Last weekend we walked with the disciples and crowds, witnessing and remembering the climax of the stories of Jesus in his passion, death and resurrection.
Why have people have kept returning to these events? For centuries, in poetry, music, painting, film, sculpture and theatre, artists have created countless masterpieces depicting characters and scenes in this story. In the writings of theologians, philosophers, ethicists and historians, thinkers have pondered and interrogated every detail of these well-known Gospel narratives. Yet they never feel exhausted.
From a kiss of betrayal to an unexpected breakfast on the beach, the scenes are dramatic, visceral, moving. The Gospel narratives are soaked in the Hebrew scriptures, being filled with echoes of the past and hints of promised futures.
The death and resurrection of Jesus lie at the heart of Christian faith, welcoming such an overabundance of meaning that we can return again and again and each time find new insight, fresh significance, unexpected disturbance, surprising comfort. A single weekend is not enough to explore the riches that lie here.
Thus, beginning this week and over the coming six weeks, we’ll be diving into the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection in a series crafted for the season of Easter. We’ll be hearing from a variety of speakers from amongst our congregations. Our guide will be a little book by celebrated theologian Rowan Williams called “God with Us: The meaning of the cross and resurrection – then and now”.
Whether you know the stories backwards or are meeting them for the first time, there will be material to chew on and be nourished. After all, there’s only so long you can live on the spiritual equivalent of chocolate eggs.
8th April: The Sign of the Cross
15th April: The Sacrifice of the Cross
22nd April: The Victory of the Cross
29th April: Christ’s Resurrection – Then
6th May: Christ’s Resurrection – Now
13th May: The Beginning of the New Creation