LORD JESUS, HOW GREAT THOU ART | Daily News

LORD JESUS, HOW GREAT THOU ART

Mary Magdalene weeps at his feet.-Jesus breathes his last.
Mary Magdalene weeps at his feet.-Jesus breathes his last.

St. Stephen's Church, Marawila Good Friday.

Darkness descended in the noon.
The curtain in the Temple ripped apart.
Graves opened and yielded the dead who were seen walking in the streets.
And Jesus Christ breathed his last on the cross.

 

The day that world's greatest miscarriage in justice was carried out when every Christian can be guilty of nailing him on the cross. He sacrificed his dear life to redeem the world from sin and strife. In his life of thirty-three beautiful years, he lived and preached the Word of God among his sheep. Sheep that were the humble believing Christians from all walks of life who followed him until he reached the Mount of Olives and let him go up to pray.

Jesus knew of his impending death was drawing close and distanced himself from his disciples to pray but asked them to pray for themselves that they may not fall into temptation as the final hours were approaching. As Jesus prayed in anguish an angel appeared and strengthened him. He prayed fervently that his sweat like drops of blood falling, on the ground.

He went back to seek his disciples and found them sleeping, worn out of grief and fatigue. Gently he asked them to get up and pray that they may not fall into temptation. Jesus left them and went away. The hour had come but he still prayed on. He came back to then the third time and asked them why they were still sleeping and resting, The hour had finally come he reminded his disciples for the Son of Man to surrender and as they were speaking to Jesus for the last time, Judas who had betrayed him, arrived and kissed Jesus indicating his identity for arrest by the soldiers. The rest asked their Master whether they could use their swords as one struck the High Priest's slave and cut his ear. Jesus reprimanded him and said ‘enough of this'. He touched the slave's ear and healed him.

Hebrew in 6:6 asks ‘Are we crucifying the Son of God and holding him up to contempt? We must search our conscience from Good Friday to Easter Sunday and ponder where we failed, where we could have resisted temptation and where we could have avoided hurting our loved ones or where we could have denied him.

The Holy Bible was my guide from childhood and I was able to read the New Testament backwards like Shakespeare literature. I still remain guided by the Bible and its Holy Scriptures. That is why I ask myself ‘Am I crucifying Him all over again or is it a symbolic recall year after year that we all hypocrite Christians including me repent, gush over and let it pass away for yet another year or are we cheating God?' He knows our hearts and from above he is watching us which leaves me still searching for the truth.

We have to go back to the Old Testament when God gave our first parents with the right to disobey Him and in the New Testament to Judas, the right to betray the Lord and between these two events, He stood to test our faith and trust.

DUTIFUL SON

He saw his distraught mother weeping beside the disciple he loved. Even through pain and suffering he spoke to his mother and said that he was her son and Mary his mother and the disciple took her home to live with him. Jesus also comforted all the women of Jerusalem who had followed him and blessed them. Jesus also saw Mary Magdalene whom he loved much crying in desperation. He looked at her for the last time and appeared to her first on the third day. Here the scriptures reveal the abundant love Jesus had for this sinner after forgiving her.

Leaning upon my favourite book in the New Testament which is the Gospel according to Mathew is carefully arranged and begins with the birth of Jesus Christ, describes his baptism and temptations he was subject to, and how he takes to His Ministry of preaching. The Gospel also records his journey from Galille to Jerusalem and all events of Jesus’ last week; culminating in his crucifixion and resurrection.

This Gospel presents Jesus as the great teacher who has the authority to interpret the Law of God and about the Kingdom of God. As children, we have cherished the Sermon on the Mount his subject matter divided into five collections. They all deal with the present day and the coming of the Kingdom of heaven. Throughout the Gospel, the emphasis is placed on prayer, the Holy Spirit and God's forgiveness of sins, and above all, his sacrifice.

First and foremost, our Christian lives being with the affirmation that God created the universe and promised He would continue to show his concern for us. We have to keep our faith alive no matter what stress and temptation come our way. In the beginning, he liberated his enslaved people and formed them into nations with hope for the future. But what happened later? Every nation rose against another and still continues to do so with violence and vengeance.

And look what our church has come to today.

Christian perspective

From the Christian perspective, we can deal with a variety of topics such as riches and poverty, temptation and good conduct as well as wisdom and humility.

When we dwell among all these, we are exposed to challenge, new thinking, and faith in Christian religion which takes me back to where I started searching for the truth. I am still searching but I have not found the truth nor a person who represents the truth which makes me at times think that we all are fakes; fakes in the face of our Lord who sacrificed his life for truth.

This, in fact, is a memorial of Jesus’ death and his resurrection. Each year, it will call to the memory of the celebrants what our Lord has done to provide an escape for humankind from the condemnation of death. For the Jews who become Christ's followers, the Passover will be the new awakening.

It is easier for the Bible-believing Christians to get closer to the Lord rather than be guided by their spiritual leaders some of whom do not stand for the orthodox doctrine or the morality of the church according to their whims and fallacies.

Our Gospel may have taken roots in Britain in the first century AD, brought across by a Roman soldier who had served in Jerusalem but what matters to most of us whether we are Anglicans or Roman Catholics is that we believe in the same God as found in the Holy Bible.

All of us around the world are enlightened by His sacrifice and Resurrection. The anguish and suffering in mind and body that the Saviour went through to release the world from its sinful bondage, is beautifully captured, once again by Mathew.

His teachings can be beyond our power. I am still to find the truth I have been searching because I am never influenced by individuals but maybe with time as I am guided only by the Bible and its Holy Scriptures.

Lord Jesus how great thou art,

I know you still love me.


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