Easter is more than a Christian Festival
It is Good Friday and I was watching a movie "King of Kings". In Hebrew thought and culture the individual and nature are meant to be in harmony in the Original Plan of God. Easter comes to us as God’s gift in the person of Jesus who exercises the fullness of Divine Power by healing at all levels cosmic, physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Christians believe that Resurrection of Jesus makes us partakers of that very power. We are called to share this gift with each other to participate actively in this process of renewal and re-creation, first of all by healing ourselves and then making this the starting point of healing all around us. When the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ takes the bread in His hands and says : “ This is my body broken for you”, the “ body” stands for both men and women, for women were always an integral part of Jesus Christ’s world and world view. How much Jesus Christ loved and respected women! He appreciated their constant availability, listening ears and helping hands. His mother Virgin Mary. Martha, Mary Magdalene and many other women experienced Jesus’ comforting presence in their lifetime. Jesus offered them what they were in need of: respect, love, encouragement and dignity.
The celebration of Easter is more than a Christian Festival; the Passover goes beyond the boundaries of Judaism. It is an invitation to every individual to delve deep into his own contemplative tradition and encounter there the power that raised Jesus from the dead, the power within us that is the source of healing and renewal. Precisely because of Easter, together with us ‘the whole of creation still retains the hope of being freed like us from its slavery to decadence, to enjoy the same freedom and glory as the children of God’.
All the time while I was watching the movie, my thoughts went backwards, and I tried to imagine what would have happened if God had not sent Jesus down to earth: Suppose God would have said: "No my son, I can't let you go down to earth. I can't have you being born in a dirty manger. You are my son, how can I watch you being humiliated, shamed and crushed by those people down there and finally hung on a cross. Oh my son, I love you too much!"
"But Father," said Jesus, "What of the people who await my birth? What about those who will come back to you, because I will die for them on the cross? What about the millions who will have eternal life by my death?"
"I gave them the garden of Eden, they chose sin and deceit. I parted the Red Sea; they built a golden calf. I rescued their kings time and again from their foes; they ran and worshipped heathen gods. What kind of people did I create? All I asked was love, all I got back was rebuke and ungratefulness. "
"The angels are ready Father to announce my birth to the shepherds!"
"Who will listen with awe and wonder, will talk about the spectacle for a few days in town and market place and then will go back to their sinful ways. A week from today, they will steal one another's sheep. A week from today, they will lie to their wives as they drink at a tavern and pretend they were out fighting wolves and tigers."
"The three kings have followed the star Father. They come with gold and frankincense and myrrh!"
"They will journey back to the countries they have come from and will write in secret books what they have seen but the nations they belong to will never hear about your birth from them!"
"I have to go down and heal the sick!"
"Who will remember your healing touch for just a day!"
"I have to make the blind to see!"
"What joy as they see the face of you my son, their healer and yet how soon those same eyes will feast on the evils and pleasures of the world around them! The sick are healed, the blind will see, but how quickly they will forget the healer!"
"And then the cross my Father!"
"How can I see you die my son? How can I see my own creation hang my beloved son? How will I stop myself from sending legions of angels to tear those who dare touch you my son?"
"Ah father it is time!"
"No my son. I cannot let you go. Look down and see the evil below. The hate, the violence in their lives, the devilish, demonic lives they lead. Their vileness, their villainy, their corruption, their destructiveness! Can I send you there?"
"Father it is time!"
"No my son, no, let them die an eternal death for shunning my love for them. I have given them many chances, many opportunities to change, but they have laughed on my face. No my son, no!"
But dear reader it was not so: For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Oh Lord my God what love is this you have for me?
*Kanayalal Raina is a Brampton based writer who contributes regularly to various Canadian publications. He is working as Executive Director at Canada Hindu Heritage Centre in Canada. An automobile Engineer and MBA (Mktg) by profession he is providing consultancy on Project Management, Financing and Marketing.
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