While Good Friday commemorates the horrific death of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, Easter marks his glorious resurrection from the dead as he had foretold.
The events of the first Good Friday proved that Jesus was truly man. His resurrection alone proved he was truly God. No one has any difficulty in believing in the death of Jesus. But for modern man, powerfully influenced by a scepticism which rejects the possibility of supernatural intervention in worldly affairs, the resurrection has been widely interpreted as a literal impossibility to be explained away as a psychic experience of the early Christian community - as argued by American Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong in his book, Resurrection, and by many other writers.
But the early Christians did not live and suffer merely for a good man who had been executed. They died for a man who proved he was God. In fact, the obstacles to faith in the first century AD were as great as they are today. Surely the reason why the Gospels record three instances where Jesus raised people from the dead - his friend Lazarus; the son of the widow of Nain, a town in Judea; and the young daughter of Jairus, the synagogue official - was to show that Jesus had power over death. As he raised them from the death, so he himself was to rise from the dead.
Yet unlike those three, who were raised in their human bodies, the Gospels record that Jesus was raised in his glorified body, and seen by literally hundreds of his followers, in Jerusalem and Galilee before his Ascension.
Even then, there were sceptics, such as the disciples on the road to Emmaus and the apostle Thomas, but Jesus himself convinced them he had, indeed, risen. He sent his disciples forward, saying: "Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world."
Peter Westmore, Publisher (E-mail - email@example.com)