Rectors Reflections

The Greatest Festival

Have you been looking forward to Easter? Easter day is always celebrated on a Sunday, and this year it falls on 4 April. For many Christians, Easter is the most important festival in the Church’s year, more important even than Christmas or Pentecost. Why is Easter considered such an important festival?

For many people, Easter is the affirmation that death is not the end. Jesus rose again from the dead, and this gives us hope that we too can rise again from the dead. How does this work? Christians have given different answers to this question down the centuries. But Christians have agreed that Easter is about having firm grounds for the hope of life after death. Jesus really did rise again from the dead. This really happened as a historical event. And so, we can have hope that for us too life does not come to an end when we die. Our death is the start of a new chapter in the story of our lives. Death is not the end.

Easter is also an affirmation that Jesus truly was who he said he was. Jesus made claims that he had a unique and authoritative relationship with God. He was more than simply a religious teacher or a good man: he was God himself in a human form. This was and is a remarkable claim. By raising Jesus from the dead, God vindicated the claims which Jesus made about himself. Indeed, there are passages in the bible which suggest that Jesus himself predicted that he would die and rise again.

Easter is also a celebration of the abiding significance of Jesus’s death on the Cross. Christians often refer to Jesus’s death and resurrection in the same breath, and there is a profound connection between the two events. By dying on the Cross, Jesus offered his life to God as a sacrifice for sin. In other words, Jesus sacrificed his life in order to restore our broken relationship with God. By raising Jesus from the dead, God declared that the sacrifice was accepted, and the relationship was indeed restored – not just for the men and women of Jesus’ time, but for the men and women of every age.

I wonder what the celebration of Easter means to you?

Fr Jason