“In the cross of Christ I glory, towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story gathers round its head sublime.”
John Bowring, 1825
The events that we remember and celebrate each Easter – the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth – are the most central and significant events of history. The list of abuses, tragedies and horrors perpetrated by the human race over the millennia is a long one but nothing is more horrific than the fact that when God walked among us, humbly loving and teaching us, we (collective humanity) humiliated and killed him in the cruelest manner we could devise. This is what John Bowring, back in 1825, was inferring when he described the cross as ‘towering o’er the wrecks of time’.
It wasn’t as if this came as a surprise to Jesus. No, he expected it. Furthermore, his death was the means by which God restores us to his family, forgives and purifies us. Strangely, although he was killed BY us, he died FOR us. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.” 1 Cor. 15:3
Just as the cross is the historical centrepiece of human failing, the resurrection is the centrepiece of life and hope and renewal. First off, it means that Christ did not remain dead. Note, of course, that “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” Acts 2:24 But Christ’s resurrection signifies more. He is the beginning of God’s new creation or, as St. John puts it, ‘the firstborn from the dead’. Rev. 1:5 Through the resurrection we have hope of eternal life, the restoration of creation and the ‘revealing of the children of God’. Ro. 8:19
This Easter, April 9th, we will celebrate our risen Saviour in word and song and remember his death as we gather around his table. Please join us in person, or if participating online, by preparing your own elements. Grace and peace to all.
In Christ’s love,