The Bishop’s Easter message

Lancashire's Bishop, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, The Bishop of Blackburn,
Lancashire's Bishop, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, The Bishop of Blackburn,
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It is fascinating to listen to adverts on the radio encouraging us in the way we might spend the Easter Weekend holiday.

Have a good time, relax, enjoy being with the family, go shopping, go out for a meal, do some useful DIY, and get the garden looking cared for and full of colour.

While I would not expect retailers to make mention of the reason for the holiday over Good Friday and Easter in their adverts, it is interesting that we have come to a time when many will enjoy the benefit of the holiday without pausing to remember what brought it about in the first place.

So quite unashamedly let me ask two questions.

Why did a good person get betrayed by a friend for money, allow Himself to be arrested, face an unjust trial, put up with torture and ridicule, be sentenced to a cruel death, when it was within His power to prevent it all?

The answer is that Jesus did for us what we could not do for ourselves and paid the price for our living independently of God, so we didn’t have to carry the consequences ourselves. We all know there are consequences for our actions, but rarely think that leaving God out of our lives has a consequence. But it does and we need to respond.

The other question is: Is it reasonable to believe that Jesus rose from the dead? There isn’t time or space for a full answer, except to say that those there at the time were convinced, even those with a sceptical frame of mind.

If they were persuaded, we have to take their evidence seriously.

A very happy Easter weekend to you all.