Posted by: Jo | March 25, 2016

New Life Out Of Death

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

(1 Peter 1:3)

image It is spring in North America and I am actually writing on the first official day of spring, and especially here in Vancouver, the strikingly, beautiful cherry trees are celebrating in glorious displays of white and pink blossoms which cascade over their branches as if the trees were wearing gossamer dresses. It is hard to believe that a few weeks ago these same trees were bare branches, so bare that the trees appeared to be lifeless. I don’t know why, but every year I am still surprised to look in the garden bed and see that little touch of green bursting forth from what last week looked like a bare patch of soil. Suddenly life is replacing the deadness of winter.

Life and death. Death and Life

Easter represents both in such a dramatic way that one writer described this week as the greatest story ever told. Good Friday with its shadows of death, sorrow, even perhaps loss of hope for Jesus’ disciples, is clouded by bewilderment disappointment, agony for Mary as she watches her precious son crucified in front of her eyes, the mocking of those whose taunting voices add to the pain of those who love Jesus. Who could believe that day of death and sorrow was about to bring about the greatest promise of new life ever granted to mankind.

Jesus tried to prepare his disciples for what was to come by using the illustration of how seeds and plants need to die before winter so new life in all its abundance will be greeted with joy in the spring;

“The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls in the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” (John 12:23 – 24)

Iimage n their sorrow, those who loved Jesus had forgotten the amazing promise of the prophet, Isaiah, who had foretold this many years before and on this first Good Friday the promise was fulfilled;

“On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah25: 7 – 8)

So the tears we may shed on Good Friday as we remember the pain, the indignity, the agonising death Christ suffered for us, will also mingle with tears of joy and gratitude as we realise the beautiful gift of new life, that we had no way of earning, except through our acceptance of the sacrifice Jesus made for us, has now come to fruition.

When Martha, the sister of Lazarus, was confronted with her brother’s death, Jesus reassured her with these words which we too can claim as our promise of new life.

“Jesus said to her. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11: 25 – 26)

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Responses

  1. The words you quote from Isaiah this week seem so appropriate Jo. The sad events in Brussels are for us the sheet that covers all nations. Christ’s rising in our hearts this Easter is surely the way the disgrace of his people will be removed. That is the belief we share. Thank you.

    Like

  2. Just leaving Sedona with these words in mind, and remembering what
    this day means to all of us. Thanks once again, Jo.

    Like


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