Greater love has no-one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13.
Christ practised what he preached as he sacrificed his own life for the salvation of those he loved. We mortals measure life in years — lifetimes — our life is in fact time.
Easter’s celebration reminds each individual to follow Christ’s example in the sacrifice of our own lives, our time, our attention to those we love.
Each time we work to make others’ lives ashappy as we would like them to be, we emulate the Carpenter King — we help Him with His Work — passing on the example to those we love, ensuring the Light and Life of Christ remains immortal, as was His promise.
This Easter, some of the community’s Christian leaders share their vision of the Holy Week.
Pastor Alex McLaughlin:
Imagine this scenario . . .
An influential few, slander someone because they’re threatened by their beliefs.
Agitators whip up an angry crowd to intimidate and silence, the mob demands the innocent be condemned without a trial.
Those appointed to govern by law wash their hands, fear of becoming unpopular overruling their integrity.
Their victim is subjected to public shaming and executed.
This event played out not in our media feeds but more than 2000 years ago in the nation of Israel.
How much has changed?
The truth is: Jesus Christ — who was slain by the jealous and the angry — cannot die.
In three short days, He and His immortal message returned, and continue to live and work with those who call upon Him.
This Easter Sunday at Clutha Valley Church we will celebrate the eternal victory of Jesus.
He will always be in the business of healing the broken-hearted with His life changing, unconditional love.
Vicar Brett Roberts, St Mark’s Anglican Church, Balclutha:
For me, the great wonder of Holy Week is not that Christ rose from the dead but that Christ himself ‘‘dies’’.
From within the mystery of the cross, and Him resting in the tomb, the question ripples out — What does it mean?
In preparation for Holy Week, we encounter the death and resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus.
I read recent words commemorating this event: ‘‘Christ stole him from among the dead’’.
How overjoyed would anyone who has lost a loved be for this wish to come true for them?
The whole thing ismind-blowing.
Could we dare believe it true?
He who holds all creation in His hands, is held within the tomb. Life sleeps on Holy Sabbath and hell trembles with awe.
None of us were created for the tomb. The Church’s cry goes up:
‘‘Christ is risen from the dead. Alleluia!’’
Father Jacob Theva Jacopillai of Balclutha, Milton and Lawrence Catholic parish:
Let us celebrate Easter as a time of sacrificial giving, for Christ gave His life to set us free.
Let us love our friends and family sacrificially and emulate His example.
‘‘Peace be with you!’’ John 20:19,20was the greeting of the Risen One; a greeting echoing today throughout the world.
For all, especially the least, we proclaim the hope of peace, founded on love and justice, truth and freedom.
Let there be an end to the chains of hatred and violence threatening the orderly development of the human family.
May God free us from the peril and tragedy of clashes between nations and religions.
May faith and love make leaders and followers of every creed courageous builders of understanding and forgiveness, patient weavers of fruitful dialogue, a new era of justice and peace.
Thank you all for being a loving, caring and welcoming community.