By Rev Richard Walker – Vicar of St. John’s Church, Yeadon

EASTER Sunday in our home requires a toy hammer.

It has become a tradition in our family since my children were small.

The hammer is the only item remaining from a long discarded toy tool set and it has been kept for one purpose only: to crack open the array of chocolate eggs waiting to be devoured during the Easter season!

The egg is one of the pre-Christian symbols that the Church chose to adopt in the early centuries of Christianity.

It is used as a picture of the new life experienced by those who believe in Jesus, made available through his own resurrection from the dead on the first Easter Sunday.

Eggs are cracked open to reveal a chick, and the tomb of Jesus was ‘cracked open’ to reveal the fact that it was no longer occupied: Christ had risen.

I wonder what you make of the resurrection story?

The claim that the crucified Jesus was physically raised from the dead, to be alive for evermore, is central to Christian belief.

It is the vindication of the message of Jesus, it is the guarantee of forgiveness and eternal life, and it is the beginning of God’s work of re-creating the whole cosmos.

So, the resurrection is no minor issue; it is the very foundation of the faith.

As the apostle Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is futile” (1Corinthians 15:17).

Of course, many today would discount the story as wishful thinking by Jesus’ followers or a legend that has developed over the course of time.

But how many have seriously examined the evidence for themselves?

One person who decided to do this was legal journalist Lee Strobel.

Starting from a place of scepticism, Strobel became convinced by the evidence itself of the truth of the Easter story.

He writes about his journey to faith in the bestselling book, The Case for Christ.

I wish you a very happy Easter and hope you enjoy your chocolate eggs.

May I also encourage you to ‘crack open’ the events of the first Easter and see where the evidence leads you.