Share this page

Tell your friends all about St Martin’s

Connect with us

Café in the Crypt

The Café in the Crypt is the ideal spot for affordable dining in central London.

→ Read more

Christ IS Risen! Alleluia!

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 5 April 2015

They are familiar themes. A childhood exiled due to murderous enemies, a betrayal, a gruesome death, an empty tomb, a heavy tombstone and the authorities portraying the story as they would like it heard.

So much for my visit to Leicester three weeks ago during which the Dean (a former Associate Vicar here at St Martin’s) showed me the then empty tomb that now contains the mortal remains of King Richard III. Whether he was the monster who ordered the killing of the Princes in the Tower or has been besmirched by subsequent generations is something that I will leave to the historians in the sure knowledge that history is written by the victors.

The events of Holy Week and Easter, some 1450 years before Richard’s death, are equally set firmly in history. We might declare with confidence ‘Christ has risen’. The stone was rolled away. The tomb was empty. Jesus did rise from the grave, was seen by his disciples and was taken up in heaven. Photos of the tombstone for Richard brought home something of the impact of Christ’s empty tomb – and made me shudder as I thought of the ending of the opera Aida, in which she is shut in a tomb with her lover.

However, we do not declare ‘Christ has risen’ but instead that ‘Christ is risen’. Historical fact, yes, but more importantly, a present reality. In that confidence, we sing our Easter hymns. In that hope, we are called to live our lives. In that faith, we rejoice in the One who has conquered death.

Jeff Claxton