Season of new life | Daily News

Season of new life

We are in the season of Easter - the season of new life. As Christians we know that Easter is the foundation of our faith. For our meditation on Easter, I would like to ask you three questions. What is Easter? How do we understand Easter? And what is the meaning of Easter for us today?

What is Easter? We know that after the death of Jesus his disciples wee frightened and stayed in the upper room. According to the gospel stories some of the disciples went back to their former professions. They were helpless and hopeless. They did not have the courage to come out. Although physically they were alive, morally they were dead. They thought everything was over.

On the first Easter day they realized that Jesus who had been crucified on that Friday had risen from the dead. The evil forces that crucified him could not confine him to the grave. Early Christians met the resurrected Jesus whenever they broke bread and shared the cup, remembering the death, resurrection of Jesus Christ.

How do we understand Easter? Easter was possible because of the death of Jesus. There is no resurrection without death. What does this mean? Often as Christians we talk and boast about the resurrection. We pronounce that we believe in the glorified Jesus who is resurrected and alive. We use the message of his resurrection to prove that Christians are victorious. There is nothing wrong in all these things. But we should always remember that resurrection is inseparable from death. Or in other words, resurrection began with death. Here I don’t mean only physical death. Jesus’ death began at his birth. When God became a man his death began. He offered His life as a living sacrifice. The cross became the summit of that sacrifice.

He emptied himself for the growth of all others. Here we see that in the life of Jesus’ death was the depth of life. His life was centered on others instead of self-centered. This story is very well explained in the letter to the Philippians where the writer says that although Jesus had the very nature of God he emptied himself and became a slave and he was obedient unto death. Therefore, God raised him and glorified His name above all names. In Greek this emptying is called “Kenosis”.

What is the meaning of Easter for us today? The meaning of Easter for Christian life is seen in Christian baptism. When a person is baptised, we expect that the Old Adam in him or her, will be buried, and a new humanity will be raised in him or her with Christ. At Baptism we become partakers of the resurrection of Christ. That is why at baptism we say that we renounce all evil things. To experience resurrection with Christ we have to get rid of our self-centered, selfish and introvert lives. When you are ready to give up wealth, money, time and so on for the growth and welfare of others there springs out the hope of resurrection. Look at our environment and surroundings. We enjoy spring because the trees are able to give up their old leaves, their old appearance. It is not a coincidence that Easter and spring come together.

Resurrection is not something of the past. It is a present reality. Look at the life of a person like Nelson Mandela of South Africa. He was in prison for nearly thirty years. His suffering was not in vain. His sufferings contributed to the freedom of people in South Africa, especially the black. When people suffer for the redemption of others, there spring out hope of resurrection.

Mother Theresa of Calcutta is another example of this. By sacrificing her life for so many people she gave us a glimpse of resurrection. In Korea there is a Theologian called Am Pyoma. He says that he sees the resurrected body of Jesus in the struggling masses who seek liberation. St. Paul met this Jesus on his way to Damascus. That voice asked him why do you persecute me. Paul did not persecute Jesus but he persecuted the resurrected body of Jesus, which was his church. This enabled him to teach us that the Church is the body of Christ.

As Christians we should always remember that we are the resurrected body of Christ. We are his arms, legs, eyes, ears and so on. Therefore, as members of his resurrected body, let us commit ourselves to work for the liberation of his people from various bondages.


 

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Thank you Bishop for the Wonderful illustration .

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