Easter Thought

By Grant Dibden

The year has been a bit of a blur. I got started in earnest after Australia Day, had trips to Brisbane, Sydney and Tasmania, and an early Easter. But what really makes it a blur is my father-in-law’s death twelve days after diagnosis. Arthur’s death puts things into perspective. Life is fragile and not permanent. Life isn’t about all the things that we do. It’s about relationships. David Brooks, in his book, The Road to Character, insightfully observes that there are two types of virtues: résumé virtues and eulogy virtues. “The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your résumé, the skills that you bring to the job market and that contribute to external success. The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re the virtues that get talked about at your funeral, the ones that exist at the core of your being—whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed.” And that was very true of Arthur. The eulogies and the sermon were about his humble, godly character. How he loved his family and how he served God by serving the people at his church.

It was a poignant reminder to stay focused on the things that really matter.  At Easter, we Christians reflect on Jesus’ death. He was only 33 years old when he died, young even by the standards of the day. It was violent―death by crucifixion was the cruellest method of execution reserved for the most despicable criminals.  And it was unjust―Pontius Pilate caved in to the demands of the mob even though he could find no grounds for sentencing Jesus to death, let alone death on a Roman cross.

We remember the death of Jesus because it was like no other death before or since. It was not a full stop. The testimony of the gospel writers recorded in the New Testament is that Jesus did not stay dead but rose to life, with a resurrection body. This is what helps us cope, it’s what helped me cope, even when loved ones who have trusted Christ alone for their salvation die.

Jesus’ coming into this world for sinners like you and me, His death on that cross to wipe the slate of our sin clean, His resurrection to give us new life … these things should light up our hearts every moment of every day of the year! Let’s keep focused on our relationships, first with our Lord and second with those we love and serve. Those are things that matter in the long run.

Happy Easter!

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