Reflections on Easter:
Friday 10th April 2020
Today the Universe is Celebrating Good Friday; the lower margin of the Easter Weekend. Now I know this is a hot topic especially with those who are well informed with historical Facts. I want to make it clear that this time round it’s not a debate on Ishtar the goddess of the Summerians of Mesopotamia. There’s no Room for battle of wits on the real issue behind Easter especially in the secular world. For those clinging on Human tradition, it’s your noble duty to ensure that truth is not submerged in the mist and fog of tradition. Only truth has the power to sanctify and give life. Seek truth and abide by it. Don’t sell your soul in the cheap market of falsehood. You deserve better. Don’t settle on the easy chair of The enemy of souls and dissipate the costly possibilities available for you.
With the disclaimer well tabled, I will bravely approach my desired direction.
We are called to think About Christ yet again and we can’t waste this chance quibbling on Zoroastrian Mithraism.
It may be necessary to Study on the events that made Easter Weekend a necessity. Many people talk about Easter, and act it without explaining why it’s there in the first place.
Easter Weekend is a historical reality because human beings fell into the devil’s trap and became transgressors of God’s law. God’s law unlike our legislative imperatives demands obedience perfect and perpetual. You only need an iota of sin and this is lost.
A jot of sin risks the peace of the Universe and so it must be destroyed sooner or later. This is why To Adam and Eve it was said, ” Genesis 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
And because Adam betrayed sacred trust, they needed a saviour. I hereby make a bold statement: “Only sinners need a saviour, if you are without sin you don’t need a saviour. You still need Christ but not in the capacity of a saviour.“
Do you need a saviour? I am weak and vile, I badly need a saviour. My only hope is an accusation hurled by the Pharisees, ” Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, “This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”
If you indeed believe that Christ receives sinners, then why are you troubled?
Thursday Evening: A Troubled Saviour
The Garden of Gethsemane was a familiar place for the disciples of Christ. Many are the times in which they had spent their peaceful nights in the garden resting after a toilesome day. In this place The blessed trio, who were Christ’s inner circle, had witnessed a glorious halo of transfiguration.
But this time round things were different. The great Rabbi took a low profile. It was no time for object lessons. The situation at hand demanded a superhuman strength, yet Christ had to face it in his humanity. In tempting circumstances, Jesus’ divine nature was always quiescent. The forebodings of Calvary were to be borne in the unreliable human frame. The devil had been preparing for this final duel for three years. At the risk of eternal loss , Christ faced the crowning ground of human fate.
While He longed for the sympathies of the special trio, they slept. But he excused their weaknesses. “The Spirit is willing but the body is weak”, He said. Again inviting them on their vigilance, He granted them another chance to watch and pray. The devil, presenting his temptations yet again, made His commitment a desperate one. Those he wanted to save were unthankful even as people are today. His own disciple, Judas, had proved traitorous. The self trusting Peter was standing in the line to deny any association with Him, even as we nowadays do in our lifestyle. The temptation to let the guilty man meet his match was great. The future of the guilty race was trembling on the balance. Nevertheless, He said, ” Matthew 26:42 O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”
Around Midnight: Let These Go there Way
The privilege of Prayer gave him strength. Indeed this is one grand proof of the power of prayer; for prayers in the past quenched the fiery furnace and shut the mouth of hungry Lions. Do you believe in the power of Prayer? If not, it’s because you don’t pray; this is dangerous exposure to the demonic agencies.
After the third and the final prayer he found the disciples sleeping again, Oh what a disappointing lot! Waking the disciples he said, “Matthew 26:45-46 Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”Rise, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
Judas and the bloodhounds could be heard approaching. They were indeed prepared as if they were going to unearth a terrible criminal from an underground tunnel. Christ didn’t wait for them to reach him he approached them and asked, “Whom are you seeking?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth”. While exuding confidence strange to the circumstance at hand, He said, “I am he.” Terrified they all fell as dead men. He had an opportunity to escape, but He didn’t.
The terrified throng stood again and thus they conversed: ”
KJV John 18
7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:
He ensured none of His disciples is exposed to temptations too much for them. Jesus always wants to stand in the line for us. The plan of redemption is all about Jesus saying, “Take me, let these go!” Even for one sinner, He was , He is and till the Closure of His Ministry in the Heavenly sanctuary, will be willing to lay down His life for.
Judas didn’t forget his cast. It was his time to perform the vital part of identifying Christ. He stands in the place of those who will always expose Christ to the enemy. The enemies of the Cross who are speaking from both sides of their mouths. Pretending to be empathetic with the Saviour, he kissed him as if he was weeping with him. Christ with invitation of mercy yet again called upon the doomed Judas; “Friend why have you come?” He called Judas a friend and He was sincere, for Jesus is always a friend for Sinners. He is willing to forgive all the sins we are willing to confess and repent of.
The second question to Judas was the last word he would ever hear from Jesus. Many at times, He had rebuked his evil desires, but the present was not a time for rebuke. His voice trembling with sorrow for the unfruitful disciple, He asked, “Judas, are you betraying the son of man with a kiss?” By the way you may also need to ask yourself how you are betraying the son of man. Could it be by a kiss, as many who claim to be His followers do. By kissing wrong people, or potential right people at the wrong time, you are joining Iscariot son of Simon, in betraying Him with a kiss.
Commenting on the betrayal by Judas, Ellen Gould Harmon White( Voted by the Library of Congress as the best Biography of Jesus Christ) had this to say in the book Desire of Ages 696.1, “This appeal should have aroused the conscience of the betrayer, and touched his stubborn heart; but honor, fidelity, and human tenderness had forsaken him. He stood bold and defiant, showing no disposition to relent. He had given himself up to Satan, and he had no power to resist him. Jesus did not refuse the traitor’s kiss.”
The disciples, used to Miracles and yet not having a clear conception of His mission, were confident of His emancipation. When they saw Him humbly submitting to the mob, they were disappointed and blamed Him for that. The angry Peter chopped off Malchus’ ear, which Christ restored immediately and warned Peter of going physical in a spiritual warfare. Even as He is facing death, He was still a great Physician. This miracle, unheaded confirmed the mob in unbelief. The disciples forsook him and the due but unfair process of judgement followed the suit.
In the High Priest’s Courtyard: I Don’t Know this Man!
Immediately the unreasonable mob left and headed to the High Priest’s Office. Desperate for accusations that could warrant death, they resorted to sedition and Blasphemy. This could indict Him,both before the Jewish and the Roman law. Have you found a reason to blame God in your life? Many who do things their own way, oftenly blame God, when the principle of course and effect follows suit. Is God innocent in your life? Or do you have something against Him?
Warming himself with the Crowd was apostle Peter. While all the disciples ran away for safety, Peter followed the mob. He did this with good intentions; seeing the proceedings and being there for Jesus as he had claimed before. Three times opportunity came his way to stand with Christ. Three times he forfeited the offer by refusing any knowledge of Him, while terribly cursing. “I don’t know this man, He said. This is one of the worst statements you can hear from a friend.
Unfortunately, it’s one of the sins perpetuated by the professors of faith. We often deny Christ in our marital choices, we deny Him in our dietary choices and our entertainment. Christ is often denied in our meetings and in our Homes by the way we conduct ourselves. We deny Him, by our behaviour in the exam room and how we conduct our romantic associations. In which way are you denying Him?
Immediately after Peter’s third denial of Christ, he had the Rooster and remembered the Words of Christ. He repented in tears and pain and he was acquitted. Your case is not hopeless. For, “1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Which of your sins don’t you want to confess? If you have any, it will testify against you in Judgement. Any sin cherished, unconfessed and unrepented of, will qualify us for eternal loss.
EARLY FRIDAY MORNING,
In the Pilate’s Judgement Hall: What Are you going to Do With Jesus?
Pontius Pilate, originally born a slave in the Roman empire, and a champion in the army, earned his Freedom through his meticulous performance in the army of the Ceaser. Being granted a chance to live in the Royal court after his retirement, he found himself in love with Claudia, one of relatives of Caesar and he married her. But his life’s experience made him acquainted with conquest and not quititude. At this time, the Jewish province of Judea,Palestine, was registering notoriety in tumults. Pilate proved the best man for this mammoth activity, of quelling redundant insurrection there.
An unjust governor, he had done awful things in Judea. A group of sixteen Galileans had had their blood mingled with their sacrifices, by Pilate’s soldiers. He was hated and dreaded by the Jews.
Opportunity was his, to meet Jesus. Early morning being forced out of bed, He headed to the Praetorium, determined to handle the case faster and go back to His bed. But the first impression convinced him that he was dealing with an innocent individual. So what did he do?
- He Hesitated to make a decision.
Finding no fault with Christ, he didn’t pronounce a verdict. He went to seek the opinions of the Mob . “I found no fault with Him,” he said, earning a terrible backlash. In like manner we delay obedience when convinced of the need to Accept the Saviour. The longer you delay the harder it becomes to make a decision, and you finally get lost. You need to trust your clear conscience when convicted. Don’t depend on public opinion or Political Correctness so as to follow Jesus. Delayed obedience is no obedience at all!You cannot follow Christ and follow the crowd too!
- He tried to Avoid Decision
He tried to avoid making a decision about Jesus. He feared the possible insurrection of Jews and so he tried to find solutions which are non-existent. But he ended up delivering Him to be crucified. You should know that you can’t avoid a decision about Jesus.
- He tried being Neutral
Pontius Pilate was caught in the conundrum of pleasing Jews and standing for the truth. You cannot be Neutral about Jesus. You either Crown Him With many crowns as King of your life or crucify him as a malefactor. Many people claim that they have no problems with Christianity and they are not actively following Christ. Such are attempting impossibility. You either for Christ or AntiChrist.
- He Defied Clear Evidence
As he was struggling with judgement, a note from Claudia asked him to have nothing to do with the blood of Jesus. This was a clear evidence he had, but the conscience was defied and hence he was in for cognitive dissonance. The evidence given in the Bible is enough to warrant faith in Christ. But there is a worrying and disturbing propensity to unbelief more than ever before.
Against all warning and odds, Pilate delivered Christ for Resurrection.
Calvary: Were You There When They Crucified My LORD?
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
Carrying the great Wooden Cross, the Saviour tortured and fatigued from loss of blood, staggered to the place of His crucifixion. An impliment strange to the present community, for it was borrowed by Romans from Carthaginians, the cross was a real torture. Death on the Cross was climactic as it enhanced suffering. Cross is not a Jewellery for sinners!
Round About him as he was lifted on the Cross was a mixed multitude. Cursing him were funeral attendants, their complaints was that he was resurrecting the dead, spoiling their business. The physicians had a problem with him, for he healed people free of charge, bringing competition. The operators of Departmental stores had problems with him, for he gave free bread to the hungry, yet they wanted to sell them food.
On another level, we had women weeping as they beheld his sufferings. Mary His mother was there, She remembered everything how His life from conception through the Holy Ghost had been. Mary Magdalene and other women wept for Him. His disciples, seeing no hope were disturbed.
The multitude around the Calvary represented all of us. In the person of Mary, disciples, the cursing funeral attendants, the despising priesthood, all of us are represented. You were there when they crucified my LORD. Your attitude towards the cross now, shows clearly who you were then.
The SABBATH: In Joseph’s Tomb
In Genesis 2 after creation, He instituted the Sabbath, a perpetual sign of His Creative and Redemptive power. On Mt. Sinai, It was reawakened in the ten commandments; being the seal of those commandments. During His Ministry it was customary for Him to go to the synagogue on Sabbath Days. Even on His death He had to rest on this sacred Day confirming its perpetuity. If man could have kept the Original Sabbath we could not have had atheists, deists and agnostics.
EARLY SUNDAY MORNING: The Empty Tomb; Christ Arose.
Breaking the bars of grave, He arose with a mighty triumph over death, winning the Great Controversy and eternally putting to shame the devil and his horst. In Christ we can bravely prefer death before Dishonour for we serve a risen Saviour.
Therefore during the Easter Weekend, we must have a thoughtful consideration of Christ.
When we know God as it is our privilege to know Him, our life will be a life of continual obedience. Through an appreciation of the character of Christ, through communion with God, sin will become hateful to us.
~Desire of Ages 668.3