This month, we approach the events of Holy week – Jesus and his disciples sharing a Passover meal; a prayer of anguish in the garden of Gethsemane; and finally Jesus standing before the authorities ending in abuse, flogging and his crucifixion.
Our Lent bible studies have been thinking about the prayers of Jesus, and Jesus final prayer ends on the cross – Father forgive them for they know not what they do.
It seems as if the powers of this world have won, that Jesus and God’s divine plan for us has been defeated.
This is not the case! In Jesus we learn that death is not the end, when three days later the grave is empty and Jesus appears to his followers.
The mess humankind made in the Garden of Eden is put right again in another garden. Mary, sees the tomb empty and supposing Jesus to be the gardener, asks him where they had put her Lord. And simply by speaking her name, Mary recognises Jesus risen again.
And this is what we celebrate at Easter- a God who gave his son. Jesus the one who accepted upon himself our own failures and selfish choices, going to the grave with them. But Jesus was not defeated by them – he rose to new life, showing us that life is more than what happens here, Jesus offers abundant life, new life in all its possibility, eternal life.
So if we are ever tempted to look around and despair at what we see, here are some words from Desmond Tutu:-
‘Goodness is stronger than evil; Love is stronger than hate; Light is stronger than darkness; Life is stronger than death; Victory is ours through Him who loves us.’
Christ is risen, He is risen indeed Allelulia!
Your friend and minister,