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Get in Angel Gear John 20:1-18, Matthew 28:1-10

The resurrection is where Christians start speaking a different language from everyone else - the language of miracle, the litany of faith. Accepting, believing, celebrating Jesus'' resurrection as the living Christ is the cornerstone that holds the church together. If Christ be not raised, Paul said, then your faith is in vain.

"Angel gear" is what New Zealand lorry-drivers call coming down the mountains with the engine off and no brakes. On Easter morning all Christians should put themselves in "angel gear," turning off all our mechanistic doubts and refusing to put the brakes on the faith and hope that Easter morning represents for each of us.

A lot of non-Christians have no problem agreeing that this first-century Jesus of Nazareth was a gifted leader, a provocative teacher, a prophet and a powerful moral figure that the world should emulate. But on this morning, Jesus' secular well-wishers and the church's members must part company. This morning we celebrate a mystery and a miracle - the greatest miracle and mystery ever known: Christ is Risen!

Then why do we so often crack that cornerstone and undermine its stability? Why do we doubt the miracle of Easter morning? Why do we diminish the mystery with all our explanations? Why do we come up with such silliness as the notion that the resurrection was...

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