This year, Easter seems to have come particularly late. So much so that Easter Monday has fallen on the same day as Anzac day. At first discovery of this, I was frustrated. It meant that two public holidays were being compressed into just one; and unlike in other states, Tasmanians do not get Tuesday off in-lieu of Anzac day.
This was obviously a very self-centred response. Anzac day is not just an excuse to get a day off work, and after my initial frustration had dissipated, I began to realise how fitting it is. Both Easter and Aanzac day have similar themes. Both are about a terrible unjust sacrifice that was given willingly for the sake of others. In the case of Easter, it was Jesus. He gave his life on a cross, willingly dying to buy our freedom and salvation from our sins. In the case of Anzac day, it was the brave Australian and New Zealand soldiers, who gave up their lives to protect our freedom.
There are some differences though. Much of the sacrifice and suffering of our diggers was ultimately futile. Take the charge at Gallipoli for example. This was a tragic waste of life. The death of Jesus however was anything but futile – though it must have seemed that way to his followers who were yet to understand. The grace and forgiveness of God is a gift which costs us nothing – but it cost Jesus his life. When he died – taking upon himself all the sins of the world – and then rose again – defeating the power of death and sin – something amazing happened. I believe it is the most important event that ever occurred in human history.
So this Easter, lets be in awe of what Jesus did for us, but lets also spare a thought for the Anzacs who followed His example by putting the needs of others ahead of their very lives.
Thankyou Lord. “Lest we forget.”