The following was published by The Gisborne Herald on Easter Saturday, 7 April 2007:
We think we know the story, don’t we? Jesus was born. He lived. He died. He rose again. Simple.
We remember his birth at Christmas. We remember his death and resurrection at Easter. We know that he taught about love and forgiveness. We know that he healed the sick and performed amazing miracles. We know that Jesus came to save us from our sins.
We know a little bit more too. We know that Jesus was the Son of God. He lived among us in human form. He chose to be a servant. He stood alongside the hated of society, the poor, the sick, the prostitute, the Roman-employed tax collector, the foreigner, and the widow.
He loved his family and friends. He pushed them to think and to live and to love. He demanded that they be the very best they could be.
Jesus took on those who held position and authority. He challenged the Pharisees, who were the priests, elders, and educated leaders of his time. He had low tolerance for their pride and self-interest. He held them accountable for the way they treated others, and exposed their hypocrisy.
This made Jesus unpopular amongst the rulers of the age. They grew to hate him. So much so, that they sought to have him killed. They initiated proceedings, brought him before a court of their own making, and handed him to the authorities.
And so it was that Jesus was killed by Roman hand. Nailed to a cross, and left to die.
And after three days, God raised Jesus from the dead.
While Easter helps us to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus, we should not forget the life that Jesus lived. He lived as a servant. He lived as a saviour. He walked beside the lowly and despised. He challenged the high and powerful, and held them accountable.
Through his resurrection, Christ has given us the opportunity to live the same way.
You know the story … now what are you going to do with it?
Cover art by Katelyn via Deviant Art