“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25 )
Easter, known as Pascha (Greek, Latin) or Resurrection Sunday, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, occurring on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion by the Romans at Calvary c. 30 AD.
For the practicing Christian, Easter symbolizes love, forgiveness, renewal and hope. It signifies the ultimate triumph against the inner conflict of sin, that man is always prone to. Easter also highlights the grace of God, the ultimate sacrifice of His Son as well as new beginnings through Christ.
“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Saint Augustine
Sacrifice is never easy. The modern day concept of love often mars the age old concept of “sacrifice”. Today the love is affirmed by open declarations and shows of splendour, lavishness, gifts and many more outlandish, expensive or exotic ways; all more or less involving materialism, wealth, money and riches. The old love of making a cup of tea for the better half, picking up cloths and socks off the floor to help reduce the chores, helping in the cooking, cleaning, washing and above all, making time to be just there at the most difficult, stressful times as well as lending an ear and hand, all involves “love” of the sacrificial type. To discern the true bonds of love among “better halves”, family and friends, is never easy but involves immense and mutual understanding, kindness, sacrifice, acceptance and forgiveness.
“Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. And we do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face His task and to take up His Cross.” William Barclay
How more magnificent is the love and grace of God towards his creation, Man. Sacrificing His Son for the sins of man, even though He was innocent. Agape love or “selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love” describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for his followers.” As the Corinthian Love teaches us ( 1 Corinthians 13:4-8), love can indeed go a long way to bring humaneness back into the modern living.
“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.” (Matthew 28:5-6)
The proof of Good over Evil, Right over the Wrong and Truth over Sin, is highlighted by the resurrection of Christ, marking Easter. The significance of Eternal Life is highlighted. Although man decries his own fellow beings with heresy, false accusations, biased notions and framed wrong doings; in the end truth will always be revealed, if not now then later. Through His Resurrection, the war against good and evil is highlighted; bringing second chances as well as hope to man.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:7-10
The underlying theme of Christian faith is echoed in Easter. Echoed through the concept of living sacrifice, as seen through Easter, the worldly lives don’t conform by the rules of the world, but by the laws of the Lord and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. True Faith involves love, hope, kindness, gentleness and above all, forgiveness for one’s own faults more than others. Easter symbolizes the hope of renewal, love of God, His Grace, His Mercy, His Forgiveness as redemption through Christ. The messages of Easter when echoed through the Christian Life year round, as well as one can, would make a small but huge difference to one’s own life as well as the lives around us. Most of all, one can be at peace within and live the given life on Earth to the tunes of own happiness, contentment as well as harmony.
“The great gift of Easter is hope – Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” Basil Hume
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)