An Easter message of hope from St Andrew’s Church

30 Mar 2021

For most people, Easter is a holiday weekend. However, for churchgoers all round the world “the Easter story” begins several weeks earlier. Through the accounts in the Bible, we follow Jesus on His last journey towards Jerusalem and the inevitability of His death at the hands of His enemies.

Christians believe it was all part of the plan to reveal God’s immense, unconditional, incomprehensible love to all the peoples of the earth. But why? Why did Jesus have to die? Surely His Father God could have found another way and avoided the indignity, the terrible suffering on the cross? One of our hymns says, “We believe it was for us, He hung and suffered there.”

Jesus spent just three short years of His life taking God’s message of love to all who would listen. He took a real interest in people, especially those who, for whatever reason, were living on the margins of society. He preached hope to those who believed life was hopeless, showing them, rather than telling them, that everyone matters. God loves everyone - especially you. 

Often hungry, living rough, ridiculed, frowned upon by those in authority and labelled a troublemaker, Jesus was loved by the ordinary people. In the end it was jealousy and political intrigue that put Jesus on the cross.

In the last week of His life, Jesus experienced every emotion of our human existence, from the hero worship of the crowd who claimed Him as their Messiah, through to betrayal by His friend, Judas.  He was wrongly accused, physically abused, held up to ridicule and brutally killed. He experienced a human death, as every person does. 

From the cross, Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them - they don’t know what they are doing.” Three days later the amazing truth was revealed - death is not the end! The tomb was empty. Jesus was alive! The disciples saw Jesus and talked with Him. Their utter grief and despair were changed to indescribable joy.

This is why Jesus had to die. To show us that nothing is too hard for Almighty God and nothing we can do will ever stop Him loving us.

Nothing, not even death, can separate us from God’s all-forgiving love, through Christ Jesus,” St Paul - Romans 8:38.

Pictured: St Andrew's Church in Whitianga.