Dear Friends and Families,

“Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices that they had prepared. When they found the stone rolled away from the entrance, they went in. But they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus, and they did not know what to think.” [Luke 24:1-3].

I wonder what the greatest surprise is you have ever been given? Perhaps you have experienced a surprise birthday party (which are much more difficult today to organise, due to the popularity of social media)? Maybe an unexpected gift? Perhaps a relative or friend has suddenly turned up from interstate or overseas on your front doorstep?

When I turned 40 (a few years ago now!), my wife very kindly had organised for family members and close friends to write some thoughtful memories and comments for my birthday. It was a very unexpected gift.

Similarly, the simple fact is that most people did not expect the resurrection of Jesus to occur. Easter Sunday was not a foreseeable reality. Most people simply did not really believe Jesus, when he affirmed that after he – the Son of Man – died (on Good Friday), he would rise on the third day (Easter Sunday). And that is understandable, because the undeniable fact of life is that: dead people (by and large) … do not come back to life!

And despite what Jesus had promised, there was a shadow of doubt covering the minds of his own disciples and followers.

However, a great surprise certainly occurred. We are told that Mary Magdalene and some other women went to the tomb very early on Sunday morning, and they were bringing spices with them. Why the spices? So as to anoint the body of the Lord Jesus. They expected to find a body!

Instead, they were greeted by an empty tomb and two angels. And the words of the angels are so beautiful: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? Jesus is not here; he has risen!” And then we are told that the women remembered what Jesus had said all along; things would never be the same again!

When Mary finally saw Jesus, she wept tears of joy; indeed, these tears look forward to the time of King Jesus’s future return one day, when there will be no more tears.

In the meantime, the living daily reality of the resurrection of Christ, reminds us that death will nothave the final word. There can now be release from fear … from addictions … from failings … from self-hatred … from judgment, and from non-existence. There is now, a bright future awaiting anyonewho follows this living King.

After such a disorientating and dislocating year as 2020, and now the roll-out of the various COVID vaccines later this year, we fully understand what good news sounds like!

In the final book of the Bible – Revelation – the apostle John makes the following pronouncement: “I heard a loud voice shout from the throne. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.”

A happy and holy Easter indeed to you all.

If you would like to speak further, or have questions about the Christian life, then do please contact me at: [email protected]

I also encourage you to pray the Easter prayer for the week below.

If you would like to explore the certainty of Christ further, the two local Anglican churches listed below lead regular Sunday services.

St Peter’s, Craigieburn (meeting at 10.30am in the Chapel at Hume Anglican Grammar – 100 Mt Ridley Road, Mickleham)

Locum: Father Charles Potter

Mobile: 0468 331 549 / 03 9308 2452

Email: [email protected]

http://www.humeparish.melbourneanglican.org.au

https://www.facebook.com/humeparishcraigieburn/

Redemption Anglican Church (meeting at 4.00pm at the Hume Tennis & Community Centre - 225 Marathon Blvd, Craigieburn)

Pastor: Reverend Akhil Gardner

Mobile: 0400 021 381

Email: [email protected]

https://www.rccraigieburn.com.au/online

https://www.facebook.com/rccraigieburn/

Prayer for the week

Lord of all life and power,

who, through the mighty resurrection of your Son,

overcame the old order of sin and death

to make all things new in him:

grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ,

may reign with him in glory;

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit

be praise, honour and thanksgiving,

now and for all eternity.

Amen.

Song (King of kings)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Of5IcFWiEpg

Reverend Peter Waterhouse - School Chaplain