On my daily walks, I have had the delight to see some of the new season lambs in a couple of the fields I pass. Their crazy antics as they gambol around, leaping and bleating, brings a smile to my face and joy to my heart. I love sheep and lambs, and this time of the year is delightful to see both together. At the same time, my breath is taken away by the vibrancy of the green shoots bursting forth on hedgerows and bushes along the way. The green colour is almost shocking in its vividness when set against the dreary back drop of winter-weary branches and surroundings. As we approach Easter, as a Bible reader, I marvel at God’s amazing design in the natural world to act as a reminder of the most important weekend in history so far. A weekend that changed the world. Jesus was ‘the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29 NIV). His death, at the hands of cruel and jealous men, was God’s act of love to overcome sin and to give men and women the opportunity to have a new life, one that would last forever. So, we are reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice by the lambs, but what of the green shoots? ‘The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him”’. (Matthew 28:5-7) The grave could not hold the perfect, lovely, sinless man, the Lord Jesus Christ. God raised him to newness of life – not the same as before, but now eternal, never to die again. The vibrant new green shoots bursting forth can remind us of Jesus resurrection, but unlike the way they deepen in colour and mature as the season progresses and eventually fall to the ground in death once more, Jesus never will. He will now live forever. And excitingly, there is hope for us too! 1 Corinthians 15:20 says ‘Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.’ If we listen to Jesus and obey his teaching, associating ourselves with his death and resurrection through baptism, we can share in his victory over sin and death! When Jesus returns to this earth, he will raise those who belong to him to everlasting life. What an amazing time to look forward to! (All quotations from New International Version) pershore.bible pershore-christadelphians.org

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