Rising from the ashes

Like many, I was rocked with the news of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris during the week. In the midst of it all, I found myself amazed that one man would donate EUR100m within hours of the fire – so that the Cathedral can be rebuilt. It is amazing what people will do for the restoration of things that are important to them.

This Easter Day, the highlight of the Christian calendar, we remember that God worked in ways that far exceed our imagination to bring about restoration of a different kind. It is worth celebrating.

As we reflect on Easter, we remember that people all over the world have something more exciting than a weekend chocolate coma to celebrate. If you look really closely then you'll see that, from the earliest times, Christians wanted an annual celebration at the time of the Jewish feast called 'Passover' (usually in April) because that's when Jesus was executed. Paradoxically, Jesus's death means life! Jesus is God's son, sent to earth to restore the most important thing in the world – our relationship with God. And he did it by offering his life so that our sin might be cancelled.

But the climax of the Easter story comes two days after Good Friday and Jesus's execution. On the third day Jesus was resurrected from death. His tomb, which had been sealed, was now empty.

We have seen this week the efforts that people will go through so that buildings might rise from the ashes. This Easter, we celebrate that God caused Jesus to rise from the dead to restore the most important relationship possible – our relationship with God.

And it means new life. It is this symbolism that we will celebrate at 6pm church on Easter Day – as we witness Phu’s baptism. His going into the water will symbolize cleansing. And his coming up from the water symbolizes new life.

This Easter, we celebrate life. People everywhere have had reason to hope because, if Jesus can be resurrected, then so can we.

Raj Gupta