Easter – consider the sacrifice

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This year Easter falls quite close to ANZAC day. There is a connection here which is that of sacrifice. Often times at the ANZAC services around the country there will be a reading from Johns Gospel chapter 15 and verse 13 which states “Greater love has no-one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. ”
The link is quite clear. We remember those who gave their lives that we might enjoy freedom. The giving of their lives took place in the context of warfare. We read or hear of many occasions where in the heat of battle, heroic and noble acts of self-sacrifice were made for the sake of others.
Jesus speaks to his disciples in the context of warfare also but it is a spiritual warfare at heart, that underlies the events that unfold that first Easter. In Psalm 2 there is a passage pointing forward to the Christ saying “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed”
Within a few hours the powers of Rome and Jerusalem combined would pass the death sentence upon Jesus and he would go the cross. This is culmination of the spiritual warfare, and Jesus lays down his life for his friends, displaying the greatest of love for them.
The link with ANZAC day is clear we see it in the giving up of life for others. The differences are sometimes missed. In battle sinners will sacrifice themselves for the sake of other sinners who are fighting alongside them. In this spiritual battle the Sinless One sacrifices himself for the sake of sinners who are fighting against him in order that he might make them his friends. Surely this is the greatest possible expression
of love. It is not that we love God or that we love others but that God has loved us, and sent His Son to be a sacrifice for our sake.
This Easter, take time to consider the greatest sacrifice of all time. Jesus Christ died upon the cross that we might have true and eternal freedom.
– Rev. David Bayne, Grace Presbyterian Church