NEW LIFE AND HOPE

In Notre Dame a shaft of sunlight illuminated an empty cross. All around were charred, blackened and broken pieces – a picture to me of a damaged world in need of mending and redemption.

The cross of Christ in Jerusalem two millennia ago was the means by which God redeemed. The reality for human beings is that our bodies will die. We’ve seen that only this morning with news from Sri Lanka. The hope for believers, including those who died at church this Easter morning, is that death is not the end. Fear, confusion, and deep sorrow accompanied the women to the tomb of Jesus. But then things changed: “Come and see!” said an angel. They went, they saw. And maybe at that point they remembered Jesus’ words from weeks before, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will never die, but will have eternal life.”

“Go and tell!” continued the angel. And they did. Their testimony, and that of many others, has resonated throughout the centuries since that day, as is evident in the millions of people worldwide who will be singing and telling the joy and reality of Christ’s resurrection this very day.

The world which we inhabit is bewildering. There are still tears. Jesus wept at the death of his friend. He weeps with us in our trials and mourning. Yet it is only through his death that we have hope – the defeat of evil and death itself through his sacrifice and resurrection.

The total fulfilment of God’s plan will come later when there will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. Mary Magdalene met the risen Christ in a garden and it is in our gardens that we see evidence of new life. On this Easter Day may you know that, through Jesus, grief can turn to joy, suffering to healing, despair to hope and death to life. “Come and see!” “Go and tell!”

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