Last year I wrote about Easter being a paradox of life and death, and endings and beginnings. What has prompted my 'gateway' thought has been my journey of the last few months. By the time this article is published I will be recovering from an operation which will be a gateway to the rest of my life. Crises are particularly significant gateways, but in a sense each day of our life is a gateway to the rest of our life! As I reflected on this theme in the context of the Christian Easter story, I thought of Jesus talking to his followers and predicting His own death. He spoke words that to some were mysterious. He said "Whoever wants to save his life will lose it" and "what good will it be if a person gains the whole world, yet loses his soul?" or "what can anyone give in exchange for a soul?" Strange words maybe, but Jesus was talking about His impending death and subsequent resurrection. He actually predicted that He would rise from the dead in three days. I saw a beautiful picture of that the other day when I walked in my garden. I saw magnificent autumn foliage, the best the trees could offer, but that was their death colour. Unless the colour passes and the leaves fall off, next year's new life can't come. Let's see Easter like autumn - a gateway of opportunity. An opportunity for God to bless the 'colour' of our lives now and to take us through our winters, our gateways, to the new life and growth that only He can bring. The cross of Jesus is a powerful emblem, especially when it is an empty one! That tells me that Jesus was raised and is my advocate in the heavens on my behalf. Pull down the old Bible this Easter and read the gospel of Matthew, chapter 27 for the account of Jesus' death by crucifixion and His burial. And not to despair, read Chapter 28 about His resurrection. If you have seen the movie 'Gladiator' use those images of the period as a backdrop to your reading.
God bless you with insight and travel safely this Easter.