Every Christmas and Easter, one of my duties as State Leader for Tasmanian Baptists is to write a short reflection for the Mercury Newspaper.
In a world fearing the future of planet earth, Easter has a profound message. That message is easily lost amid the bunnies and chocolate eggs. Just like Christmas, Easter has undergone a radical makeover. Both are now domestic, consumer driven celebrations.
But the meaning of Easter is not totally lost.
When have you heard someone complain of too many Easter parties or sore feet from too much Easter shopping? The Christmas message lies buried beneath its commercial redesign; Easter retains its raw edge. Perhaps it’s because the story centres around an adult male horribly executed – yet strangely alive.
Easter celebrates the story of Jesus, the man who walked out of an empty tomb. It declares the future of humanity is found here. It reminds us that even in the worst of situations – when expectations are dashed and optimism exhausted – death is not final.
Life isn’t easy, Easter testifies to that. We have no Easter decorations or Easter tinsel to cover over the raw truths of life and death (although chocolate eggs are a good attempt). Rather, we see Jesus crucified and now alive.
Today, when many ask whether humanity has the wherewithal and wisdom to ensure the future of our planet, Easter cuts through the despair. There is the opportunity for new life and a world sustained by wholeness, peace, abundance and harmony.
The Easter story speaks to the human need for hope: hope for a job, hope for a changed life, hope for reconciliation, hope for healing and hope for the future. It promises when all hope is lost, something unexpected can happen. That’s a message we all need to hear.