Light out of Darkness

ALIVE Magazine, March 2002
Easter is popular in Australia, not as a remembrance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, but as a national holiday. Belief in the resurrection is largely considered unrealistic and irrelevant.
Yet for Christians the resurrection of Jesus validates all he said and did, and shapes our perception of life. We experience times of sorrow, difficulty and despair. It is here that the hope of the resurrection sustains and gives reasons for persevering. Tomorrow always has the potential of light coming out of darkness.
This is the twist: resurrection is possible only after death. The New Testament is clear that we cannot share in Christ’s resurrection until we share in his death. The cross of Jesus is not only the means of our rescue it is also the pattern for our lives.
Each of us has lived through times of dying, whether it’s the death of a dream, relationship, family member of friend, business failure, church split or nervous breakdown. Yet we also know that out of difficulties life can come. God promises that there is life—resurrection life—that can flow out of every death.
A paradox is at work here. For the disciples, standing at the foot of the cross of Jesus, the cross was a symbol of defeat, failure, loss, despair and death. But the resurrection changed everything. The cross that represented death became the very means of victory over death.
It is no different today. To believe in the reality and power of the resurrection is not an exemption from defeat, failure and death, but trust that there is life in and through them.
Far from being an escape from our complex technological world, a life shaped by hope in the resurrection is as real and vital today as it was in the apostle Paul’s day. It gives the ability to persevere through all the challenges life presents us.
On behalf of the ALIVE team I trust you have a meaningful Easter.
Stephen Baxter
Publisher, on behalf of the ALIVE team
March 2002

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