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Good Friday reminds us of the price that had to be paid for our sins. We see a suffering Saviour, one who apparently failed in His mission. I imagine the disciples watching the crucifixion were devastated, bewildered and heartbroken as they realised there would be no miraculous rescue. Jesus had to die, and death is painful for the onlookers as well as for the one actually dying.

C.S. Lewis captures this sorrow in his book ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’, when the great lion, Aslan, is tied to the stone and killed. I can remember reading this story to my son when he was younger and his sobs as he realised that Aslan would actually die. His heart-rending cry of ‘No!‘ still echoes in my ears; it’s still our response as we realise what the sinless Son of God endured to bring us back to God.

But that is not the end of the story. Death does not have the final word. Susan and Lucy were both terrified and overjoyed to see Aslan return to life and today, Easter Sunday, we too celebrate that we have a risen Saviour who has defeated death and sin and whose love and power mean that we no longer have to face separation from God again.

The disciples didn’t quite understand it all at once. They were baffled, confused, sometimes still doubting… but ultimately the empty tomb and the appearances of Jesus to them convinced them of this new, mind-boggling truth. Jesus is alive forevermore!

From despair to hope, from misery to joy, from death to life… as someone has once said, ‘a lot can happen in three days!‘ But wherever we are in the Easter story, we can look ahead to this glorious resurrection and know that death does not have the last word.

“Because You’re risen I can rise.
Because You’re living I’m alive.
Because Your cross is powerful,
Because You rose invincible,
I can get up off the floor.
This is my resurrection day;
Nothing’s gonna hold me in the grave.
This is my resurrection day;
Nothing’s gonna hold me down.
Say goodbye to my yesterdays;
Ever since I met You I am changed.
This is my resurrection day;
Nothing’s gonna hold me down.
Because You rolled my stone away,
Because my debt has all been paid,
Because You stand in victory,
Because You crushed the enemy,
I can get up off the floor (get up off the floor).
This is my resurrection day.
Nothing’s gonna hold me in the grave.
This is my resurrection day.
Nothing’s gonna hold me down.
Say goodbye to my yesterdays;
Ever since I met You I am changed.
This is my resurrection day;
Nothing’s gonna hold me down.
The good news is the good news,
‘Cause You chose the rugged cross.
The good news is the good news,
‘Cause You rose up from the dust.
Your gospel is the power
That is saving all of us,
So, I can get up off the floor
Come on, get up off the floor.” (‘Resurrection Day’, Rend Collective)