The leader of Australia’s largest Anglican Diocese, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has spoken of the power of the Christian symbol, the cross, and the threat to religious freedom, in his Easter Message.

“The most universal symbol of all is the cross. Even that is being targeted now in China, where authorities are removing crosses from churches. In fact, religious freedom is under threat around the world.” Dr Davies said in his annual Easter message.

“It is strange that the cross should be feared for its power, because in Jesus’ time a cross meant execution – it meant failure and death. But the great power in the symbol of the cross for us is that is is empty. Yes, Jesus died on the cross but he was raised from the dead.”

Archbishop Davies will preach at the Cathedral on Easter Day (Sunday).

In his Easter Message, Archbishop Davies stressed the resurrection of Jesus which he said “was not merely a resuscitation, because he rose not to die again but to inaugurate a new era beyond this age of death, disease and decay.”

“The resurrection of Jesus means a second chance for all of us, if we will accept it — a chance for new life, eternal life, as our sins are nailed to the cross so that we too shall rise with him.”

Dr Davies also commented on plans for a fixed date for Easter. Dr Davies spoke with the Coptic Pope, Tawadros II, about the issue in Cairo last year. Anglican Primates are close to agreeing on a fixed Sunday for Easter.  Dr Davies said “I believe it will be of significant witness to the world if all Christians could unite together with a common date to celebrate this ‘empty’ cross and the inauguration of the new aeon when Jesus rose from the dead and defeated death once and for all.”

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