At this Easter time, my hope and prayer is that we may know the joy of the risen Lord Jesus, who has once-for-all conquered death, by his sin-bearing sacrifice. This term, we have rejoiced in the great Christian hope, which arises out of the events of Good Friday and Easter Day, a big theme in 1 Peter – “According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
The Story of the Lampedusa Cross
A simple wooden cross has been on display in the British Museum since 2015. It is known as the Lampedusa Cross, made from parts of a wooden boat, shipwrecked on 11 October 2013, off the coast of the Italian island, Lampedusa. The boat contained over 300 Somali and Eritrean refugees, seeking to escape conflict in Libya. The sacrificial efforts of the islanders managed to rescue half of them.
Inspired by the stories from some of the survivors, a local carpenter decided to use his skills to create a cross from the wreckage of the boat. He made one for each of the survivors, as a reflection on their salvation from the sea, and hope for the future. He also made one for Pope Francis to wear at the memorial service for those who had lost their lives.
The cross serves as a great reminder of the tremendous sacrifice that was made by the residents of Lampedusa to save the lives of men and women seeking to escape the horrors and evil of war.
This “Good Friday” and Easter Sunday, we pause, and ponder, at the foot of the cross. Here, Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth, sacrificed his life, so that we may escape the horrors of sin and death. How grateful we are!