By A. M. Daniel
As I reflect on the awesome reality of today being Resurrection Sunday, it dawned on me that today in history represents the greatest miracle that ever happened on the face of the Earth. For those who may not know, Easter Sunday (I prefer to say Resurrection Sunday) is in observance of the Sunday morning when Jesus Christ, who was hurriedly crucified three days earlier, got up from the tomb and walked out through the exit which had been sealed air tight with a large, humanly unmovable stone.
There are a few things that I feel are important to share from my reflections. One of the first is that Jesus was able to endure the agonising horrors of His last 48 hours because He had a profoundly infinite love for souls. Please note that I am using the word souls, not people. Jesus saw souls walking around in the flesh and blood of human bodies; He did not see people of flesh and blood betraying Him, cursing Him, beating Him, spitting in His face, hammering nails in His hands and feet, or mercilessly thrusting a dirty old spear into His side and heart.
This is a difference I urge you to pause a while and consider.
I am aware there are established theological definitions of what a soul is; however, I write from my life experiences and cumulative understanding from quiet meditation and reflection. Hence, I believe a soul is the very essence of who the Creator, our Father in heaven is. A soul is that part of a human being which is the very raw material from which the eternal Jehovah lives. That means that a soul cannot die. It also means any one soul is worth more than all the money and wealth in this physical world. When our heart and minds cease to be, our soul absorbs our consciousness and transfers our existence to the spiritual world. It is akin to switching your electrical device from 220V to 110V. It is having a backup power kick in when Vinlec shuts off your electricity. This helps to explain why Jesus could have told the dying thief that both of them will be in paradise that very same day (see Luke 23:43).
This incredible concept is also strengthened by Jesus in Luke 16:22, when He described the deaths of two bodies. The first body that died had a soul that was reconciled to and with God and so that soul was “carried to Abraham’s side”. The second body had a soul that was not right with God at its death, and so that body was buried. Jesus signals here that death and dying are two vastly different experiences for people who have been redeemed and those who decide to face eternity without Jesus as their Saviour.
Alas, think of death as your soul (you) having to eject from your dying physical body—just as a fighter pilot might eject from his crashing aircraft—and Jesus offers the Holy Spirit to serve as a parachute to the ejected pilot. I am convinced that at the Christian’s death, the Holy Spirit picks up the soul and safely guides that person into the very presence of God and Jesus the Son, Redeemer and Saviour.
Then there is a common scripture reading which makes many people uncomfortable because it is usually reserved for use at funerals. But it is the living who needs to hear it. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will life, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25)
Think on what Jesus is saying here.
That verse of scripture ends with a question from Jesus: “Do you believe this?”
The world prefers Santa Claus than they do Jesus, because Santa just comes and gives freeness. But with Jesus, each one of us must decide to either accept Him or reject Him. And even in putting Him off, ignoring everything religious, or getting upset at the thought of having anything to do with Christ, is making a decision.
Resurrection Sunday means that the gospel story which started in Matthew did not end in the last chapter of St John’s gospel or in the last chapter of Revelation. Resurrection Sunday means that Jesus Christ is very much alive and well today. In fact, He has each of us alive for part of His eternal purpose. Because He is alive, that means He has opinions on how things are going in the world today. No doubt, Jesus can show different aspects of His eternally divine plan to different ones who are in tuned to Him at His choosing.
One thing that I feel Jesus has observed here in St Vincent is that some of His followers, by their own publicity of it, were eager to demonstrate the strong power in unity so as to stop the changing of laws to decriminalize an abominable act, but they are not showing such public willingness and enthusiasm to join forces just the same to target the winning of souls for eternity. This might be rocking the boat of some readers, but wouldn’t Jesus be more concerned about the souls of the gay bodies rather than their bottoms and sexual organs? Which one is eternal? Which one, when influenced by God’s love and redemption, can and will influence the use of the other?
In His earthly life, Jesus showed that He was willing to break the established social distancing, social prejudice and social discrimination of the day by personally going out of His way to interact, show mercy, and save people society had written off as wasteful pariahs. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is no doubt that SVG, as all countries in the western world, have enjoyed a very comfortable era of Christianity but are now under unprecedented attacks. The response must be met by Christians fully understand the difference between bodies and souls.
Resurrection Sunday means that the particular denomination, church building, or presiding pastor should no longer be as important as the Christian’s testimony and moment of accepting Jesus in their life. Resurrection Sunday means that your Christian friends should no longer be called “Brother” or “Sister” only if they attend the same denomination or same church building as you. Are those people your brother/sister in the church (building) or are they your brother/sister in Christ (the LORD)?
There is a need for all Christians in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to unite as one for a strategic move to evangelise people in every village and every street for Jesus—not for church size nor for a denomination, nor for a particular pastor or for mere “tithes and offering”. Bodies are suffering in all kinds of sins and their souls are not able to get the freedom which is theirs courtesy of Resurrection Sunday because the red tape of denominational and church building/bodies have criteria that require the sinner to be made whole before they can find a supportive network in church. That is quite like telling a new job applicant that he or she needs work experience in order to get the job, when you fully well know that they need the job in order to get the work experience.
Resurrection Sunday also demands that the majority of the Vincentian population, who consider themselves as backsliders, need to also re-examine the unchanging love of Christ. Jesus is saying that there is eternal love and eternal life after your failures and disappointments. It is people with extreme situations, who have different experiences, who can make the most effective difference in life. You should research the life story behind many of the traditional hymns (It is well with my soul & Amazing Grace come to mind).
As the ending of this article nears, I am aware that social media has given everybody a voice. No writer will expect every reader to agree (or disagree) with his viewpoint. But it behoves each of us to do whatever we reasonably can to respond to Jesus. This is particularly true if, with hindsight on your life, you can testify that many of the events that happened to you were really the invisible hand of God putting the pieces of your life together. If you are somebody whom Christ revealed Himself to because from your birth, He had always wanted you, then you have a final responsibility to let those who get to know you, also come to know Jesus.
Resurrection Sunday means that because Jesus can make you good enough to go to heaven, there is no earthly problem you can face in which He cannot help you.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].