Comment by Harborough churches: How the Easter message is still relevant to all of us
Every week, the Harborough churches write for the Harborough Mail. This week, it is the turn of Phil Chapman, Pastor of the Living Rock Church in Market Harborough
Viewpoint by Phil Chapman, Pastor of the Living Rock Church in Market Harborough
The Easter story can seem like a distant fable or legend, partly because of its miraculous description of death and resurrection, partly because it is an ancient story. But neither of these things mean it’s not a true story.
The story is powerful; one of sacrifice and suffering, rescue and restoration. It’s timeless and also timely! A similar story in recent memory helps us to understand why the Easter story still matters so much to billions of people. It points to how we can understand why God sent His Son Jesus to restore our relationship with Him.
In summer 2010, news spread globally about the plight of 33 men who were trapped in the San Jose copper-gold mine after one of the shafts had caved in. The miners were stranded 700m underground and 5km from the entrance of the mine.
These men found themselves separated from the surface, the place where they were meant to be, from all the things that they needed and everything that mattered most. They had no fresh air, no sunshine, limited food and water, and worst of all there was no way to get back home, to be where they belonged, with their loved ones; they were separated from their families and their friends.
They were stuck there, there was nothing they could do to save themselves and they would soon die in this fallen and dark place. Their only hope was that those on the surface would come to their aid by drilling down to them, and that is exactly what happened. A huge rescue operation by the Chilean Government began, and after nine weeks a tunnel had been painstakingly drilled to the men, through which a small capsule could be lowered.
Then, one by one, each man climbed into this small pod and were lifted slowly back to the surface, to fresh air, water, sunshine, back to their loved ones…back to life! After 69 days the world watched and cheered as news agencies across the globe reported that the last man had been lifted to safety.
We were all like those miners. We were trapped in darkness and separated from God, the One who is the source of love, provision, fulfilment, the source of life. We were stuck, and we would die in that darkness because there was nothing we could do to dig a way out and save ourselves.
The Good News of Easter is that God drilled down! He reached down to us. Jesus came to earth and lived among us, as a light in the darkness. He gave Himself and paid the penalty for our natural rebellion from God by His death on the cross. But He was raised back to life three days later, and then returned back to His heavenly Father. In doing so, He also made a way for us! Now we too have a way to come back to God.
By Phil Chapman is Pastor of the Living Rock Church in Market Harborough