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The ultimate sacrifice

EASTER: A priest holds a cross during a Good Friday event at the Pendeli Monastery, near Athens, Greece, on April 17, 2009.

TODAY, MILLIONS of Christians throughout the world, will reflect on and mark the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ – that time of the year known as Easter.

In an age where secularism is on the march and respect for Christianity seemingly on the wane, Easter provides believers with great opportunities to shine a light on their faith, and highlight how Jesus, through the sacrificial act of dying on the cross, and being miraculously raised from the dead, has transformed lives and communities.

During my years of reporting on religious issues and interviewing numerous people for whom faith in God plays a major role in their lives, I never fail to be amazed at how the Christian faith has positively impacted and transformed individuals, communities and nations - as well as given people hope, purpose and a reason for living. This is all because of Easter.

We live in an age where few people, even Christians, want to talk about subjects such as sin, hell and judgement, but the Bible makes it clear that sin – the human propensity to break God’s laws, and behave in ways that don’t reflect God’s best for us - have separated us from Him.

Sin manifests itself in a variety of ways, whether through heinous acts such as murder, treachery and violence, behaviours like adultery, lying or stealing, or attitudes such as selfishness, hate or envy.


Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for human sin and bridged the gulf between God and man, and through accepting Christ’s death Christians are given power to overcome their sin.
That’s why Easter is important for so many.

I’ve met individuals who were formerly thieves, prostitutes, drug dealers and gang members, who upon hearing a message about Jesus and the sacrifice He made for them experienced a complete 360 percent life turnaround. And in the process have become respectable members of the community.


I’ve also met people who suffered from mental illness, were prone to violent behaviour, suffered from drug addiction and had personality disorders, who underwent a personality and character change after becoming Christians, and are now some of the nicest and most loving people you would ever get to meet.

Easter symbolises the central premise of the Christian message. Jesus’ death on the cross signifies humanity dying to the power of sin, whilst His resurrection demonstrates the power of the Holy Spirit, being able to give life to dead things. It’s this resurrection power that transforms hearts and minds, and which enables individuals to overcome their personal failure and life challenges to be the people that God purposed them to be.

So, whatever your plans during the Easter period, do reflect on the reason for the season, and recognise that if it wasn’t for the events of Easter some people’s lives would remain very, very bleak. Happy Easter.

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