Being threatened to death and having witnessed the persecution of her fellow workers, a missionary sent from Southern to Northern part of India was filled with fear and confusions. As she was crying to the Lord amidst the painful situations, she saw a dream:
‘Few women including her were seated around the corpse of Jesus, wailing and mourning over His death. Agony and bitterness choked their throats. All of a sudden this missionary saw few tall men rushing towards them with weapons in their hands to kill them. Fear engulfed, and her heart was filled with horror of what is to come. Agitated and feeling helpless since Jesus was dead, she was confident enough to face her end that day. At that moment she saw a light going from Jesus and assured her that the body of Jesus still had some power. As the men came closer, she shouted onto Jesus asking for help. He just opened His eyes, gently smiled and said “I am alive”.’
We lay emphasis and celebrate Christmas spreading around the Joy of Christ’s birth. Sometimes we even take the occasion to experience a re-birth of Christ within our hearts, which is very healthy for building up our relationship with God. We give equal importance to share the Gospel that Christ died for us, accomplishing the purpose of His birth, by taking our sins on Him. But the Gospel is incomplete if we do not remind ourselves that Jesus did not stop there on the Cross dying for us, but also HE rose again from the dead. The less celebrated Easter, is an important occasion to ponder on the Christ’s victory over death and to celebrate the living God within our hearts. We often go by an illusion that the Lord cannot help us in our situations because we forget He is alive. What sets apart Jesus as a true living God is His power in conquering the Creation and Destruction. It took him just a week to create the Universe and everything in it (Genesis 1& 2), and just three days to conquer death (Matt 27:45-28:8, Mark 15: 21-16:13, Luke 22:26-24:12 and John 19:17-20:18). What a mighty GOD He is! Jesus is the living God means:
1. Jesus is not buried inside the tomb anymore: Jesus was laid inside the tomb as it was the custom of burying the dead. But He was no longer found in the tomb when people tried to find Him. The angel testified of His resurrection in Mark 16:6, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.” This means that we cannot contain Jesus in a statue, cross, or any other sacred symbol because He is everywhere and is living. A symbol is often a memory of someone or something that reminds the past and so is case of the scared symbols like cross to remember that passion of Christ. Jesus could not be contained in a tomb, since He was back with life and power. Do not search for Him inside the tomb, He is Alive.
2. He is Risen from the dead: The Bible says that the stone was rolled away from the tomb, and Jesus rose from the dead. The word ‘life’ always relates to action, for without actions one is dead. The Lord’s rising from the death had an associated action of rolling away the stone to bring Him out with life. It was this stone that separated the dead from the living, since one side of it was the tomb of the dead and on the other was the world brimming with life. Jesus conquered death, and also invites us to conquer death. His power is not restricted to His resurrection but He also has the power to grant us life. He calls us to a life of eternity (John 3:16) and He explains His purpose of coming in John 10:10 ‘I have come to give life in abundance’ .As imitators of Christ, and to respond His call towards eternal life, we have to do the action of rolling away the stones and the hurdles, which comes in between our life and death.
3. He continues to live forever: The greatest significance of the ‘LIVING GOD’ is that He doesn’t live for a specific period of time, but He lives and reigns forever. For most of us, it is just an annual Easter activity. Often we keep Him buried inside the tomb till Good Friday and on Easter Sunday remember He rose from the dead. But we have to understand that He continues to live forever; He is the beginning and the end (Rev 22:13). As in the small incident cited above, we also often forget that God is still in control of our situation. He doesn’t go on a vacation to return the next Easter. Jesus is alive, and Because He lives we can face tomorrow. So let us remember that the Gospel doesn’t end in proclaiming ‘Jesus was born for us and He gave His life for us’, but in proclaiming ‘He conquered death and continues to live’.
May God grant the feeling of His living presence-
Let us not be illusioned by the Holy symbols as God
For His life and death is not just a sweet reminiscence,
But much beyond a memory, and to be awed!
May God grant the strength to roll the stones
that separate us from eternal life and death;
May the ugly frowns, envy and tearful groans
Be replaced by a witnessing breath.
May God be given the supreme authority
In joy, pain or confusions He doth drive
When Satan opposes with extreme enmity
Challenge at him since ‘JESUS is alive!’
Have a blessed Easter.