From time to time most of us wish for a fresh start.
As a community we recognise it annually each New Year. There is nothing fundamentally different about January 1, but we make new year resolutions and we feel like we are starting afresh.
Personally, we go through a fresh start with major changes in our lives. We leave home, or we marry, we commence a new job or start a family. Sometimes people go through a big personal change as we “reinvent” ourselves through a mid-life crisis, or the collapse of an important relationship, or a major change at work like retrenchment or retirement.
However, there is no fresh start that can compare to the change that happened when Jesus rose from the dead.
It was not just a change for him – from death to life again. It was a change for the whole universe. It was a new creation, as the world to come and the Kingdom of God commenced. The judgement of the world started with Jesus’ death, but the resurrection marked the victorious nature of God’s judgement for His people.
Once Jesus rose from the dead life here and in eternity would never be the same again. For it was the risen Jesus who poured out his Spirit on all kinds of people bringing new life. The change that came over them was so great it is described as being “born again”.
Jesus did not rise to die again, but to live forever. And not just live but to live as the ruler of heaven and earth. He is now enthroned as king of kings and lord of lords. His power and his kingdom have been steadily spreading around the world ever since. Never have so many people celebrated his resurrection as will celebrate it this Easter. Never have so many different languages been used to sing his praises.
Individually we can feel the changes that Jesus brought to the universe. For the fresh start that Jesus commenced is brought to us in the Gospel message by the Holy Spirit. As we hear the message of Jesus paying for our sin in his death, and rising to new life we are challenged to repent.
To repent is to change. Repentance is turning our back on what we were and are doing: to renounce our old life and to start living a new way. We cannot do that without our old way being forgiven. We cannot start living differently without the power of God’s Spirit enabling us. Jesus’ death deals with the forgiveness of our past as his resurrection offers us the real possibility of a new way of living.
If you do not know of this fresh start to life, please feel free to contact one of the Cathedral staff to spend some time with you explaining how the risen Jesus can transform your life. Alternatively, you may like to purchase from the Cathedral bookshop the book written by John Chapman entitled “A Fresh Start”.