I think for many of us Easter has snuck up on us this year. It’s early and many of us have been distracted by other things. Others of us have journeyed Lent strongly, some along with the Christian Meditation times that Pam has facilitated. What was your Lent experience and how have you entered into the Easter journey so far?
The cross was no surprise for Jesus. It certainly didn’t sneak up on Him. It was the key reason he came to earth, who went willingly – though not without agony – to the cross for us. What love, what sacrifice! He set His face towards Jerusalem, then had the experience of the cross and beyond.
As many of you know, I had a few days in hospital last week – a ‘biblical’ three days, as Malcolm said last Sunday morning! While not without times of feeling alone and some deep reflection during recovery, I was surrounded by love, support and friendship. Jesus, on the other hand, was betrayed and abandoned and took all the pain and sin of the world upon himself. No wonder he cried out for the cup to be taken from him – though, being committed to going to the cross as He was, even this prayer was alongside “Yet not as I will, but as you will”. We see something of the depth of His pain as He cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Abandonment and separation was His experience.
Each Easter as we remember Jesus’ death and resurrection, we come to a deeper understanding of the amazing gift we have been offered. I wonder what that has looked like for you this year? As so often with life, it’s as we grasp more deeply the pain and the reality of the death that we have the opportunity to more fully enter into and celebrate the life that comes beyond that.
And that’s what we celebrate today. Death could not hold Him down. The implications of that flow more widely than we can grasp or imagine. The world is completely changed by this event. Life has indeed come from death. I’m reminded of the words of an old song: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone. Life is profoundly different because He lives. How is your life changed because of this amazing reality that we celebrate today?
He is risen! He is risen Indeed!
May we celebrate deeply and our lives be forever changed.