“Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised.” Mark 16:6
This year, April is the month when we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. In our Sunday services we have been hearing Mark’s account of the life of Jesus. We’ve seen how this young, charismatic rabbi has gone from preaching and healing in Galilee to the courts of the temple in Jerusalem. We’ve also seen how Jesus was more than just a rabbi, with authority over evil spirits and even nature. We’ve come to realise that this is no ordinary man. Could this be the Messiah? The one sent by God to save his people?
As we move towards the celebration of Easter, we will hear once again of how Jesus was deserted by his closest followers. We will hear how one of his inner circle will betray him to the religious authorities of the day. We will hear of how the Roman authorities will nail Jesus to a cross to die – just as he said they would.
And as we hear this story once again may we join with the centurion at the foot of the cross who said: “Surely this man is the Son of God.” For this was the event on which the whole of history turned. Here was where God took the sin of the world and our rebellion and dealt with it, once and for all.
But all this would have been in vain were it not for the fact of the resurrection. If not for the resurrection all we would have are the teachings of a young man from the middle east, to be studied along with the other rabbis, if at all.
However, the resurrection changes everything. Here we have confirmation of all that Jesus said about himself. In the light of the resurrection we see the true glory of the cross. And in the resurrection we realise that there is hope. We realise that God has not abandoned his people but through Jesus there is new life and release from the power of death and sin.
May the church be a place where the crucifixion and the resurrection are central to everything we do,
In Jesus’ name and to God alone be glory.