Wednesday, 27 March 2013

It's not about the bunny!

The season of Easter is probably one of the busiest times in the Christian calendar and it is also a time which generates many different emotions.  Holy week commences with Palm Sunday when we are reminded of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  Maundy Thursday and Good Friday are more solemn times as each of us reflects on and are reminded of the final hours of Jesus as he shared in the last supper with the disciples and then finally the ultimate sacrifice made by Christ for each and every person on the cross.  This time may bring much sadness as well as a sense of thanks giving to God for His sacrifice.  For me however, I find Easter Sunday to be the day that excites me.

The Easter season is a time of hope and new beginnings.  What is this hope?  What is the new beginning?  When Jesus gave his life he became the final sacrifice for the world.  Through his death, our sin; the very thing that for so long has separated us from God was erased and the cross became a bridge that restored our relationship with God.  It is the resurrection however; the very thing that we celebrate on Easter Sunday that brings us hope and a new beginning.  

In a poem called “He Was One OF Us” by a well known Christian writer called Helen Steiner Rice she writes:

He was born as little children are and lives as children do,

So remember that the Saviour was once a child like you,

And remember that He lived on earth in the midst of sinful men,

And the problems of the present existed even then;

HE was ridiculed and laughed at in the same heartbreaking way

That we who fight for justice are ridiculed today;

He was tempted… he was hungry… he was lonely…he was sad…

There’s no sorrowful experience that the Saviour has not had;

And in the end He was betrayed and even crucified,

For He was truly “One Of Us” –

He lived on earth and died;

So do not heed the skeptics who are often heard to say:

“What does God up in heaven know of things we face today”…

For, our Father up in heaven is very much aware of our failures and shortcomings

And the burdens that we bear; So whenever you are troubled

put your problems in God’s Hand

For He has faced all problems and He will understand.
 (Helen Steiner Rice)

This poem is a great reminder to us that God knows everything about us.  He knows where we have been and where we are and yet he still chose to give his life for each of us.  The resurrection of Jesus reminds us that the old is finished and through Jesus resurrection we are given the gift of a new start, a new beginning.  God does not require anything of us to receive this gift of a new beginning other than to say to him that we wish to receive it.

We live in a broken world, a world that desperately needs Jesus.  People living in poverty, and in a world of violence and corruption.  There are people we know, people we have done life with that have never been told of the love that God has for each of us, for the pain and sacrifice he placed upon himself so that we may each be set free and the relationship with God restored.  

 The Easter season reminds us that there is hope, and that hope is in Jesus.  The gospel of John tells us that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosover believes in him shall not perish but will receive eternal life." (Jn 3:16)  This hope and new beginning is available to each of us today.  If you do not know Jesus or how to receive his gift then please head to your local church this weekend and hear God’s message to you.  I am sure there are many there who would be able to answer your questions.  

Hope and new beginnings are only found in Jesus Christ.  May God bless you all this Easter.

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