An Easter Message
As you read this, we are approaching the final week of the life of Jesus. A week of celebration, of anger, of isolation and being let down; of sorrow, of confusion, of misunderstanding and an eventual, slow understanding of the impossible happening followed by utter joy. To experience that in one lifetime would be enough but to experience all that in just one week shows something of how important that week was.
Palm Sunday begins with such hope and anticipation and a sense of celebration as the crowd welcomes Jesus into the Jewish city of Jerusalem. This appears to be the beginning of Jesus declaring himself as the King of the Jews. Nearly all the disciples that week misunderstood Jesus’ purpose and ran away when the going got tough. Jesus was the only one, who with calm dignity rode into Jerusalem, knowing that He was riding to His death. He was determined to carry out the wishes of His Father and offer Himself as the Living sacrifice, the Lamb of God, a once and only sacrifice for the expiation of sins of all mankind.
Is it any wonder that He got cross with the sellers in the Temple as they ‘ripped off’ the poor trying to worship properly; the religious leaders turning a blind eye and allowing God’s house to be a den of thieves. Jesus was right to stand up for truth and justice. Judas’ betrayal of Jesus began the events of Good Friday, his act was not to get Jesus killed but to make Him stand up as the King of the Jews and to fight for freedom. Judas misunderstood the way to freedom, for the way to freedom is submitting to the will of God and Jesus did that perfectly, even if He prayed that ‘the cup be taken from Him’. His words stand out like an example for us all to follow ‘Yet, not my will but Thine’.
From the moment He had uttered those words, Jesus was on His own; the disciples fled, Peter denied Him and the sham of a trial that condemned Him began, culminating in the beating, the ridiculing, the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. As He stood before Pilate it was he, and not Jesus, that was on trial. Truth was covered in fear and handwashing disguised guilt as the cheering crowd of five days earlier becomes the hostile crowd and together they shout ‘crucify’.
This cruel death was not the end. Joseph and Nicodemus tenderly, lovingly took Jesus to a place of peace, the Tomb, which was sealed and inside which took place the greatest miracle of all. We cannot understand, we cannot know how, but we do know that Jesus was raised to Life. He broke open the tomb and in His resurrected power and glory appeared to Mary, then to the disciples, then to the two on the road, then to many more of His followers until the truth dawned. JESUS IS ALIVE.
The truth is the same today, let this be our Alleluia cry next Sunday JESUS IS ALIVE and lets all live in the power of our resurrected saviour and Lord forever more. Amen I wish you all a very Happy Easter.