Easter is a very special time in the church calendar. It is a time when we especially remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These are such huge and wonderful actual events in history, that not only do we mark them year after year at Easter, but referring to them during Sunday church services as well. In fact in some churches, each Sunday they say as part of their service “Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again”.
Christ coming again, and how that links to His death and resurrection, is something we have been thinking about in our Sunday morning services over recent weeks as we have been looking at the last book in the Bible, the book of Revelation, and we will be continuing to look at it after Easter.
In the first chapter of Revelation we read that Christ said, “Do not be afraid, I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death” (Rev 1:17,18) All through Revelation we see that Jesus’ death and resurrection means that there is one who has conquered death, who holds the keys, who has the authority and power to help this broken world, to bring hope.Whatever challenges you are facing this Easter, Jesus can bring hope into that situation.
Christ’s death and Resurrection need to be held together. His death shows the depth of his Love, and compassion – He didn’t die in some tragedy or by accident, he died in our place, for our sin, to take the punishment we deserve, to pay our debt.But His resurrection shows that that debt has been paid and accepted, that He is who He said He was, the saviour of the world, God come to earth.He has the power to conquer death and bring life, freedom, and new beginnings, when it seems those things are impossible.
So this Easter I hope you discover more of how Jesus’ death and resurrection is good news for you and your friends and family.There are all kinds of things that I believe would help you in that journey of discovery, wherever you are in your journey of faith, I’d welcome you to try any or all of the following :
- Reading through one of the gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection (such as Luke’s Gospel or John’s gospel).
- The Good Friday Service – a quieter more reflective service.
- The Easter Extravaganza (particularly good for families with small children).
- The Easter Sunday morning service,with adult baptisms and people telling stories of how Jesus changed their lives.
- The Passion Play on the seafront on Easter Sunday afternoon.
- Our Sunday morning services after Easter, continuing to look at “Revelation” and what the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ means for our future.
In this coming term we are particularly thinking about how we can help bring hope to people in our city and world, in the light of all that Christ has done at Easter. So from May 10th -17th we are having a special World Week, seeking to give £50,000 to help the poorest of the poor, the persecuted church, places where there is no church, and partners we have serving people around the world. But we are also seeking to serve those in need in our city, through both our communities, and through initiatives like CAP (Christians Against Poverty). We will follow this in July with HOPE, a focused week of serving.
Do come and join us in bring hope to others, and in exploring more of the hope that Easter brings to each of our lives.
Wishing you every blessing in Christ.