The Archbishop of Canterbury has spoken to journalists about the reality of Jesus’ resurrection and the faithfulness of God.
Justin Welby was speaking at the London headquarters of News UK, the company which publishes The Times, The Sun and The Sunday Times.
He said he is a Christian because of what he sees in Jesus – God came to earth and “bore all that was wrong in this world on his shoulders”.
Jesus with us
The Archbishop was speaking on the anniversary of the 7/7 attacks in London, and he began the talk with silence and a prayer for victims of terrorism.
In his talk, on the subject of ‘Why I am a Christian’, he spoke of the suffering he experienced when his daughter was killed in a car crash in 1983.
He said: “Christian faith doesn’t hide us from the cruelties of life. Jesus himself faced every aspect of the cruelty of life that is possible.
“It’s just in it he is there”, he commented, “in the middle of the mess with us”.
Jesus conquered sin
The Archbishop continued: “I’m a Christian because Jesus Christ found me and called me, around 40 years ago”.
The leader of the Anglican Communion commented that “the best answer to where was Jesus’s body after the crucifixion is that he rose from the dead”.
He added: “I’m a Christian because it makes sense to me, because Jesus rose from the dead, he conquered death and sin and suffering.”
God will not fail
Speaking about God’s love in sending his Son into the world, he said Jesus “came alongside us and lived in the middle of the absolute foulest mess and himself died unjustly young in great agony and bore all that was wrong in this world on his shoulders”.
The Archbishop said, “when I’ve failed he’s picked me up and healed and strengthened me”.
He explained: “That’s why I’m a Christian. And that’s why, whatever happens, whatever stupid mistakes, I know that even at the end of it all, even if everything else fails, God doesn’t, and he will not fail even to the end of my life”.
Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, welcomed the comments which come as the Church of England is facing calls to depart from its historic biblical foundations.
Mr Hart said: “It is good to see the Archbishop so clearly affirming the incarnation, death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“These biblical truths are essential to the Christian faith.
“As well as the pressure from liberalism – which denies salvation exclusively in Christ – we are in a period of history when the Church of England is under pressure from liberals to change its definition of marriage and there are attempts in Parliament to introduce assisted suicide. There are also constant secular threats to take the UK away from its Christian heritage.
“In this challenging climate I’d urge Archbishop Welby to also be resolute in standing firm on biblical ethics.”