The world today seems to go from chaos to tragedy in a matter of minutes. We have lurched through a worldwide pandemic only to be confronted by war in eastern Europe. This constant lack of certainty has caused many people much anxiety and whole nations to behave in bizarre ways. The future can look very hopeless.
It is at this point, particularly as we enter Easter that we need to pause and remember that we, the people who follow Christ, follow a hopeless symbol, the cross. The cross was a torture device that slowly drained the life out of people, often over many days. It was a brutal way that the Romans used to send a message of oppression and fear to all who would stand against them. Therefore, it was the way that they would put a dangerous man like Jesus of Nazareth to death.
However, we who sit on this side of the resurrection story on Easter Sunday know that it wasn’t the end. It was only the beginning of the new covenant that our Creator would forge with all creation. The cross, this ugly symbol of torture, was repurposed to be the ultimate symbol of hope.
As we enter Easter this year, may we be reminded of the Hope of Christ. The hope that can turn the ugly cross into a symbol of salvation, as Paul says in 1 Cor. 18. “For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.”
Let us return to the cross this Easter and be reminded that in the midst of what might seem hopeless that Christ remains our one true hope and saviour of all.
Rev Andrew Gunton is the Moderator, the spiritual head and the main spokesperson for the Uniting Church in Queensland.