We have journeyed together through Lent, which has given us time to reflect on Jesus’ journey to the cross. He endured temptation, he challenged the abuse of power by the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Chief Priest and the Roman rulers. But most of all he challenged the sin in, and brokenness of, the world. All the sin that had ever been, all the sin that was, and all the sin there would ever be. That includes our sin too. Through his life, death and resurrection he bridged the gaping chasm of sin to reconcile us to God.
Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him and he was God. And because of that, because of the sin he took upon himself for us, he had to die. If you’ve done the crime, you do the time. Someone had to take the rap, to pay the price – God chose to do that for us. Perhaps the most shocking thing to realise is that the one responsible for Jesus’ death wasn’t the Pharisees or the Sadducees. It wasn’t the Chief Priest or Herod. It wasn’t even Pilate. It was God. Such was the love of God for us and this world that he created that He was prepared to step into the gap and pay the price by allowing himself – his one and only Son to die for us. And that death was a death that Jesus entered into of his own free will…he chose the cross. Please, do think about that.
No wonder Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. Her very world view, and the fabric of her reality had been ripped to pieces. How could she not weep when confronted with the reality that her son, God’s son, had to step into that brokenness, to be the scapegoat, to pay the price for us and the enormity of our sin?
And just as the angels said to Mary, we too are asked in our brokenness “why are we crying?” We are asked that question by Jesus too. We are always asked that question…“why are you crying?” The reality, the enormous truth that we have to grapple with and take on board is that Jesus conquered sin and death for us, once and for all. We must live our lives in the knowledge and light of that truth and the truth of Jesus’ resurrection even if we are mindful of the journey that he had to take to get there. We love because God first loved us. We forgive because God forgives us. We are called to live as Easter people, walking in the light of life – that abundance & newness of life Christ accomplished for us and calls us into, and living filled with hope because of his resurrection and exaltation. Through Jesus, the Kingdom has broken through, is breaking through and will break through. Through Jesus, we have confidence that another day will dawn and we will prevail.
Whatever start to this year you may have had, whether bereavement, and grief, illness, relationship problems, personal suffering and tragedy or quite simply feeling you have messed up and are unworthy may you know Christ’s death was enough. He will not leave you or forsake you….nothing can extinguish the light of Christ, not even death. Christ is risen, He is risen indeed. Live in joy, wonder and awe knowing the cross is empty. Live as Children of Light.
Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honour, glory and might,
now and in all eternity.