point in believing in Jesus or any part of the Easter story.

But for those of us who do want redemption, who see ourselves as part of the whole sorry lot that denied and betrayed Jesus, who ran away, who were too self-centered to understand, then it’s almost the only thing you can believe. On Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the dead, and everything changed.

In the short story, Rachoff, by Karl Josef Friedrich, the title character encounters Jesus one night in a dream. He wakes up in the morning and runs into the dawn shouting, “Brother Jesus, I am coming!” That’s what Easter Sunday means.


About the author


Ian Barth

Ian lives at the Darvell community in East Sussex, UK with his wife Olivia and their four boys.

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