Paradox (Macquarie) - A statement or proposition seemingly self contradictory or absurd, and yet explicable as expressing a truth.
In stretching my mind to arrive at a clear way of conveying the core of the Easter story, I thought of the paradox - life out of death. At that point several things came to mind, the pinoak tree on my lawn, the magnificent red foliage that is emerging from its heart has a beauty all of its own. However, just as I marvel at its glory it will drop its leaves and they will die.
I then thought of the grass seeds scattered about at this time of the year and realised that the common point with both is that they have to die to make way for a new form of life. I am then reminded of Jesus' words, "unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it cannot bring forward new life". Jesus was of course using this as an analogy to His coming death and resurrection.
Easter is a time of remembrance and rejoicing - a paradox of sadness and joy. On Good Friday we sadly recount the agonising death of Jesus on a cruel Roman cross. On Easter Sunday we leap for joy as we reflect on a spectacular resurrection when Jesus came back to life.
The great reality is that God, who having created men and woman with a mind for free choice, unequivocally desires a living, walking, talking and loving relationship with them. I read that "In the past God spoke to our forefathers at many times and in many ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His son".
Reconciliation is the "in" word today, yet it has been God's word for centuries. Jesus, God's son, became the peacemaker, the ultimate sacrifice for forgiveness from sin and the reconciler of the created to the creator. Even though most of us don't realise it, Easter offers the opportunity to explore this forgiveness, reconciliation and love.
Let's not miss the truth of this absurd paradox. Let's not waste the fruiting potential of the seed sown. Let's not ignore the Easter sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
On Anzac Day we will again be thankful for the ultimate sacrifice of others on our behalf, the greatest human act.
The truth and uniqueness of the Christian Story is that Jesus gave His life and then rose from the dead. Reach up and let Him, the risen Christ, reconcile you into a beautiful relationship this Easter.