Why I Celebrate Easter

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By Dan Saunders

As a Pastor I’m used to getting a few strange looks. Sometimes people give me the eyes, sometimes they scrunch their noses up and squint at me, and then other times they just get this whole?of?face WTF look about them.

Just the other day I was sharing my faith journey with this guy; “I left my job on the way to  partnership in a Melbourne law firm to study the Bible and start a new church on Chapel Street with no building, no people and no money,” and he just stared, shook his head and then stared a bit more.

I do understand, it’s a bit strange, but at this time of year it seems more relevant and necessary than ever, because this week it’s Easter. Now for most Melbournians that just means no Good Friday Footy (travesty!), a long weekend and an overdose of hot cross buns and chocolate. For others, it means eating probably more hot cross buns, just as much chocolate, but also spending time focusing on Jesus – who I believe, two thousand years ago, was executed by the government and then came back to life three days later. That’s one of the things I say that gets strange looks from people. But here’s why I say it, you see I believe ‘the death of Jesus’ isn’t some symbolic metaphor or an ancient piece of literary fiction, but a real event in a time and place in history – A real death at the hands of government executioners, with a real cross, real nails and real blood. Jesus lived on earth for one purpose: to bring God to people, not just a message, a way of life, or an idea, but God himself. The purpose of everything he did and said was to reveal the beauty, wonder, grace and love of God to people. The death of Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God’s love. God loved us, but because of God’s character the result of our spiritual rebellion meant separation from him and death, but not wanting us to suffer these things God sent his Son, Jesus, to die in our place.

So you see, Jesus’ death, though at the hands of government executioners, was by the will of God. It’s a phenomenal example of the interaction between the physical and spiritual world, and the story of Easter doesn’t end there. I believe Jesus also rose from the dead, that’s what Christians remember and celebrate on Easter Sunday, and if you think about it, if it actually happened, life from death is something worth celebrating. We also celebrate because in Jesus’ new life we can have new life and a fresh start, a fresh start with ourselves, a fresh start in our relationships and a fresh start with God.

It might get a few crazy looks, but it’s worth looking in to a bit more this Easter.

 

Dan Saunders is a former lawyer and now Lead Pastor of Arkhouse Church St Kilda, a new church that meets at 5pm, 12b Chapel St, St Kilda. You can follow him @_dansaunders

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