Easter Experience 2011 – Stephen Spencer

Reflecting back upon our Easter experience, for those of you who gave up chocolate or some other goody for Lent it’s probably not a moment to soon. For those of you who took something on, perhaps it might be worth while to continue, but what ever your decision was congratulations to you all, you have made it! And as we look at the Easter story itself, there is an element that Easter is the finish line, when Jesus accomplished all that he came to do. But is that the whole story, or is there more to it than meets the eye.

Well I would argue that there is much more to it; I would say that the story of Jesus starts in the verses of the Old Testament, with many prophecies concerning his birth and death. The book of Malachi says in chapter 3:1 “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.” And we read in Isaiah chapter 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” These are but two verse’s which point to Jesus, there are many more, but the point being that the Easter story starts way before the pages of the New Testament. This story is there for us to read about in all the pages of the Bible, both New and Old Testaments. There is a richness of language in the Bible that brings not just words but also the very essence of God’s activity through our history. Although that’s not to say that the Bible is just a history book, no far from it, because as we have already seen that God is continually active within the world. You could say “From creation and beyond” to coin a phrase from Buzz Light Year, but that’s the whole point of the Bible it is a continuum, Gods living, breathing word that speaks to us today and tomorrow.

So as we celebrate this year four hundred years of the King James Bible, I believe it has helped us to be drawn closer to him, by glimpsing not just his divine nature, but also his humanity through his son Jesus Christ. Many would argue that the Bible is the most important book ever written, which you would not be surprised to learn that I agree with. But my challenge to us all, as we think afresh upon the crucifixion of Jesus, that we re-read or even read for the first time all that the Bible has to say about God’s son Jesus Christ, from Old to New Testament. Discovering for ourselves what God may be saying to each one of us, deep inside our hearts. Allowing his words to flow through us, not just affecting our lives for today, but importantly affecting our lives for the future.

My prayer for us this Easter season is that we regain both privately and publically a passion for reading and engaging with God’s holy word throughout the pages of the Bible. So that we may see for ourselves, that God loves us so much that he sent his one and only son to die for us upon the cross.

Stephen Spencer (Curate)

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