By Jeremy Rensford, chair of the Greater Shepparton Ministers’ Association
Happy Easter! For we Christians this is a significantly important time of year. It’s a joy to have our wider community join us last week in celebrating these holy days. I give a speech at this time of year, every year, at church on this topic, and I never run out material to use. There is so much in the original story for us today.
For example, this year I’ve been reflecting on Peter – one of Jesus’s best friends. He, more than anyone, was acutely aware of the power of the Easter message. He let himself and Jesus down badly when Jesus needed him the most, denying he even knew the man, leaving Him condemned to die without support. How guilty he must have felt!
And sure enough, as feared, Jesus was sentenced to a capital punishment death by crucifixion, while Peter took off, fearing a similar fate. So, Jesus’s death on Good Friday was the end of Peter’s sad story, right? Wrong! Because on Resurrection Sunday Peter saw Jesus rise from the dead with his very own eyes! Because of this miracle, his life was turned around for the good, their friendship was restored, and Peter went on to die for his beliefs because he was convinced.
May this Easter time provide you and I the same hope of reconciliation and the turnaround. I pray for you and your friends and family at this most sacred time of year.