Easter Message from the Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP, Archbishop of Liverpool.
We live in a time of uncertainty, events in Syria and the wider Middle East offer only confusion and fear for the future. Political change over the last year, forthcoming elections in Europe and Brexit make us lose direction, and often hope too. We live in a rapidly changing world with events fuelled by rumour and fake news, it can be difficult to establish the truth and to know what is happening. Our lives are turned upside down with the drama of events.
In Holy Week, we remember the events of almost two thousand years ago in Jerusalem. A time of uncertainty, fear of the unknown, confusion and drama. Every bit of human emotion can be found in those days: rumour, betrayal, death, love: and it is love that ultimately triumphs bringing peace, joy and unity. The disciples, the followers of Jesus, were committed to his message, they listened to him and learned from him, he was the One they had been waiting for, the Messiah, the Saviour: everything was going to be fine, nothing could go wrong…and then. Fickle jeering crowds who welcomed him to Jerusalem, then turned against him. Authorities who didn’t accept him, tortured him and made him die the death of a criminal. It was the end of the road for his followers who scattered and fled in their fear.
Things were very dark on that first Good Friday, and yet they were soon to change. Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples found an empty tomb and life was transformed in a way unthinkable just a few days earlier. It is the hope that the resurrection brings which can transform our lives today in a world of uncertainty.
The Easter message gives us something to unify around: hope triumphing from the jaws of despair and defeat. It is the powerful testimony at the heart of our Christian witness, the fulfilment of the promise that God has sent his Son to save the world. This is what lies at the heart of the difference we can make as Christians. It is a basic truth and hope that the world is crying out for. It is the hope we can offer. This hope that Easter brings is too precious to keep to ourselves, we need to share it, shout it, broadcast it to the world. That Jesus is alive, that He saves us, that He wants to know us and for us to know him.