Easter's choice for us all

One of the blessings of living in New Zealand is that we get the "freedom of choice" that may not be available in other countries.

Reading this, you may have made the choice to spend Easter time at the holiday house in Nasbey or get the firewood for winter. Easter is a good time to spend with family and catch up on all the little things you never finished over the Christmas break.

One of the choices available to us, and one my family and I will choose this Easter, is to spend time in church celebrating the most sacred and holy days for Christians.

Easter to a Christian is when we remember and honour the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us all. It's when we mourn the brutality and persecution that led to Jesus being hung on a cross until he took his last breath, but most importantly Easter is when we celebrate that on the third day (being Easter Sunday) he rose from the dead.

It was his rising from the grave that cements and holds our faith together, for without that, Jesus would have been just another man.

Two thousand years ago, a lady called Mary Magdalene chose to visit the tomb that contained the body of Jesus. When she arrived, she found the tomb empty and she was informed by an angel that Jesus has risen from the grave.

Jesus was then seen and documented in history walking the earth for the next 40 days before ascending to heaven.

This was the start of the Easter celebrations that we observe today. Jesus' message to his followers over those 30 days was regarding the kingdom of heaven and how as Christians we can and should make a difference in our time on earth.

He gave us the keys and understanding to bring a part of heaven to earth.

His rules were simple: love God and love others as yourself. If we can all follow these two simple rules then what a difference it would make.

In Christianity, we have a term called "born again". It's when one chooses to become a follower of Christ. Being born again simply means we change from the inside out; we work on developing our character and follow the teaching in the Bible. It also means that when we leave this earth, we will get to spend eternity in heaven.

I chose to be a Christian and follow the teachings of Jesus because it makes me be a better person. There was a time in my life when I followed my own path, and this led me all around the world. For five years, I worked and travelled the globe, but there was always this emptiness inside. No matter what I did or where I went, there always seemed to be a piece of the puzzle missing.

Growing up, Mum went to church and Dad didn't. In my later teenage years, I could choose for myself. It wasn't until I realised that I couldn't fill this empty void inside with anything else that I made a choice to follow Jesus again.

This Easter, I will remember the feeling of emptiness as a distant memory and will celebrate that Jesus died for me, that I can have a relationship with God the Father any time and any place.

I don't have to be in church, but I do love celebrating with other believers, especially on Easter Sunday, the most holy of days.

The choice is now yours on how you will spend Easter Sunday, but know this: you are welcome to come to church (any church) and see for yourself what it's all about.

The majority of churches and Christians that I know would welcome you with open arms. God bless.

GUEST EDITORIAL by Damien Goodsir

Damien Goodsir is the pastor of the House of Breakthrough Church, Oamaru.


Mary Magdalene was a disciple, but called a 'follower'.