A new beginning for Britain. We’re not there yet but there’s hope for a summer of renewing contact with people we’ve missed, enjoying normal activities away from our homes and rebuilding businesses or finding new jobs after the “worst economic slump since 1706”. The Governor of the Bank of England said he was “positive but with large doses of cautionary realism”. For some, the effects of the last year are not going to be easily shrugged off. We are still going to need to offer support and help to each other.
A new beginning for Jesus. Some say that Easter Sunday is a celebration based on a ridiculous claim – that a man who had been flogged and executed by professional soldiers and then left in a rock tomb for two nights could somehow return to life on the third day; but that’s only the half of it! Christians also believe that Jesus received the upgrade, the renewed version of his human body that would never again be subject to suffering or exhaustion or death. His post-Easter body was so much more solid and more real than the bodies we have that it appears Jesus could pass through the physical objects of our world, like locked doors, as if they were merely a mist. Christians also believe that the abundant evidence for all this – in the eye-witness accounts, in the sudden extraordinary courage of Jesus’ timid followers, and in the transformation of the world over the last 2000 years – is enough to make trusting in Christ the opposite of a leap in the dark.
A new beginning for you? This same Jesus made clear that his own upgraded human life was the prototype for many others. In his agonizing Good Friday suffering he was paying for an Easter Sunday for all those who are joined to him by trusting completely in him. “If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.” (Romans 6:5)
May God make this a happy Easter for you!