An Easter message from Archbishop Geoff Smith
Easter is a great gift! Four days off in a row. An opportunity to get away. Spend time with family and friends. Get jobs done around the house before winter.
Easter is also a great gift because what happened at Easter nearly 2000 years ago changed the world for ever.
On the day known as Good Friday a man called Jesus was executed just outside Jerusalem in the way typical of the Roman empire of the time – he was crucified. But this Jesus was different. He had done nothing wrong. He went to the cross willingly.
Sometime between sunset on ‘Good Friday’ and dawn on the day we know as Easter Day, Jesus broke the hold of death and came to new life. He left the cave in which his dead body had been laid and over the next few weeks was seen alive by more than 500 people. Those are the facts of Easter.
And the gift? Jesus’ death was not a waste or a tragedy but meant something, did something, caused a change. Jesus’ death on that cross brought reconciliation and peace between God and humanity. Jesus died because he loved. He died for us. Because of Jesus’ death we can be reconciled with God.
The fact that Jesus broke through death means that the power of death is broken. The power of death is defeated not just for Jesus but for all people and all creation. We look forward to a time when that victory is universally seen but the decisive action has taken place. The battle has been won. Our opportunity is to live in the light of that hope, to offer that hope to others and to do things which make the future part of the present. To offer life, peace, justice, care, inclusion, and love so that many, many people will ‘cotton on’ to what God has done in Jesus and live its hope in their lives.
The gift of Easter is peace with God and hope for now and the future. Enjoy the weekend!
The Most Reverend Geoff Smith
Archbishop of Adelaide and Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia.