Easter Sunday. Hallelujah! Christ is risen
Holy Week and Creation: a comparison
God’s new love song for his creation and mankind’s love song for creation
The first chapter of the Book of Genesis is theology, but not theology as we know it. It is not the theology of learned people using the academic language for academic people, nor is it a historical account. It is certainly not science. What it is is a statement of God of his love for the universe he created. “God saw that it was good.”
This is God’s love song for creation.
Early in the second chapter of Genesis, the eighth day, the first day of a new week, there is a change of focus, the story becomes mankind’s love song for creation. On the eighth day of holy week, Jesus was raised from the dead. The eighth day becomes a new first day, not only for Jesus but also, potentially, for mankind.
This is Jesus’ love song for the earth.
Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with our resurrection. Watchman Nee
I am already hearing the complaints as I start writing this blog post a little over a week before Easter that some Christians are already mourning not being able to meet together this Easter. While I shall miss going to church too I will not mourne because it gives us the space to contemplate the real meaning of Easter. I have found this: Easter is not for Christians.
Yes, that’s right: Let me say it louder…
Easter is not for Christians
So while we are missing our loud organs belting out the great Easter carols, or our praise band turned up to eleven. let us remember that Easter is not for us, it is for the guy sat on cardboard in the subway who looks not at you but at the floor mumbling, “Have you any change.
Easter is for the gay couple that have been turned away by your church.
Easter is for the homeless, the asylum seeker, the poor who turn up at the church in smelly clothes they have been wearing all week because they have no other clothes.
Easter is not meant for the ghetto, Easter is meant for the get out.
Easter is for everyone, the Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Agnostic and Atheist. Easter is for those people that churches reject. If hour Christianity is all about joining together with other Christians, only socialising with other Christians and where possible only mixing with other Christians at work I have news for you: The Christianity that forms Christian ghettos like that is not Christianity. Christianity is not meant for the ghetto, Christianity is meant for the get out. Easter is not meant for the ghetto, Easter is meant for the get out.
“He gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Timothy 2:6
A ransom for all. All means all, everybody for all time. On Good Friday we contemplated the sacrifice of Jesus. At Easter, we celebrate the triumph of God. The triumph that was foreshadowed a week earlier on Palm Sunday has now become reality. Present tense. The reality is as real today as it was almost 2,000 years ago.
The disciples were told to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. The reality of Christians is that we have the Holy Spirit in us already, Easter is our commissioning to take the word and power of God out into the world. To tell the world about Jesus and to show them God’s love. Let us show the world that Jesus cares.
Let that be part of our celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Easter is the first day of God’s new creation. A new world is being created. A world where this is a fact: “God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.
Do not concentrate on how sinful a person is, concentrate on how much God loves sinners, enough to die for them. This is where triumph lies, in God giving up all he has in heaven to become human and then that god who gave up his godliness giving up his humanity. Then being vindicated by being given both the godliness and humanity he gave up back. Victory by submission was vindicated on that first Easter morning.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he, by the grace of God, should taste death for every man.” Hebrews 2:9
We need this theology of submission.
More than ever, we need a robust theology of suffering, grief, weakness, poverty, and hope, and we won’t have that until the church stops idolizing and platforming power, ease, success, affluence, productivity, and charisma.
Let us celebrate Easter as well as we can. Find a church that does online services. My church, Holy Trinity, Huddersfield has its online serviced on YouTube. Whether we are gathered in a building or scattered and isolated due to pandemic we can praise God this Easter. Then we can go out and do his will.
He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!
1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.