What a weekend.
Without doubt the most important weekend of the year when it comes to the church calendar. This weekend we celebrated the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, events which despite occurring over 2000 years ago, still shape each and every moment of the life of a christian. Without this weekend, if he never died as a sacrifice for our sins and then rose, conquering death and winning an everlasting victory, followers of Jesus Christ would quite simply have no foundation for their faith in him. But we believe that he did do that, we believe that he still lives today, and is seated on a heavenly throne, at the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us, which makes the Easter weekend one worth celebrating!
The weekend started with a day we now call Good Friday, but a day which seemed altogether less ‘good’ all those years ago. Jesus Christ of Nazareth hung on a cross and died, seemingly defeated. While we know now that this was in fact the beginning of his victory, a moment when all of our sin and shame was paid for, it is important as christians that we remember the cost of our salvation, that Jesus suffered in our place, that he felt our pain. This was the first time we have met together on Good Friday at Redeemer and it was an amazing service, meeting together for an hour, we sung songs which reminded us of the power of Jesus’ blood, we heard monologues read which reinforced the message that Jesus suffered for us, and we took communion together to mark the sacrifice that was made. I personally was incredibly moved by the whole service, and it was stirring to hear so many voices lifted up in praise to their king, even on such a sombre occasion.
Then, on Easter Sunday, it was time for a celebration! We had the opportunity to sing songs together which allowed us to rejoice in the victory won as Jesus walked out of his tomb! We were led by a fantastic choir, heard truth proclaimed, and were able to celebrate with three individuals who took the opportunity this Easter Sunday to be baptised and to begin their own journey of walking with Jesus, out of the darkness, and into his Glorious Day!
But what does this weekend mean for us as christians? Is it just a once a year celebration, after which we go back to our routines….? No! We believe that this truth, this celebration of Jesus’ victory is something to be celebrated all year round! So we’ll be celebrating next Sunday too, and the Sunday after that, and not just on Sundays! Every day of the rest of our lives is now lived in the knowledge that we walk in the everlasting victory that was won on the first Easter! This truth we believe is not just for ourselves, but is true for all people, of all ages, all across the world. If you’re reading this and you aren’t currently celebrating this truth, why not come and find out more by visiting us on a Sunday morning at Ealing Town Hall, or join us on Thursday the 9th of May as we launch our next Alpha course with an evening of live music and poetry at Artisan Coffee. As you reflect on another Easter weekend, whatever that means for you, don’t miss a chance to come and join in the celebration which continues all year round!
He is risen.
He is risen indeed!
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!