This Easter saw the use of a particular ‘hashtag’ on Twitter to denote messages specifically to do with the Christian festival – the words chosen being those of the title above. Hashtags are a sort of label, prefixed with the hash-symbol (hence its name), used to associate a tweet message with a particular cause, event or other common link. Comments about services, sermons and other Easter-related events all popped up with this phrase attached. And as I read through various of these, the significance of those two words grew in my mind and gave me a new understanding of the implications of Easter for us.
The church today sometimes seems obsessed with Christ crucified and like a record stuck in a groove fixates on Good Friday. The sacrificial lamb, the price paid to reconcile humanity with God. But that is only half the story. The changes have only begun. We don’t know what was happening on the following day which was the Jewish Sabbath – and it has only now struck me how symbolic this in turn might be in its own right – on the sixth day, Jesus died – and on the seventh did he rest as God had done at the end of creation? For John writes that it was on the first day of the week that Mary went to the tomb and found it empty. The rest, as they say, is theology.
How coincidental can it really be that the greatest change of all, the resurrection, commences at the start of a new week? We see Sunday in our culture as the end of a week, the latter part of a weekend – after all, it’s in the name. Maybe we need to adjust our view, to re-calibrate our focus of our seven-day patterns. Are we living one day behind?
Everything changes. There is an immense power in that combination of two words that can overwhelm any situation, any moment and we can only just sense the surface of the power underlying it. The completeness of ‘everything’ – nothing is excluded from the scope of this. Nothing is left to hide in the nooks and crannies, no-one is left out – it is an all-inclusive statement.
Changes – the resurrection was the most complete change of all, the ultimate new start. Jesus himself, who had before now raised Lazarus from death, had now returned to life. We struggle for a rational comprehension of these events, so perplexed by the ‘how’ that it is easy to overlook the mere fact of the event. Life where there was death. Newness that we struggle to comprehend.
That is the power of God in our lives to recast us, how we live with the situations we are in, to live for Christ risen and to step forward from the blood, horror and sorrow of Good Friday to the sheer glory of Easter Sunday and the start of a new week made new for us by our Creator. #Everythingchanges.
Tim Dawe, St Chad's Church, Sutton Coldfield