Friday, April 03, 2009

Easter Hope

An edited version of my Morning Thought, for BBC Radio Wiltshire.

The kids break up from school today. The Easter holidays will soon be upon us. Now, for many people, Easter means that we get a long weekend off and eat far too many chocolate eggs. But perhaps there is more to it that that. For Christians Easter is a most important period. We take time to reflect on the events that lie at the heart of the Christian gospel.

This Sunday is Palm Sunday. Believers recall Jesus’ “triumphal entry” into Jerusalem. He entered the city as a King, but he did not charge down the streets on a war horse. He was seated upon a lowly donkey. Jesus is the King of peace.

Crowds of people hailed him, waving palm branches in their hands, hence “Palm Sunday”. Yet by the following weekend they were howling for his blood and demanding that he be crucified. How had it all gone so terribly wrong? Was Jesus aware of how things would turn out? Yes he was. He often told his followers that he would be arrested in Jerusalem and then condemned to death. He knew that he had to die for the sin of the world, so that those who trust in him might experience forgiveness and new life. That’s what happened on the first Good Friday.

Jesus’ death left his disciples baffled. They had hoped for so much from their Master. But now all their expectations were dashed. However, on the first Easter Sunday morning their hope was reborn. Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to his friends. They were overjoyed to see him alive. Now they realised that his death was not a tragic accident, but God’s way of brining his people back to him.

Easter is all about the restoration of hope. And we could do with some of that these days.
The last five talks (apart from the one they "banned") were broadcast on BBC Radio Wiltshire around 6.25 each morning from Monday 30th March to Friday 3rd April. Frequency 103.6, 104.3 & 103.5 FM, or online.

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