20 April 2014

Easter message from Anglican Archbishop The Most Rev’d Dr Jeffrey Driver

The closeness of Easter and Anzac this year is poignant.

Gallipoli was amongst the earliest of military interventions by the newly formed AIF and Australia honours the courage and sacrifice of the men – barely beyond boys – who were prepared to take arms and who died on those beaches and cliffs so far from home.

Easter tells an even more ancient story of sacrifice:
And on a Friday afternoon, after we had stripped him of his dignity; after his friends had forsaken him; after the soldiers had spat upon him and whipped him; after the trial, when everything was done according to the law; we dragged him up a hill, nailed his hands and feet, and executed him.
And as he hung there bleeding to death, he looked down at us, and he cried out: "Father, forgive".

This is the great-unarmed intervention for peace.

In the story of Jesus Christ and his crucifixion, aggression is met with forgiveness, violence is borne without revenge and suffering is absorbed in self-giving. New life is possible.

Anzac reminds us of the last-resort sadness of war and calls us to honour those who gave their lives in sacrifice.
Easter reminds us that true peace comes when the cycle of violence is broken. Easter reminds us that peace is secured when acts of aggression are turned by heroic sacrifice.

Easter also reminds us that true peace is given to others, not won from others.
It is an ancient story full of meaning.  But it is more than that, for on Easter day Christians proclaim, "Christ is risen!"

The one who sacrificed himself lives, and continues to be present in our world today, as we open our lives to his presence and peace. That's why the story of Good Friday and Easter continues to be the story of hope and peace for our world.

Easter peace and blessings

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