On street lights across the city there are posters inviting the nation to join in remembrance of the 1916 Easter Rising. Follow the route from the centre of the fight to the Garden of Remembrance. It is when a group of Irish saw that fighting and possible death might be the only way to gain freedom from British rule. Although it wasn’t exactly successful, the uprising on Easter 1916 is one of the reasons I hold a passport that now says I am a citizen of the Republic of Ireland. That is what we do around the world with the people who fight for freedom: remember, even if the history is messy … and Ireland’s history is messy!
Sometimes I wonder if the Easter Rising was ever intended to symbolize the possibility of a nation’s hope that came from the first Easter Rising – when Jesus died so we could live? When Jesus took on the old rule so that we can live as free citizens of his eternal kingdom? Now that history is messy! The details of what exactly happened (historically speaking) are put to debate. Yet here we are, this spiritual freedom is hard to explain. There is no passport or government document with my name signed and stamped that says I now come under the protection and the laws of a new nation. What is citizenship if not a heart welcome from the authorities of a country that is merely represented by a document? Because of Jesus, I am welcomed to live free to love all and be loved fully. I don’t always take advantage of that freedom and instead live as if I cannot help but do what is logical to me that will ensure my own happiness.
Good Friday is a day remembering death. It is remembering why we need freedom. It is remembering that things were not good enough – because we are not good enough or strong enough to obtain our freedom ourselves. We remember as we walk through the Garden of Gethsemane to the culmination of the conflict at the cross. We were living under a citizenship that bound us in chains of hurt and pain in ourselves and for each other. On Good Friday we remember that Jesus died so that we would could be free of that.
This Easter, remember Jesus.
For we know that our old self was crucified with him (Christ) so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. ~ Romans 6:5-8