John Dominic Crossan is one of my favourite theologians. He writes in an accessible and engaging way and explores the nature of story. STORY is essential to the understanding of the Christian Faith. Through the Church’s year, we enter into the stories of the People of the First Covenant, the Jews, and their journey with God. We travel with the first followers of Jesus, entering into the highs and lows of discipleship, and above all, we enter into the story of Jesus. As we hear the stories, we use our imagination to enter into them with wonder and delight, but sometimes with sorrow at the failure of human beings (such as us) to grasp the essential message of the Gospel.
At this season of the of the year, with heart and mind we journey with Jesus to Jerusalem and the Cross. As we contemplate the Cross, we reflect on the little crucifixions in our own lives, as well as the suffering of countless millions in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere because they do not conform to someone else’s ideology. We have to journey through the Cross to get to the empty tomb and the joy of Resurrection, new beginnings, new life, in which pain is transfigured and transformed. And we experience little resurrections of our own.
No-one can plumb the depths of God’s love which we see in the Cross and Resurrection. But let us enter into the Story of God’s Love for humankind revealed in them through Jesus.
Jesus is the ultimate Word of God - and he sings God’s love song to the human race. In Jesus, we see God’s deep longing for us, his children, to know the most profound joy of being in right relationship with God and thus with one another and the world. In this way is the world redeemed.
This Easter, let us learn how deeply we are loved, and let us take the first hesitant steps towards returning that love with our love. The news that Christ has died and that Christ is risen is the single most important fact in the history of the universe. It means that the Good News begins to drown out all the bad news we hear in today’s world, and that in the end God will draw all of us to himself. Happy Easter!