THIS week is known to Christians as Holy Week - the last days of the life of Jesus, His death and His Resurrection.
After an extra long day at the office, a father returns home longing for a few minutes of relaxation, but his young son would have none of it and again and again tugged at his dad’s leg with yet another suggestion of something they might do together.
Finally, in total frustration, the father ripped from a magazine a picture of the world and tore it to pieces.
“Here,” he said, handing the child a roll of Sellotape, “go and put the world back together.”
Peace at last, he thought, but in just a few minutes his son interrupted him again, having completed the task.
“Son, that’s incredible. How did you do it?”
“It was easy,” the boy replied. “You see, on the other side of the picture of the world was a picture of a man, and as soon as I got the man straightened out, the world came together too.”
In the same way, as we enter into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus this week, our lives come together and we discover holiness, wholeness or oneness with God, if you like. It’s a peace which Scripture says that the world cannot give, a contentment that passes all understanding. Our lives have purpose and complete fulfilment.
Let’s enter His life: God is the creator of all. The non-believing materialist says that creation come from nothing. That is the one statement that someone who believes only in the material obviously cannot claim, since nothing is not something.
And God, in Genesis, looks at all He has created and says it is ‘very good’. Nothing, therefore, in creation is evil or shameful in itself because it is God’s creation. Moreover, God is our loving Father who sends His Son to reveal in His life the Life of the Father - the Love of the Father in the parables of Jesus and his actions in the Gospels.
Entering this life, we have complete confidence. With God with us, who can be against us? Whatever befalls us, God the Creator and Almighty Everlasting Father is always with us.
Let’s enter His death: We see the cruelty and injustice of the world in all its terrifying power unleashed against Jesus. Yet it cannot break His spirit. In fact he responds in a way that is not the normal human response - a response that points to His life in God the Father.
For when the nails are being hammered into His hands and feet, He does not shout out in pain and anger cursing those who do this.
Instead He asks His heavenly Father to forgive them for they know not what they do.
Titus Bransdma so entered His death. He died during the Second World War in a concentration camp after receiving a fatal injection of poison. After the war the process of canonisation for Titus was begun, and one of those who came forward to testify to his holiness was the woman who had administered the fatal injection.
“Why have you come forward?” she was asked. Why would she brand herself as a murderess and open herself to prosecution for war crimes.
She replied: “When I administered the injection he looked at me and loved me.”
So let’s enter Jesus’ death so that we experience the unbreakable strength of the Spirit of God in the face of whatever life throws at us.
And let’s enter His Resurrection: sometimes people say: “No-one has ever come back from the dead to tell us if there is a life after death and what it’s like if there is.”
Wrong, Jesus has. God is the creator, not the destroyer. Nobody makes something in order to destroy it, so why should God? God is not of time, but Eternity and we are made for God.
Jesus, as someone said, is either, a legend, a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. Well, we can prove historically that he is not a legend; it is inconceivable that He be a liar when His whole life’s work is about truthfulness and integrity; and no-one I know of has made the absurd assertion that the words of Jesus in the Gospel are the ravings of a lunatic. Therefore, that leaves us with: Lord.
Holy Week proclaims Jesus the Lord, and we, living in Him, become as He is.
Father James High, Parish Priest, St Margaret’s Church