For this Blog I want to reflect on Easter and the new resurrection life we celebrate. I visit a lot of schools at this time of the year for their ‘Easter Assemblies’ and once again I find myself reflecting on the cross rather than the empty tomb. The cross is often portrayed with the figure of Jesus hanging there, the ‘Crucifix’, and of course in the Roman World crosses around with criminals hanging on them were a shocking but all too familiar sight in those brutal times. You would not see an empty cross – which of course has become the universal symbol of the Christian Church. Many other images of the cross have emerged over the centuries. One which I often take into schools is the ‘jewelled’ cross – with 5 jewels or marks at the end of each arm of the cross and at the intersection, depicting the 5 wounds of Christ – the crown of thorns, the nails in his hands and feet and the sword piercing His side.
But I think the most powerful symbol of the cross is the Palm Sunday cross we distribute a week before Easter, and which we give to every child in our Church School – the John Wesley School in Singleton.
The Palm Cross is first and foremost a cross – reminding us of the suffering and death of Jesus as He takes upon Himself the sins and failings of the whole world. It is made of a palm leaf – a sign of Victory over the old power of sin and death. As the Passiontide collect states – ‘grant that by faith in Him who suffered on the cross we may triumph in the power of His victory’ – but it is an empty Cross, to celebrate that Jesus is not on the cross but has been raised by God gloriously to new resurrection life to destroy death for ever.
So as we celebrate Easter together and the joy of the Risen Christ my you know the hope and power of His resurrection in Your life giving victory over all that is evil in this world and the hope of new and everlasting life.
Rev Timothy Wilson
Great Chart Rectory