I remember so clearly as a child rushing around our garden hunting for Easter Eggs. My brother was 3 years older than me and generally found more eggs than I did. Fortunately, my parents would insist that we share out the Easter eggs evenly once we had found them all.
Then when I came into church work, Easter of course, began to take on a new meaning. I don’t think I did a great job in leading our church through Holy Week and the Passion weekend in my early years of working in the church. It may have been because of my maturity levels, the church tradition and culture that I had come from, I don’t really know.
However, in the last 5 or 6 years I think this has changed. Although Mel Gibson has taken some stick as a person, and for the movie, “The Passion of the Christ”, the movie never the less made a massive impact on me and in my general appreciation of what Easter is all about. No matter what your thoughts are about Mel Gibson, I will always be grateful for the courage and commitment it took to make the movie.
For about 4 years in a row, we made the movie part of our Easter program, screening in on the night of Good Friday. I think that I have seen the movie around 6 times. If you have never seen The Passion of the Christ, go ahead and rent it this Easter – I am sure it will make the weekend more meaningful for you.
The highlights of my journey through Easter are something like this…
- Lent has become part of a journey – see the blog I wrote about this last year. It is on my old site, but you can still read it!
- Palm Sunday – the start of Holy Week. Realizing that many of the people who were praising Jesus would in 4 days time perhaps be saying, “Crucify Him!”
- Maundy Thursday – an ancient practice of recalling the night in which Jesus was betrayed, His time with His sleepy disciples in Gethsemane, His betrayal with a kiss, His mock trials. A deep, emotionally demanding and liturgical service.
- Getting up early on Friday and sharing with our community the journey that Jesus took on Good Friday. It started at sun-rise.
- Being aware through the rest of Friday and all of Saturday of this eerie waiting for Sunday!
- Relief. Sunday has come and with it the promise and hope of resurrection.
Of course, this defines Christianity. No resurrection, no redemption. No redemption, no salvation. No salvation, no hope. No hope, no Christianity!