A New View of Easter by Pastor Toby Quirk, New Boston Congregational Church
In the year of our Lord 2017, Easter Sunday will fall on April 16th. In New Boston everyone is welcomed to celebrate Easter at 10:00 at the historic Congregational Church (the little brown church on Sandisfield Road near the New Boston Inn). Pastor Toby Quirk’s message will be titled: “A New View of Easter”. Here’s a quick introduction:
For the fledgling band of Jesus people gathered in Jerusalem their world had fallen apart. Just a week ago their cause reached a fantastic climax when their leader, Jesus of Nazareth, was welcomed into the city with cheering throngs, hailing him as their new king. Then an incredible, devastating reversal: Jesus was arrested, tried for blasphemy, brutally tortured and nailed to a cross where he died.
Three days later Cleopas and his friend, both Christian disciples, were walking to a nearby town called Emmaus. They were utterly heartbroken at the gruesome death of their leader, and perplexed at the news that his body had disappeared that very morning. They were engaged in an emotional argument about these distressing events when a stranger overtook them on their journey. He asked them what they were arguing about, and Cleopas said, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
Cleopas told him about how they’d all hoped that Jesus would be the one who would redeem Israel, but the chief priests and leaders handed him over to the Romans to be crucified. Then on top of that his body is missing from the tomb.
They did not recognize this man until he reclined at dinner with them and he blessed the bread and broke it. Then their eyes were opened. “It’s Jesus!” Cleopas said. Then the Lord disappeared.
Easter is a celebration of new life. The trees will be budding, bulbs will be popping up through the soil and our days will be longer than our nights. By taking a new view of the resurrection of our Lord this Easter we can offer ourselves a marvelous opportunity to open the eyes of our hearts to the spiritual reality of new life.
Pastor Toby Quirk is an author, speaker and an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God. He is a retired Infantry Officer and Fire Chaplain.