Easter – Comedy or Tragedy?

I love a good comedy whether it’s a sitcom like Not going Out, stand up provided by Live at the Apollo or a panel show like Mock the Week.  However, did you know that the word “Comedy” didn’t used to refer to a performance, routine or story that made you laugh?

When the ancient Greeks or William Shakespeare talked about comedy they were using the word to contrast with Tragedy. It’s fairly obvious what we mean by “Tragedy.” In Romeo and Juliet, the hero and heroine end up dead, taking their own lives. In Hamlet, pretty much every one dies.  Tragedies have sad endings where things are worse than at the beginning. Comedies on the other hand finish better than they started. For Shakespeare that mean that they finished with a wedding feast (e.g. Mid-Summer Night’s Dream). A comedy may have it’s ups and downs, there will be plenty of tears as well as laughter. There’ll be danger and death. Yet throughout a comedy there is hope.

The Easter story in that sense fits the “comedy” genre. It’s a story of love and courage as Jesus heads towards Calvary. There’s cowardice, desertion and betrayal. There’s tears, and there’s death. If the story had finished on Good Friday with Jesus’s execution then it would have looked like a Tragedy. But the story did not finish there for two reasons.

First of all, the story does not finish there because it goes on to Easter Sunday. Jesus has defeated death.

Secondly the story is not just about an innocent man being unjustly punished. Rather the Bible tells us that Jesus intentionally and willingly went to death. The purpose of his death and resurrection was to deal with the problem of sin, guilt and shame. Jesus died and rose again so that we can be forgiven our guilt and have our shame removed.

What about your life story? Is it a tragedy or a comedy? Will it finish with you not having peace with God, will it finish with the judgement of Hell? Or do you have the hope of eternal life with God?

We’d like to give you the opportunity to explore this question and the great story of Easter with us in two ways.

First of all, why not come along and join us at one of our Easter events advertised in this newsletter?

Secondly, we are offering a free copy of a little book called Divine Comedy -Human Tragedy by Glen Scrivener to anyone coming along to our Easter events. Just ask when you come. 

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