The Venerable Terry Lester, Archdeacon of Constantia
This week Christians everywhere will be recalling and remembering the events which occurred over 2 000 years ago in which a young man from Nazareth, about which it was believed nothing good could come, was led to a hill outside the capital of Judea, Jerusalem, carrying the cross on which he was to be crucified.
His claim that he was God’s Son and his temerity in addressing God as “Abba”, “Father”, offended the religious leaders of his day.
Added to the claim of Jesus that God was Father, were the accompanying acts of kindness – feeding the hungry and healing the sick – revealing in these what is at the heart of God: compassion and grace.
But it was his raising of Lazarus from the dead that forced the religious leaders to decide what their own response to Jesus would be.
To this, one of them is recorded as saying: “You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.”
The political authorities in Palestine walked a tight-rope of looking after Rome’s interest on the one hand and the interests of the powerful religious leaders who held sway with the Torah.
These provincial authorities were happy to defer to and appease the High Priest even when Pilate stated after putting Jesus on trial, “I find no case against him.”
The Easter story we recall at this time is an invitation to encounter anew and afresh the Father of Jesus as our Father and to experience the economy of God as hope and light and where the despised and rejected, the weak and thirsty, the hungry and dying hold the space of God against the mighty and powerful, the conniving and vengeful and the plotters of evil and ill.
Easter is about God bringing new life where we have grown weary from seeing evil thrive and the innocent stifled in their efforts to live.
It is about God thwarting the efforts of sin and injustice and putting in its place love and light and love.
Jesus lives! Hallelujah!