Lk 23:33,46 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals… Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.”

In the three reflections this year on Easter, the thing that has stood out to me can be summarized by “all is not as it seems.” We saw it on Palm Sunday; we’ve seen it on Good Friday. Now the climax of it faces us throughout Saturday and on Sunday morning of this terrible but glorious weekend that stands out like no other in history.

At the end of Friday and over the first part of this weekend, from an onlookers perspective, the future of the embryonic faith of the followers of the Christ is utterly hopeless. Jesus has died. They have seen it. He has been buried in a tomb. It is all over. There is absolutely no hope.

It is made worse if you had watched this vibrant, pure life for the last three years bringing the love of God to thousands. And now it is all over. This glorious phase of human history has been utterly squashed and eradicated by a combination of Jewish religious orthodoxy and Roman cowardice and harsh power. The wonder of what might have been is utterly gone.

The future for the believers is hopeless. It appears it was all one ghastly parody of God’s goodness, a travesty of the power of God which ridiculed us and gave us such false hopes for a new world. And now it is all gone. Utterly hopeless! The end! He is dead and buried, gone!

And that is where, if we had been one of the disciples with short memories, we would have been utterly wrong, because when Jesus said something he never lied, and so when he had told them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life,” (Mt 17:22,23) he meant it!

The thing that was about to confirm his claims to be the Son of God was just waiting to happen. Waiting in faith is a not an uncommon Christian experience. As it happened on that wonderful Sunday morning, so it will happen for you and me: God will turn up, new life will come, there IS hope in the apparently hopeless scenario!

“Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said” (Matt 28:5,6)

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