Well we have just celebrated Easter, perhaps the most important time in our calendar every year. I find it fascinating that the whole nation stops for four days to celebrate Easter, which for many people is simply time off, chocolate eggs and hot cross buns! As a follower of Jesus, I believe that Easter is the most significant time of the year. It is when we remember Jesus death upon a cross, His burial and resurrection. Our calendar shows ‘Good Friday’, and ‘Easter Sunday’ as the significant days over Easter, and that is correct.
Good Friday is the day on which we remember Jesus was crucified, and on Easter Sunday the day on which we remember Jesus rose from the dead. I have often wondered why we call Good Friday, GOOD Friday.
It is the day on which Jesus was crucified to a cross. There is nothing inherently good about a cross. The cross was a Roman execution device. It was public, painful, barbaric, humiliating, dark and rather depressing. It was death displayed as a protracted statement of who was really in charge.
Death is final, it is dark, sad and depressing, there is no denying that. Yet the marvel of the Easter story, is that, what was an instrument of suffering, of darkness, and depression, soon became freedom, light, and hope.
God used a tool of darkness to shine light on all humanity.
The Easter story does not simply start and finish with the cross; there is a prelude and a sort of conclusion. Early on in the Gospel accounts we read that Jesus proclaims bold things about what He has come to earth to do.
We read in Luke 4:14-21 that Jesus went to the synagogue and was handed a scroll of scripture to read aloud,
17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”[f]
We do remember Jesus' death upon the cross, but also remember and celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the grave! God used a tool of darkness to shine light on all humanity. The words that Jesus proclaimed from the prophet Isaiah had been fulfilled. Through his death and resurrection, God used a tool of death to bring life, He proclaimed good news to the poor, freedom to the oppressed, recovery of sight to the blind! May you walk in the light of Jesus’ resurrection, embracing hope for the future, and may the light of Jesus shine brightly in your life.
Grace & Peace