People sometimes give us a choice over whether we want to receive bad news or good news first. Bad news to get it out of the way, followed by good news to cheer me up a bit is my preferred order.
At first glance the Christian message of Easter seems like bad news. Jesus, a man renowned for loving words and deeds was condemned as a criminal and crucified. Jesus’ followers thought that was the end of him. Disillusioned, it seemed to them that the kingdom of grace and justice he proclaimed was just another false dawn.
What they failed to see was that the death of Jesus was no accident. It was God’s appointed way of bringing in his kingdom. Jesus had said as much, telling his followers that he had come to ‘give his life a ransom for many’. In other words, Jesus paid the price of sin by dying for us on the cross. Now we can be forgiven and put right with God through faith in Jesus.
And his death wasn’t the end. Jesus rose from the grave on the first Easter Sunday morning and appeared to his followers, showing them that he was alive from the dead. It was the last thing they expected. They could barely believe it, but it was true. The same Jesus who was crucified, was alive.
First the bad news: the world crucified the King of Love. Then the good news: the King of Love was crucified for world and rose again from the dead. That is the glorious message of Easter.
*For News & Views & Holy Trinity Parish Magazine