Betrayed, abandoned, and denied by his friends. Mocked, beaten and ridiculed by the religious and secular authorities. Stripped, crucified, and left to die – his only words regarding those who treated him so unjustly were “Father forgive them”.
Yet, as we now know, in his death he took on all the sin, injustice and cruelty of the world – and as he died, its power died with him.“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities… and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
And as we come to celebrate Easter, we celebrate even more… We celebrate the door which Jesus opened to eternal life, by rising from the grave. Such a mystery is truly too great for us ever to fully grasp, even in 1,000 Easters – but by the miracle of his resurrection and his invitation to us, we can have peace with God our Father and be born again of the Spirit, that we too may share in his eternal life.
This miraculous wonder is at the very heart of the Gospel.
It is what makes us brothers and sisters in Christ, part of one body with Christ as the head. Faith in this gospel unties us in a way which nothing can divide.“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)
So this Easter, may we all celebrate the wondrous truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ – that no matter what our disagreements might be, we are indelibly united in Christ.
And this Easter, may the love and peace and blessing of Christ go out to all our brothers and sisters in Christ – affirming or not, accepting or not, theologically conservative or progressive – for when it comes down to it, Christ died and rose again for us all.“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” (John 3:16)