This is the Easter Reflection I wrote for the Sunday morning 10am service. I didn’t use it because I ended up speaking on how we celebrate our God in his glory of the Trinity. I will post that thought shortly. However it is the first time I have ever preached without notes! Quite something. For those of you curious to know what I would have said – here it is. Please remember it is in the context of morning worship on Easter Sunday. Using John 20:1-18
The theme of todays service is celebration. And what a celebration it is. On Maundy Thursday we sat with Jesus at his table and on Good Friday we followed Judas to the gallows, Peter to the courtyard and Mary to the cross. We were encouraged to stay with Jesus, to watch and prayer.
Today though we celebrate the good news of our risen Brother Jesus. We dont totally understand it, cant readily explain it but like the disciples we are prepared to believe what we cannot imagine. We look back at something that happened 2000 years ago and try to grasp hold of it.
Can you imagine the pure joy when they finally realised the truth? The one they thought was the Messiah had died in shame, a failure, and abandoned by them. They had hit rock bottom. There was no lower they could go. Suddenly though here is Jesus who we know appeared to them and reassured them. In Johns Gospel appearing first to the Mary Magadelene. She wasnt so keen to leave the Garden.
We know from stories that Mary Magadelene loved Jesus deeply and understood him best based on the perfume story. And she wanted answers. So she waited for him at the last place she had seen him. He rewarded her and made her the first one to share the good news.
Can you imagine the joy Mary felt?
When you meet Jesus do you feel joy? Is today a day of celebration for you? Did you wake up this morning and think to yourself the Christ is risen. Praise the Lord. We run the risk of being complacent because of the distance there is between then and now. And if we dont make an effort to mark Good Friday we cannot experience the joy of Easter Sunday in all its glory.
Celebration comes from a desire to mark a happy occasion. Today is a great day to celebrate. For today we remember that death is defeated for ever. Today we remember that evil in whatever shape or form you understand it is defeated. Today we remember that forgiveness will always have the last word. Today the light of the world shines even brighter.
The question is do we think that celebrating is just the party element? Or is there a form of celebrating that includes sharing the good news with others? Mary could have kept the encounter with Jesus a secret but she didnt. There is something so amazing, so wonderful about meeting the risen Jesus that you cant help but share it. When we think we have lost something and we are deeply affected by its loss we end up telling the world when we have found it.
I am sure you can remember times when you have lost something and found it eventually and wondered who you can tell. Mary couldnt have kept Jesus a secret because she was so excited.
I pray that this Easter as you celebrate our risen Saviour you will be so moved with excitement and joy that you will simply burst if you dont share the good news with another.
I pray that this Easter you will be encouraged to believe that with God all things are possible including life from death. And that he is willing to share his power through us as he did through Jesus.
I pray that this Easter you will be blessed by our Risen Christ, and feel heaven breach this cold dark earth and claim back her own residents.
I pray that as we gather around the Lords table his table where he is the host we will remember the cost of his body and blood. And as we partake of him we will receive the faith to believe in our Holy God who loves us and for whom nothing is impossible.
We celebrate Easter for 7 weeks so this is still within the right time zone!