April 22, 2019 by Kgalalelo
But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31
Apart from Christmas which marks the birth of Jesus Christ, Easter weekend is one of the most crucial and celebrated periods in history especially for Christians. It commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ on the cross and His ultimate resurrection on the third day of His death. The story is found in Matthew 27:1-54, 28:1-20; Mark 15:1-40, 16: 1-20; Luke 23:1-49, 24:1-53; John 19:1-30, 20:1-31.
It is the Monday after Easter Sunday and my family and I spent the better part of the weekend at the church Easter Conference. The entire country held similar conferences over the weekend in numerous places and thousands of Christians ascended to places of worship. Today the roads are jam-packed as parishioners travel back from their crusades.
I hardly felt the weekend as the focus was on the conference and today will get the chance to rest before going back to work tomorrow. It rained the entire weekend since Friday night and you can imagine my wet laundry that I did the same Friday morning; it is still on the washing line. They say that the rain often calls for very cold winters but for me, every winter is always too cold. I’ve never experienced the winter that I could say was better or mild. I know for certain that the temperature will not reach 30 degrees Celsius henceforth.
I already began preparing for the winter when the schools reopened on 2nd April, with the winter school uniform and now adding some winter clothing for home, church and work. I could never get used to the winter in this side of the country. I live in a great city but am not fond of the winters as they are the coldest compared to other provinces. Hopefully, very soon, the winter will come to an end but for now, my focus would be in getting warm.
I gave scriptures for reading about the time of crucifixion and the resurrection because it is the same story preached about every year during Easter; it changes not, nor our Jesus! This particular story, changed the course of history. The world has never been the same again and the bible says in Matthew 27:54 “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, "Surely he was the Son of God!" All of this happened shortly after Jesus’ death. He was acknowledged greatly and still is today. The whole world stops in this season and recognises what Jesus went through and what His death and resurrection mean.
Jesus lived only 33 years on earth but His life and ministry made the greatest impact in history. When He died on the cross over two thousand years ago, it was not only for the salvation of Christians but for everyone who believes His words when He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). He says if you believe, you will see the glory of God (John 11:40).
Jesus declared Himself to be the resurrection and the life hence He rose from the dead to life, for Life is who and what He is. There was no way that being life itself that He could remain in the grave; dead. Life only knows one thing and that is to live and cause others to have life too, hence He raised Lazarus from death. He said to Martha and Mary in John 11:23, “Your brother will rise again.” He states in John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”. Being Life, His purpose was to multiply Himself and produce more life on earth.
In John 6:35 Jesus declares to His disciples, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. Jesus once again declares Himself as the filler of the soul and not only the body, but what matters more. He says in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal”. He is concerned with our spiritual health more than satisfying the body.
He pronounces to the tempter in Matthew 4:2-4 after a period of forty days and nights in prayer and fasting, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
The bread of life, is the Word of God. We therefore need to concern ourselves with what God says. The bible says His Word is life. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1:1-4).
Jesus further proclaims to His disciples in John 6:27, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” We are to believe in Jesus Christ whom God has sent to save us. This is the work that is required of us (John 6:28-29).
Moreover, Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Jesus declares Himself once again to be “the life”. Everything is contained in Him for the bible says “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Life everlasting is found in the Son and no where else. When Jesus resurrected it was confirmation that He was all about life and the continuation of it. There is no death in Christ. Revelations 21:4-5 says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
When He met the woman at the well and asked for water, He says to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” He further says to the woman, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.
Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Again, Jesus speaks about Himself as the provider of life and because the symbol before Him was water which He needed as He was thirsty, He tells the woman that what He in fact offers is the water for the soul which will quench her thirst forever.
Lastly, when God created man, He breathed in him the breath of life and man became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). When Adam and Eve fell from grace, they forgot that life-force was in them, thus, Jesus came to remind us of all that we thought we have lost which is already inside of us. His death and resurrection gave us everything back, He repurchased all that we had lost.
Isaiah 53:4-5 says, Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life”. 1John 5:12
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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