Christ Church Cathedral, Grafton
21 April 2019
[ video ]
An Easter sermon.
For us the events of the past few days have been a rollercoaster experience, as we have followed Jesus through high moments of success and deep moments of failure and suffering.
There were indeed some high points in that final week:
The dramatic entrance to the city and the rapturous welcome from the crowd …
Crowds hanging on every word as Jesus taught in the temple precincts …
The raising of Lazarus and the party a few days later when the family said thank you to Jesus …
The anonymous supporter in the Essene quarter of the city who made available an upstairs room for what turned out to be their final meal together …
Jesus washing their feet …
But it had also been a week of setbacks and then the great disaster:
Back room deals to eliminate Jesus
One of the inner circle selling him out …
The arrest in the garden …
A trial process that was corrupt from start to finish …
The crowd choosing Barabbas over Jesus …
The horror and shame of crucifixion …
And not even a chance for a proper burial …
Through it all Jesus seemed calm, almost at peace. Not elated by the praise nor dismayed by the opposition.
Jesus was preparing to die in the same way that he lived: always faithful to the God who called, and always ready to say, “Yes. Here I am.”
He was faithful to the end. And what a cruel end.
Jesus demonstrated total trust in God even to the point of death.
Never seeking to be a martyr, but always ready to live into whatever God asked of him.
Jesus said YES to God.
And God said YES to Jesus.
Millennia earlier, God said YES to creation and called our universe into being.
God said YES to freedom and free will.
God said YES to covenant.
God said YES to incarnation.
God said YES to a faithful soul who asked no special favours.
In God’s YES is our future and our destiny.
In God’s YES, Jesus passed through and beyond death into the very heart of God’s own being.
In God’s YES we are invited to embrace love and reject fear, to choose life.
Are we able to say YES to the God who says YES?
Are we able to say YES to all those around us who say YES to God?
With them will we fashion a compassionate community of faith that says YES to life, to hope and to community?
YES, our doors are open. YES, our hearts are open. YES, our minds are open.
YES to God, YES to the future, YES to hope …