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A few years ago, when I was sorting through some of my late father’s possessions, I came across a book with the title “I Was There”.

As I flicked through the pages, I discovered that it was a compilation of ‘reports’ by the Daily and Sunday Telegraph Sport’s journalists, each ’s describing what it was like to have been present at such momentous occasions. They were very privileged people as the TV coverage then was nothing to what we have now!

Bearing in mind the age of the book, all the events took place in the 60’s and 70’s – for example, England’s 1966 World Cup win, British Clubs winning the European Cup; Tony Jacklin winning the British Open Golf in 1969; The Olympic Games in Rome, Mexico; British boxer Henry Cooper knocking Cassius Clay (Mohammed Ali) to the floor in 1963; the list goes on.

There are a couple of occasions that I can look back on and say ‘I was there’. Some turned out to be very sad occasions – for example, a friend and I managed to purchase tickets for the FA Cup Semi-Final in April 1989 between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest, the game lasted only a few minutes before it turned into the Hillsborough disaster. A day I will never forget for all the wrong reasons!

On a happier note, I’ve been to live music concerts and I wouldn’t have missed them for the world. I’ve even followed my football team around the country and into Europe – the less said about that at the moment the better!!!! 

Some would say that being present at the birth of their children was a precious moment. I felt extremely proud when my daughter graduated from Northumbria University. No doubt you can look back on events that are very special to you too.

I have to confess that if there is one event that I would have liked to have been around to witness, it would have to be that first Easter Morning!

As we know, Jesus appeared to a number of His followers after His resurrection. How privileged Mary was to be the first person to meet Jesus on that first Easter Sunday morning; or the 2 followers who, later in the day, walked the 7-8 miles to Emmaus? They were so caught up in their own little world, that they failed to recognise the Risen Lord!

It’s easy for us to comment in hindsight, but to have been there on that first Easter Day must have been very special! 

One thing we do know is that as far as the ‘tomb’ was concerned, Jesus was there, but He’s not there now!!! He’s alive and oh how we give Him our worship!

‘There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain:
 Then bursting forth in glorious day, Up from the grave He rose again,
 And as He stands in victory, Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
 For I am His and He is mine, Bought with the precious blood of Christ’

The foundation of our faith is built upon Resurrection Sunday. The Apostle Paul said

If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless 

1 Corinthians 15:17

Paul then goes on to confirm in v20, 

‘But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead


While we have not been able to celebrate Easter as we had hoped, one thing we do know is that the message of Easter is as powerful today as it has ever been. Our faith is not ‘useless’ and still today, millions around the world are encountering the presence of the Risen Saviour.   

While we were not there in person, we can still experience the presence of the Risen Lord in our lives each day. 

Have a blessed Easter.

Author Paul Emmerson

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