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St Matthew’s Easter

Each of the four gospels has a distinctive message about the great surprise of Easter Day and beyond, an Matthew certainly has plenty to say about it. As I did last week, I will now provide a short summary of my podcast for those who want a quick outline of my thoughts about the Gospel reading but are sick of the sound of my voice…
1. The whole of Matthew’s gospel (and of the New Testament) is based on the resurrection and presupposes it as an ongoing fact of the Church’s experience.
2. Matthew is at pains to emphasize that this brute fact came as a total surprise to those who first experienced it.
3. Matthew is careful to rebut accusations coming from the Pharisees, who are the main opponents of the expanding Christian movement in his own time, that the resurrection experience of the Church had been manufactured out of their prior expectations.
4. The Christian mission, in Matthew’s consistent view, had Galilee as its base of origin and expansion, rather than Jerusalem (in contrast to Luke’s viewpoint), signalling a rejection of Israel’s holy city as centrepiece of the Kingdom of God.
5. The Church now stands in a new relationship with Jesus. Despite a great diversity in the faith of believers, they all share in an ongoing experience of his presence in their midst as the leader of his ongoing mission into all the world.
For those of you who still want to hear what I have to say, you can find it here…

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