WHAT A GUY
AS children eagerly awaited the arrival of the Easter bunny, Coffs Coast faithfuls gathered yesterday for Good Friday services.
One of the most important days on the Christian calendar, Good Friday marks the anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
At the Coffs Harbour Salvation Army Good Friday service, Major Julia Metcher spoke of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and of the importance of what he has suffered for his followers.
"What a Guy, what a God! And it's all by grace," she said.
"He was despised and rejected by men. He was pierced for our transgression, but by His wounds we are healed."
The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, cited the world's response to the Boxing Day tsunami as demonstration of the power of love.
"The Easter message is that love is stronger, stronger than any hate, any evil, any suffering," he said.
"To all those in difficulty the Easter message is a consolation. To all those of us who are going well, Easter is a reminder to count our blessings."
For the first time in his 26-year pontificate, Pope John Paul II missed Easter celebrations, watching them instead on television from his apartment.
Still recovering from throat surgery, the 84-year-old Pope sent a message to worshipers that he was with them in spirit.
While senior cardinals are standing in for him for most ceremonies, he is expected to still deliver his traditional Easter Sunday blessing.