As far as the wider community is concerned, Easter means chocolate and a 4-day weekend. The roads are full of cars, but they’re heading out of town, not to church.
And yet it is the high point of our calendar. We remember the death of the Son of God, his Resurrection and the ushering in of the New Age… events of truly cosmic significance.
So in the busyness of life, let us not be surprised by Easter, as if it has snuck up on us! Let us pray now that God would ready our hearts for a time of humble reflection and joyful celebration. Let us dwell on Jesus in our Gospel readings: so perfect in strength, so gentle in disposition, and so powerful in love.
In today’s reading, Jesus is on trial before the Roman Governor. It’s do or die, and yet he doesn’t say much. But the immensity of his character and his determination of purpose shine a light on the other characters in the story. There’s the weak judge, the jealous leaders, the rebellious prisoner, and the violent soldiers. Up against Jesus, the flaws of humanity are exposed.
I think this is partly how Easter works as a festival: Jesus shines light into our lives too. That light shines in 2 ways;
- His extraordinary character reveals our weaknesses and failures. Many of us don’t need to be reminded of these. But regardless of our state of mind, Jesus is the wonderful example of humanity at its best. And if we’re honest we acknowledge that in contrast, we fall short. We too have been weak, jealous, rebellious, and even violent.
- Jesus’ inaction in the face of all the torment does not come from fear or confusion (as our inaction often does). In his case, it comes from determined love and purpose. His intention is to bring the light of salvation to the world. So his light shining also cleanses and revives. The light of his love is like a warm sunrise over a dark and cold terrain.
Are you ready to celebrate? Let’s spend these remaining 2 weeks in prayer and reflection on the Easter story. Hallelujah, what a Saviour!