This Lent, I have been reading a book entitled ‘God is Closer Than You Think’ which is written by an American author by the name of Jon Ortberg. In the book he writes about how, through his life experiences, he recognises the presence of God in the everyday things of life. He also suggests that God is everywhere where people are – that in many of the situations in life that we find ourselves, God is already there. He is aware of the things that we are facing, the hopes and fears that we meet in our everyday lives are already known to him. Such is the presence of God in our lives and in the world.As we approach the time of Easter, we can see how God’s love for the world became manifested in the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus. It is on the cross at Calvary that the world was shown the true ‘everywhereness of God’. As the story of Jesus’ death unfolds it seems as if God abandoned Jesus to his fate. Jesus himself cries those heart wrenching words: ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ But it is on the cross that all of God’s purposes are fulfilled. By the sacrificing of his Son, God offered everyone in the world, from that time on and forever, the great opportunity for sharing in the eternal life that he promises. This is the joy that Easter brings into the world.
After his death those closest to Jesus thought their world was over. Things would never be the same again – how could they be, Jesus was dead and buried! But on Easter Day, things changed. Jesus was raised back to life. He was seen by the women at the tomb. The disciples met with him in the Upper Room, even Thomas, the Doubter as he was to be called, came to the realisation that what had happened was the fulfilment of the prophecies. From that moment on, the world changed and through the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, God was able to change people’s lives wherever they may be.
Easter isn’t just about chocolate eggs and fluffy bunnies but is about the offer that the Cross makes to all those who seek to share in the new life that the resurrected Christ gives to the world. It is because of this gift that we can be aware of God in every part of our lives and truly know the love that he has for us.
So, I wish you all a very Happy Easter and I hope that the Easter gift of the resurrected Christ is one that you can experience in your life this year.