A couple of times lately there have been police officers on our road checking drivers’ licenses. The license is our permit, our authority to drive a motor vehicle. In a sense they are questioning our authority to drive and if we can’t produce our licence there are consequences. How do you respond when your authority to drive, to work or to be in certain places is challenged? Are you likely to be defensive, deflect the question, go on the offensive or plead ignorance?
Why, when you are longing for something time drags and when you are really enjoying something time flies by? We know the refrain of children longing to be at the beach, but stuck in traffic in the car – Are we there yet? How much longer? As Christians go through troubles, we ask similar questions and in the Psalms we find the refrain, How long?
Many people know of Leo Tolstoy, a famous Russian writer, and his book War and Peace. He was born and brought up as a nobleman and was proud of being rich. He wrote many books. However, he was not satisfied with this and realized that he could not find real happiness in his life even though he was renowned through his many books. His frustration continued. One day he encountered a farmer passing by a road in the country. In the eyes of Tolstoy, the farmer looked very peaceful. Tolstoy asked the man how he could be so peaceful. He said, “Once I learned to depend upon God, I felt that I was full of peace at all times.” After this happened, Tolstoy decided to receive Jesus as his saviour and Lord. Later he met God personally and the peace of God changed his life and there was no more distress and sadness upon him.
Easter Sunday is a glorious day in the Christian calendar. But before Jesus’ disciples arrived at that day they had to live through the sadness and confusion of the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus. Although Jesus had given them big clues about what would happen, they had no human framework to anticipate the resurrection. From the disciples' point of view Christianity was over, dead and buried. Jesus was a failed false messiah. Whatever hope there might have been, died irretrievably with him.
Today we have carried the cross from St Barnabas, through Mt Eden village to Greyfriars. We carried the cross of Christ; the cross which symbolizes the connection between heaven and earth, between God and his people, and which, on this day, symbolizes the suffering and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This cross also symbolizes the love of God, who so loved his people that he gave his one and only Son to save them from their sins. We believe that the meaning of the cross has never changed.