Article Title: Church Leaders Reflect on Offer of Hope for a New Life
Submitted by: Craig Lock

Key words/tags/categories: Easter, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Easter Message, Church Leaders, New Zealand, New Zealand Herald, Faith, Spiritual Growth, Spirituality, Faith, Inspiration, Words of inspiration, "Spiritual Thoughts" (enough there now).

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(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, 'spiritual writings' (how 'airey-fairey'), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig

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Church Leaders Reflect on Offer of Hope for a New Life
Sourced from:
April 9 2009

The observance of Easter - the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ - is central to the Christian religion. We asked superiors in the principal denominations in Auckland to share their Easter messages...

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are the key moments in the Easter events which we celebrate this weekend. They are also what lie at the heart of Christian faith.

They are more than simply past events which form the core of our belief, for they are also part of our human experience. Throughout our lives we know moments of dying, as a phase of our life comes to a close. These moments can bring incredible despair as we wonder whether things will ever be the same again. And they never are the same.

But we can also experience a rising again as life takes new shape and finds new meaning. Our experiences of significant change can bring pain, but they need not be devoid of hope.

New opportunities can emerge which are faced with new strength through what we have acquired as the result of such change. The kind of structural changes that our economy is currently undergoing are an example of present pain which if managed well could offer a new future.

Often it is only with the benefit of reflection that we are able to identify this process of dying and rising. It is what we celebrate at Easter.

God is present in all of human experience and offers us the hope of new life through the resurrection of Jesus.

The cross stood three times my height, and with the sun low in the sky its shadow reached beyond the church parking lot and included the sidewalk and street.

I had to admit it was an imposing image which summoned my attention. I recalled the words of the hymn The Old Rugged Cross, written by George Bennard: "O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world, has a wondrous attraction for me."

In that moment the miracle of Easter focused on the fact that this object of cruel punishment offered me comfort and hope and extends that gift to the world in which I live.

The cross reminds us that God so loved us that He gave us His son. Easter can be more than a public holiday, more than a commercial opportunity and more than sweets and smiles.

If you can't make your way through all of the religion of Easter, at least give yourself the opportunity to think about a man who gave his life for others. It's okay to stand, for a moment, in the shadow of the cross.

Easter commemorates the recorded historical events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The voluntary sacrifice of his life as an expiation of the sins of all humankind forms the basis for the doctrine of the atonement.

The doctrine of atonement teaches that there is an accountability for transgression which is beyond our ability to remedy. Jesus undertook to pay the price for our sins with the sacrifice of his perfect life.

In the Gospel of John we read: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Jesus said: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

We believe that the atonement makes it possible for all mankind to be cleansed of sin and found worthy to return to live with God in his kingdom. In return, all that he asks of us is a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

How do we evidence this in our daily lives? We commend the following for people's consideration: Acceptance of Jesus as our Saviour, and a repentant, forgiving and compassionate heart.

This, then, is the meaning and message of Easter.

Jesus said that He would be a stumbling block for many, and His resurrection has proven to be that - but "He has Risen!" Without the resurrection we are left, trapped in a life of pain and sinfulness, but because He lives there is hope, and I can face tomorrow, knowing that death is not the end for all who believe and trust in Him.

Hey you! Yes, you. Get up out of your Lazy-boy and exercise your faith! Yes, you heard me right, exercise your faith.

How long will you sit back as a spectator, yell obscenities at the ref and call plays that you are not prepared to play yourself? And then there are the half-time antics where some silly bunny runs on to the field and tosses you chocolate eggs. What's that about?

When it comes to Easter, the world is full of spectators and consumers. Read the original story for yourself as found in Luke 22-24. You will see the spectators and consumers and you might even recognise yourself on the big screen, because like it or not, you're part of this story.

Life's story is made up of a beginning, middle and an ending - birth, life and death. This is exactly how the story of Jesus is told. Christmas, the birth of Jesus; the narrative, the life of Jesus and the Cross; the death of Jesus.

These are the defining marks of every person's life. There is no one alive who has not been born and no one alive will escape death. You can't be a spectator forever; sooner or later you will be called to be a participant in your story.

So get off your couch this Easter weekend and exercise some faith.

Sourced from: ...

Shared by craig

"Nothing can kill an idea in which the light of truth is burning."

"There is light in every shadow."

"You make a living from what you get; you make a life from what you give."

"If you have the faith, God has the power."

"I don't believe in God. I know God." - David Rosen, Jungian psycho-analyst

"Together, one mind, one life at a time, let's see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials."

"The tiniest ray of light can pierce through the thickest darkness."

In your own life shine your own bright light that helps overcome the darkness.

Author's Bio: 

About the Submitter:

In his life mission Craig hopes to encourage, motivate and inspire people to be their best through realising their full potentials and live their very best lives (without being too much of a too boring Mr goody-goody two shoes" (as he's lost one!). Craig believes in the great potential of every human being in the journey of life and loves to encourage people to share their individual (and guiding) spirits, so that they become all that they are CAPABLE of being.

The various books that Craig "felt inspired to write" are available at: and

"The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

The submitter's blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at and

A book is small enough to hold in your hand; but when you read it, the walls fall away and you're in a room as big as the world."

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”
- Chinese proverb

"A book, like a dog, is man's best friend, but inside it's too dark to read."

- Woody Allen (I "tink")

"Together, one mind, one life at a time, let's see how many people we can impact, encourage, empower, uplift and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials."