So it’s almost Easter. What does that mean to you? I like the chocolate, the hot cross buns, the holiday, the sunshine and the signs of new life in nature as much as the next person, but is there more to it than that?
At church on Sunday some children made an Easter garden. It looks awesome (see the photo below). After the service it was placed on the baptistry at church (where people get ‘dunked’ when they choose to follow Jesus!). Sadly a lot of stuff gets dumped on the baptistry. I’d like to see less stuff getting ‘dumped’, and more people getting ‘dunked’. Anyway…the Easter garden shows the cross where Jesus died on Good Friday, and the empty tomb, where he rose from the dead to new life on Easter Sunday.
The baptistry is a sign of new life too. A verse in 2 Corinthians says Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! When someone gets baptised, they walk down into the water to effectively ‘die’ to their old self and rise again to new life in Jesus, empowered by his Holy Spirit. This is symbolic of Jesus dying on the cross and rising again from the tomb. He left his Holy Spirit to help us follow him.
A few days ago some children heard the message of Easter, and responded by asking Jesus into their lives. It was awesome to be part of that and to encourage them. And why wouldn’t they do that? They’d just heard that the God of the universe loved them so much he came to earth to rescue them from the consequences of sin (the things we do wrong that separate us from God). Jesus took our punishment, bore our burdens and still can, and died for them – the innocent for the guilty. He longs to know us all personally. He is not a distant God but an intimate one; one of relationship. That’s why I’m looking forward to celebrating Easter. Do you know him? If not, what are you waiting for? And if you do, I hope you’re as challenged by this question as I am: What are the signs of new life in your life? You may have been a Christian for some time, may have been baptised, but what’s new, what’s God doing today?
I can’t wait to celebrate what Easter means and to enjoy some time off with my wife and our hens. May we all have a good one, and get to know Jesus better – it’s the natural response for what he’s done for us, and wants to do in us! I can’t wait to see what he wants to do this Easter, and beyond!