At the end of this month we will celebrate Easter. Easter is a celebration of new life. Eggs are symbolic of new life and thus are an appropriate symbol to remind us of the meaning of the festival.
The birth of a new baby into a family is a cause of joy and celebration. But it is not at Easter that we remember the birth of Jesus, but at Christmas. Although Easter is a celebration of new life, it is also the time when we commemorate the death of Jesus – so how does this fit together?
After Jesus died on the cross, he was buried in a tomb cut out of rock with a large stone rolled across the entrance. Jesus had been executed by Roman soldiers on a Friday and then the tomb Jesus was laid in was guarded by Roman soldiers all through Saturday. But on the Sunday morning when some friends of Jesus visited the tomb they found the stone had been rolled away. Where Jesus’ body should have been they just saw the linen cloths in which he had been wrapped for burial. Jesus had risen from the dead! No other explanation fits the historical facts.
Jesus’ resurrection is truly new life! Jesus taught us that we all need new life. He told a religious teacher “Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can’t see God’s Kingdom” (John 3:3 WEB). Most of us wonder at some time whether this life and the things we see around us are all that there is. Jesus reveals to us that there is indeed more to life. Through him we can know God. Through trusting in him, our wrongdoings can be put to death so that we can find newness of life. Millions of Christians down the ages are witness to the reality of this new life – a life that begins with forgiveness for all that is past.
This Easter, every church will be celebrating this new life. Feel free to come and join us – and to know this forgiveness and new life through Jesus for yourself too.