Easter in England is meant to signal the coming of spring. This year it feels as if we are still in the grip of winter.
Hope for better things ahead can be hard when times are tough. And tough they are, for many people, at the moment. It can feel like a perpetual winter when you’re facing financial pressure, illness, bereavement, family breakdown and all the other cold winds that life blows upon us.
But Easter is all about hope. Not the wishful thinking sort of hope, ‘I just hope things will get better at some point’, but the solid hope that springs from the way things actually are. It’s like the hope that the days are getting lighter, even in the darkness of January.
It’s like the hope that the soil will warm up enough to be able to germinate new life from tiny seeds and feed the family with a new crop of vegetables. It seems impossible when snow lies thick on the ground. But it will happen. It’s the way things are.
Easter has come in 2013 because Jesus is risen from the dead.
It’s the extraordinary reality of life that Jesus Christ was raised from death, beating what the Bible calls ‘the last enemy’.
The last enemy of death, which threatens to hold us in the grip of an eternal winter, has been overcome by our powerful friend, who, springing from the grave, reaches out his hand to lead us out of whatever winter we find ourselves in.
It’s the way things are.
by the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth