Book Review: "The Things He Said"

Book Review: “The Things He Said: The Story of the First Easter Day” by Stephen Cottrell (2009) SPCK, 80 pages.

So, here’s a quiz question for your family’s Easter Sunday lunch table - What were the first words that the risen Christ said on the first Easter Day? Not many people know. We know the story of the resurrection, but the words Jesus himself speaks have somehow evaded us. We might have expected him to say something triumphant, encouraging or profound; but in fact his words are so innocuous, and seem so casual, that somehow they fail to stick in our minds. Good Friday sermons and prayers generally focus on Jesus’ last words from the cross, and rarely place the same emphasis on the words that he spoke on Easter Day, but Cottrell demonstrates that Jesus’ post-resurrection words can speak to us as powerfully as his words from the cross, illuminating our understanding of the resurrection and its significance for each of us, personally. Jesus’ probing questions seek to open our eyes and our minds, and in the utterance of a name, he opens our hearts to the joy of knowing and being known. We accompany Mary as she awakes on that first Easter morning, we share her utter desolation, the depth of her pain, turning to bewilderment and then recognition. If you read one book this Easter, make it this one.

And the first words that the risen Christ said on the first Easter Day? – well, you’ll have to read the book to find the answer. Borrow it, free of charge, from St Helen’s Church lending shelf.

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