means in our human nature, 'so in Christ will all be made alive.' On that first Easter Day, Paul says: '...death has been swallowed up in victory.'
A Spiritual transformation
Furthermore, because Jesus was resurrected, the 'life of the age to come' broke into our world, and now we can begin to experience that 'life of the age to come'.
If I ask children what the best things about Easter is, the chances are that before long they'll come up with chocolate eggs. Originally, the Easter Egg symbolised the empty tomb of Jesus after he had been resurrected. But the egg is also a symbol of new life. Real eggs have transformation built into them. The fertilised hen's egg will eventually hatch and from inside emerges new life, a chick. And it's a new and transformed life that Jesus offers to each of us, not just for the future, but for now as the same Holy Spirit that resurrected him indwells and changes us.
'I am the resurrection and the life,' Jesus said to his friend Martha. 'The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?' 'Do you believe this?' Jesus asked Martha all those centuries ago. It is a question that Jesus gently asks each one of us today.
As we celebrate Jesus' resurrection, his bursting forth from the tomb, are we simply joining in a traditional cultural event, or have we come to Jesus in faith and been transformed by the Holy Spirit who brings us, to use Jesus' own words, 'Life in all its fullness.'
Transformation - the word means a marked change in form, nature or appearance. The classic examples are the change from a chrysalis to a beautiful butterfly or the change from a wee tadpole into a frog. There can be remarkable transformations in people's fortunes too.
Thinking about transformation took me back to one of the most famous political put downs of all time - Vince Cable's comment on Gordon Brown: 'Mr Speaker, the House has noticed the Prime Minister's remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean, creating chaos out of order, rather than order out of chaos.'
A bodily transformation…
Easter Day is all about transformation. Most obviously, of course, the remarkable transformation of Jesus' earthly body, after three days in the tomb, into a glorious renewed and resurrected body. Still recognisably Jesus, but with a very different physicality, reflecting the heavenly dimension. And the agent of that transformation was the Holy Spirit of God, the breath of God.
... for everyone
But the transformation that took place that first Easter Day affected more than simply Jesus himself; it changed the world for everyone. In a classic chapter on the resurrection, St Paul says: If
Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile: you are still in your sins....But Christ has indeed been raised, the first- fruits of those who have fallen asleep.'
The physical transformation that happened to Jesus that first Easter Day pre-figures what awaits us all. Jesus' resurrection is the basis for the Christian hope for all those loved ones who have died, as well as for us.
The cross, that brought death, dealt with our sins . Forgiveness and reconciliation with God is now available. 'For as in Adam all die,’ Paul continues. By 'Adam' he