In the last 12 months the phrase ‘lockdown’ has become part of our everyday language. News reports, T.V. Programmes, newspaper articles, and our daily conversations have centred around the fact that in one way or another we have all been on lockdown endeavouring to protect ourselves and our families from Covid-19.
This got me thinking……… (Well – we have had some time to do that!) What effect does all this talk of lockdown, locked in etc. have on us? The word lock can have both positive and negative connotations. We are happy to lock our doors at night to keep ourselves and our loved ones secure, however, we can lock things up in our hearts and minds for a long-time stopping healing and freedom. We can be locked out, locked up, we can have something locked tight and we can have things locked away; So, what has all this to do with Easter?
Again, this year with the implications of lockdown we are entering another strange Easter season. The truths of the Easter story do not change but the way we remember and celebrate them is not how we would love to do so. Although we can never fully enter into the sufferings of Jesus at the hands of people who were locked down in religion and empire building, yet at this Easter time as we take communion, we give thanks with very grateful hearts for His obedience, His broken body and His shed blood through which we are ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven and have received eternal life.
So, one way or another be it in a church, a home, a secret place in a forest or even in a prison, the global body of Christ will remember and celebrate. Here in our nations we thank God for zoom and all the other electronic ways we have been communicating, praying and worshiping together. However, we know it is not the same as being together with our church family to share communion, greet one another with a hug or a handshake and joyfully sing, ‘Christ the Lord is risen today, Hallelujah.’ It’ s not quite the same, two meters apart wearing a mask. However, we might be in some form of lockdown but we are not locked in.
Even as we write this week, lockdown is being eased; a ship in the Suez Canal is being freed, nature is being released from its winter lockdown and the church worldwide the Body of Christ, despite all its challenges, persecutions and opposition from governments, religious people and anti-Christian zealots, is celebrating the greatest breakout from a lockdown in the world’ s history.
The religious people and the Roman authorities and the anti-Christ zealots thought they had achieved the ultimate lock down. In fact, they were so certain they performed a double lock down. However, a lock down, with stones, seals and soldiers and all the powers of darkness was as far as they could go. They could not create a lock in. God the Father unlocked the unlockable and Jesus walked into openness, freedom, resurrection life, with rulership of a government and kingdom of which there will be no end.
This Easter, what you thought was unlockable and locked down does not have to be locked in! Talk to Jesus, He is the Key. He will walk with you into freedom.
We pray you will have a happy and blessed Easter.
Ian Cole is the Founder of the World Prayer Centre Birmingham and connects globally in prayer.