Last week I heard the Today interviewer Nick Robinson on Radio 4 introduce a new programme by saying that all the assumptions that we once held as certainties had been shredded. He emphasized the word shredded - almost with a note of despair. Certainly the unknowns seem to increase with each daily news bulletin.
I suppose to many non-Christians these three days (Good Friday to Easter Day) seem irrelevant and for anyone to claim these three days change the world for ever appears beyond absurd. Yet this story remains the only source of world hope in spite of its often downbeat telling.
On the road to Emmaus, Cleopas and his friend (Luke 24) have only shredded certainties. With the death of Jesus of Nazareth weighing so heavily on their minds they plod the seven miles with deep dark questioning. We cannot begin to imagine how the risen Jesus, after the greatest reversal in the world, can afford to come alongside them. Why spend time with such a couple of people discussing on the road. Surely he has more important things to do? Much more important! Yet, as with a woman in the garden, Easter is about ordinary people.
As he listens to their recital of gloom he, the Easter Lord hears some of the Easter story without hope. Tenderly, yet firmly, he takes them into the Old Testament to speak of the suffering of the Christ and their hearts are strangely warmed. On the greatest day of history he spends time quietly, generously on two people of no importance, entering their house he breaks bread and they recognize Jesus alive with them.
The wonder of Easter is that Jesus is like this. He comes alongside ordinary people who have their questions. Easter is not for spiritual giants - it's for people like me. Yes, it has cosmic implications too and the wonder is - Jesus is alive and nothing can ever change that truth.