On Palm Sunday a congregation near Glasgow started their morning worship in one building and ended it in another. They left the old for the new. A minibus had been arranged to transport the older folk the 500 yards to the new sanctuary, but it sat unused as everyone walked in procession. There was an eagerness and anticipation about a new start in a new building. After all the ups and downs of a building project, the day had finally arrived to make the move.
As I reflect on the mixed emotions of that congregation, it reminds me of the new starts that Jesus’ death and resurrection bring for us. Leaving the old behind can be hard. Many of us do not readily embrace change. We prefer to cling on to the known rather than journey into the unknown. I can imagine the disciples’ fear and insecurity as Jesus predicted his death, and as they witnessed his arrest, trial and crucifixion.
Equally, many of us long to leave the old behind as the past can have a grip on us that is not healthy. We can be weighed down by our past sins and failures. We long for a new start and to be free from guilt that can grip us.
When Jesus takes the cup of wine, on the night he was betrayed, he declares:
This cup is the new covenant between God and his people – an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.
Luke 22:20 NLT
What was about to unfold was the most amazing event in the history of the world.
God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them.
2 Corinthians 5:19 NLT
All that we remember and celebrate this Easter is the basis for every new start.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV
Maybe there is a new start you need to embrace this Easter time? We can look forward with hope and anticipation because Jesus is our Saviour. We step into the unknown future with the King of Kings who rose from the dead. Alleluia!