Easter Sunday 2024

Easter Sunday 2024

[Apologies – due to technical problems during service, there is no livestream available]

Death and Resurrection: The True Meaning of Easter

(Colossians 3:1-17)

Two images that always stay with me are how Mary only recognised the Risen Christ as he said her name. I think that’s true for us as well…The other image has to do with Christ telling her not to hold onto Him… He cannot be held, contained, possessed, bound by our agendas…

Jesus’ death & resurrection – the Easter story – gives us a wonderful map/template for our spiritual life journey. We are told in the book of Matthew by Jesus to pick up our crosses and follow him . The cross always represent death – and in our case it’s the death of our being defined by what has been called our small selves/ego selves/false selves. His resurrection represents life – the rising awareness of our truest/most essential/most beautiful made-in-God’s-image selves…

In a world that is increasingly so divided, so polarised, we should notice that there are no divisions in that true self. We are all just one! This One Love! One life! All false categories of race, gender, wealth, status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or anything else that we may rustle up are as nothing. John Lennon had it absolutely right with his dream of a world without those divisions: ‘Can you imagine’

The resurrection of Jesus in us represents the empowering of us, the rising awareness in us of a Self which is in Christ and is Christ within us. We’re not making this up. This is ancient wisdom of the Church. Paul spells it out for us in his letter to the Colossians (3:1-17) which is all about the death of our old selves and of their ways and the rebirth of the original self.

The false self is crucified with Christ and the awareness of our true Self is raised in his resurrection. Easter is about how all of what is false is being shed to uncover the true image of Christ which is always within us. Eugene Peterson paraphrases Paul’s letter to the Colossians as follows: we take this Easter moment to read this together:

So, if you serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.

Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ dash that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.
Your old life is dead.
Your new life, which is your real life – even though invisible to spectators – is with Christ in God.
He is your life.
When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, last, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God.

Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom made by the creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.
Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider cumber and civilized and uncouth, slave an free, mean nothing period from now everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.
Be even tempered, content to a second place, quick to forgive an offence. Forgive as quickly and completely as the master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, where love. It’s your basic, or purpose garment. Never be without it.

And so, NO MARY! There is no room for crying at the cross of Jesus because it represents the diminishing of the worst of us, that the best of us may rise up!

That is the holy rhythm of Easter that we come to embrace on this Easter morning, together:
• …with the dying Christ on the cross we choose to allow all that is not true – the worst of ourselves – we allow these things to be exposed if only to ourselves, we allow them to suffer, to be beaten and to be killed with him. Jesus’ death as the archetypical model for our letting go…
…all so that
• …with the rising Christ we may allow an awareness of the very best of ourselves to be uncovered! This is the glory of Christ which is now being unveiled by God in me, for me, for others through me…

He is Risen!
And each one of us, we celebrate how he is risen indeed!

Rev. Robin Jacobson reserves all rights © 2024.
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Palm Sunday