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Jesus is Risen!

I have been thinking about the contrast between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Since we usually fast on the Friday and feast on the Sunday, it has always been a marked difference in our house! But this year, I had a new revelation. It is probably not a new idea but I thought I’d share a little of how Jesus spoke to me in it.  

I woke up early one morning in Holy Week before the sun was up. I could hear the birds winding up for their dawn chorus. Their songs got louder and louder as the light began to fill the sky. As I listened to their praises my mind was drawn to the garden as the women walked to the tomb early on Sunday morning, And I wondered what it must have been like. Probably quiet and still as the birds began their chorus. The gospels suggest that there was no-one else around. Maybe they walked in silence pondering on their grief, briefly interrupting their thoughts to asked of each other how they would get into the tomb.

Although some of the gospels mention an angel at the tomb, it struck me that there was no-one else there to witness the most remarkable moment in the whole of time! There were no crowds of people, no loud shouts or trumpets sounding. Not even shepherds or kings, no choirs of angels, or even the disciples. The risen Jesus met a few women at the tomb in the quietness of an early morning garden.

How different from the scene on the hill on Good Friday. The public spectacle of crucifixion would have brought crowds of people. There would have been shouting and mocking from the onlookers, and crying and wailing from the friends of Jesus. The noise of the soldiers and the horror of the hammer and nails would have been heard for miles around. And as Jesus cried out his last words I imagine the whole of heaven and earth groaned. 

And I realised that is the point of Easter. God did not whip up a resurrection party so that we would remember a momentous occasion. He allowed the world its spectacle of death. He shook the heavenly realms by taking Jesus down to hell. And then He brought Jesus back to an early morning garden to meet with friends. Why? Because the celebration of the risen Jesus is not just an annual occasion, it is an every moment, of every day, of every year, for all eternity, victory! It is not an event for the cacophony of crowds. It is gift of grace and an outpouring of love that transforms hearts so that they can do nothing else but share the Good News from heart to heart, until the whole world is living in the fullness of life in the risen Jesus. 

I hope that you do get to celebrate Easter with your friends, church, and/or family. I hope that you sing loud praises, share Easter worship, feast on good food, eat too much chocolate and celebrate big! But most of all I hope that you meet the risen Jesus wherever you are today and let him into the quietness of your heart to share the depth of his immeasurable love with YOU. And then I pray that you will go and out and share that with others. Happy Easter. 

Samantha, Inspire Missioner

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