THE BISHOP of Saint Asaph has issued his latest Easter message and placed an emphasis on the importance of 'peace'.

Easter is seen as the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

Issuing a statement for Easter weekend, Rt Rev Gregory Bishop of St Asaph said: "The culmination of Jesus’ life and ministry happened when he came to the holy city of Jerusalem. His disciples greeted him on a day we know as Palm Sunday because they tore down palm branches to welcome him.

"Jesus rode into the city and as he did so, he said: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, would that you knew the things that make for peace.

"Those are profound words, not least because, sadly, Jerusalem has been a city fought over, ever since. And as we approach Easter, our thoughts and prayers ought to be with Palestine and Israel as they battle out, once again, for control of the twice promised land.

“O that you would know the things that make for peace.” And when Jesus speaks of peace, he doesn’t just mean an absence of war. When Jesus speaks of peace, he talks about a centeredness in our hearts; a knowledge of God’s blessing that things shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.

"When the risen Jesus, after the painful events of Good Friday, greeted his disciples, the first thing he said to them was “Peace be with you.” Because for Christians, the resurrection of Jesus is a sign of God’s commitment to us and to the world, to be at work with us; that hope can never die; that faith can never come to an end. There is always the possibility of more life in God.

"And that is a message of peace. It’s a message which can give us confidence and hope. It’s a message which, in the end, turns the world on its head."