(Mark 15 v 37-38)
Some of us grew up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. They were grim times, with some dreadful atrocities committed by all sides, and many hearts broken with grief.
But there was also a dogged determination to somehow carry on, demonstrated by what you’d sometimes see on shops after a bomb. As people swept up the glass and debris, signs would appear on boards where the windows had been, saying, ‘Business as Usual.’ Back in those days we admired the resilience of people who just kept going, despite the trauma and frustration.
However, less honourable was the attitude of the authorities in Jerusalem after that controversial Passover Festival, the one where they had popular preacher Jesus of Nazareth set up and brutally executed.
Something dreadful had taken place but they were trying to pretend everything was normal. They stitched up the torn curtain in the Temple, hung a ‘Business as Usual’ sign on the door, and carried on as before. They probably even let the traders and crooked money-changers back in!
Something appalling had taken place, but also something wonderful, and just beneath the surface something was beginning that would ensure the world could never be the same again.
The Son of God had willingly suffered to atone for human sin. The way to God was open like never before, forgiveness and reconciliation freely available to all who choose to trust. Good news had been born in the hearts of disciples who would make it a global phenomenon.
Oh, and the man they had murdered? He was alive again.
Business as usual? I don’t think so.