Easter Sunday Christ is Risen!

Christ is Risen!


Acts 10:34-43

Ps 118:1-2,14-24 

1 Cor 15:1-11

John 20:1-18

Colour: WHITE

Sentence: Alleluia! The Lord is risen indeed. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Luke24:34, Revelation 1:8


Alleluia! God of new beginnings, your resurrection brought darkness into the fullness of your light; shed that light into the dark places of our lives, that we may grasp the promise of eternity and live as your resurrection people, created, redeemed and empowered through you. For you are alive and reign with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

What an amazing year it has been. Very challenging! This time last year we were shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. No Sunday karakia for almost a full year. You know how hard it is for Maori not to gather, not to worship and pray, not to hongi and hariru. Not allowed to share in a shared meal. 10 people only at tangihanga. For a lot of our people they suffered isolation, loneliness, depression, anger and the list goes on. Our values needed to change and they did. We have been culturally challenged by this pandemic. Since yesterday, 2,854,993 people have died worldwide so far from the coronavirus outbreak. That’s almost half the population of Sydney. What a stunning statistic. Can you imagine losing half the people in Sydney? Even a closer breakdown, half of us gathered here today would be dead if we didn’t take this pandemic seriously.

You see, so much has happened in our lives and in the church over the past year. If you haven’t in some way been challenged to change or transform your lives physically, mentally or spiritually, then you have allowed yourselves to be dictated by your circumstances. Look around you, doesn’t the church look stunning?  Even this building is going through a transformation. There’s still plenty of work to be done but you can visually see the changes.

Our theme today is Christ is Risen. That is why I love Easter Sunday, it’s all about resurrection!

In our gospel reading this morning we find Mary Magdalene going to the tomb where Jesus was placed after he was crucified and died. To her astonishment the tomb was empty and she went back and told the disciples that Jesus’ body had been removed and nobody knew when it had gone!  Obviously, Jewish people don’t know what Maori are like when it comes to taking their deceased people. There would be a huge war!

Anyway, the disciples, Peter and the Apostle John, went to check out Mary’s claims. Sure enough, it was empty.  However, something unbelievable happened at the tomb, John was converted at this point because he finally understood what Jesus was trying to teach them and that was that he must rise from the dead.  For John, he realised that Jesus was the Messiah!  The one that would provide salvation for the people!  

In other words, Jesus had conquered death!  To save the people from the wreath of God, and that is death. Jesus closed this void by providing himself as the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  

We have just come through holy week and participated in the trials and tribulations that Jesus encountered on his journey to the cross; we celebrated Maundy Thursday and our Shadow Service on Friday. Both karakia were amazing. For those of you that attended our Shadow Service, you would understand what I mean. The pain, the suffering, the agony and all the humiliation that humanity could throw at Jesus, and of course the biggest sin, putting an innocent man to death!  But all of these things only led to one thing and that is the expansion and further outpouring of God’s unconditional love!  

Jesus said to Mary as she wept, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?  Who are you looking for?’  Mary thought Jesus was a gardener, so she said to him, ‘if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’  Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbouni!’ which means Teacher.  Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father.  But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”  

We so want to hold onto things from our past because it defines who we are, which is so true but there are so many things that we hold onto that we need to let go of.  Mary wanted to find the physical body of Jesus so she can weep and hold onto him in the physical world.  The risen Lord tells her to let him go so he can ascend back to God!  Like Mary, we have to let things go, even our loved ones that we so want to keep with us, I’m speaking spiritually now, let them be at rest.  More importantly, we gotta let go of our sins, our hara, those things that make us horrible and nasty people, that is why Jesus came into the world! 

As Christians we believe that there is life after death, hence our theme Christ is Risen. This faith will always be a challenge for most people but to have life something always has to die! Jesus died so we may have life and have it abundantly!  How grateful are we really, for this koha from God!

As we draw to the close of another Easter celebration, what difference has this Easter made in your life?  For me, knowing that Christ has risen, has deepened my faith and relationship with Jesus Christ and given me even more hope in a world that healing and salvation may come to it no matter what terrible things are happening in the world and in all of creation.  Christ has risen, Christ is Lord of all! Amen

Archdeacon Kaio Karipa

Our theme today is Christ is Risen. That is why I love Easter Sunday, it’s all about resurrection!

Thank you everyone for the Easter eggs that were handed out today!

Photos:4th April 2021