Encountering the Risen Christ

From Easter to Pentecost: the message of the resurrection and how it can change us

Mark Bradford

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How can we encounter the risen Lord Jesus in a life-transforming way? How can we be equipped and strengthened to share the message of the resurrection with the world?

The post - resurrection encounters between Jesus and the disciples provide us with some of the most profound and personal moments to be found in all of Scripture. The risen Christ comes to his disciples in all their brokenness - their sadness, fear, doubt, shattered dreams and failure - and calls them to a future filled with hope, confidence, confirmed faith, new beginnings and restored lives.

Encountering the Risen Christ reflects on the main characters in the post - resurrection accounts and shows how we too can encounter Jesus Christ in a life - transforming way. The seven chapters plus discussion material can be used across the seven weeks from Easter to Pentecost in individual reflection or group study, or at any time of year.

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Author info

Mark Bradford is a curate at Holy Trinity Church, Ripon. Prior to training for Anglican ministry at St John's College, Nottingham, he was a secondary school teacher in Harrogate, teaching mainly History and Politics. He also worked part-time for three years, training and discipling 18-25 year olds in Leeds with the Oasis Trust.


Church Times 24 March 2016

..., Mark Bradford's Encountering the Risen Christ is of equal stature. Refusing to confine the resurrection to Easter Day, he sets out six weekly studies (to be used personally or within a group during the Easter season), steering a course from disorientation, through reimagination to transformation.The six subjects are: Mary
Magdalene; the disciples in the Upper Room; Thomas; the Emmaus Road; Peter; and Matthew's Great Commission; each ending with a pause for reflection and group questions.

Bradford's book grew on me as it picked up a massive momentum. It is unfettered by picky biblical criticism, although he occasionally ties himself in knots when trying to square contradictory gospel passages; something like literary or form criticism could come to his rescue and enlarge rather than diminish his message.

Bradford is recently ordained, but draws on his previous experience as a secondary school teacher and youth leader to produce a crisp commentary: substantial, with a light touch. He taps a rich vein of spirituality and theology from the Church Fathers to the modern day, citing 96 sources in little more than 140 pages.

Phrases that leap off the page include: "We either evangelise or fossilise," "We are an Easter people living in a Good Friday world," "Folk want empathy not eschatology," "Christ is the annoying knot of gristle at the very centre of the Christian Church," "When I turn my back on the poor, I deny the resurrection," "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it," "Never trust a leader without a limp!" and "Instead of counting Christians, we need to weigh them."

The most poignant quote for me was when the thriving Mothers' Union in Iraq asks mothers, before their baby's baptism, "Do you really want to become a martyr?"

The Rt Revd David Wilbourne, Assistant Bishop of Llandaff.

I have in a sense experienced a 'reversal' in regard to Easter. Instead of the build up leading to the finale on Easter Sunday, it is now viewed as the starting date of something new. Life as a Christian begins on Easter Sunday following the resurrection and it is from here on that the path one needs to take begins. This is admirably covered by Mark Bradford and has whetted the appetite in terms of what needs to be done next.

Johannes Buchanan

Book details

  • ISBN: 9780857464286
  • Published: 22 January 2016
  • Status:
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 160
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Bible Reflections for Older People - January 2016