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Rosemary Dawson continues her Easter series: Cross questions

Love is the most important aspect of the Easter story

IT’S a question that is often asked with a dry mouth and a fast-beating heart. One of the couple takes the other’s hand, looks into their eyes and asks: ‘Do you love me?’

The rest of their lives could depend on the answer that is given. If the response is no, then hopes are likely to be dashed and a relationship could end; but a yes opens up a world of happy possibilities.

Love may make the world go round, but it also comes with high expectations of commitment.

It is also the most important aspect of the Easter story, which tells us about God’s love for the world he created. The Bible says that it was because of his love that God sent his Son, Jesus, who redeemed a world riddled with sin, corruption and greed by dying on a cross. And, because Jesus conquered death by rising again two days later, we are given the opportunity to enjoy a restored relationship with God.

After his resurrection Jesus appeared several times to his followers, who were overjoyed to be with him again. Once, they went ashore after fishing to find him cooking them breakfast on a fire. 

On this occasion Jesus had a question for his disciple Peter, who, after Jesus’ arrest, had three times vehemently denied even knowing him (see John 18:15–18, 25–27). Now he wanted to give Peter the chance to reaffirm his friendship.

So Jesus asked him three times: ‘Do you love me?’ (21:15–17 New International Version). And three times Peter replied that he did. 

How would we answer Jesus? ‘I don’t know’; ‘I’m not sure’; or perhaps, ‘I need more time to think about it’?

Or would we decide, in the words of hymn writer Isaac Watts, that ‘Love so amazing, so divine/ Demands my soul, my life, my all’? 

It’s our choice.

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