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The Christian life is not all bliss and blessing

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By Ivan Naijuka

Easter is the greatest Christian festival. During Easter we commemorate the crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter Sunday aka Resurrection Sunday is the culmination of holy week, the days preceding Good Friday. Some people tend to lay more emphasis on Christmas than Easter. As much as both events in the life of Christ are important, we easily get lost in the glory of Christmas and fail to consider the beauty and redemptive nature of the gloom of the Passion of Christ. Jesus was born to die for our sins.

Christmas exists because of Easter. The events of the holy week are recorded in all the four Gospels, with Saint Mark giving a detailed and chronological sequence of the happenings. Jesus spent time teaching masses in the temple. The population in Jerusalem was slightly higher than usual because the Jews living in the diaspora had traveled to the holy city for the Passover feast. The discourses and unfolding of the week were quite radical from the cursing of the fig tree, confrontation with the religious teachers to the parables on parousia.

Many who listened to Him did not understand that He was bound to be crucified on the Cross. Meanwhile, there were two sides: those against Him, and they are the ones who occasioned His crucifixion; and on the other side were those for Jesus, and they were grieved by what befell Him. Crucifixion was a cruel method of punishing criminals; it was famous with the Romans during Jesus’ days. The victims were tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang for several days until eventual death from exhaustion. It is this gruesome punishment Jesus had to go through for our propitiation.

Through His unfair hearings before the Sanhedrin, punishment, torturous journey and death on the Cross at Golgotha Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption. No other sacrifice than His could atone for our sins. Easter reminds us of the anguish and sufferings Jesus had to go through, for mistakes and crimes He never committed.

It retells us of His redemptive mission He faithfully executed to the end without murmuring or complaining. This is so unlike us; we hardly keep quiet when we are put through suffering or when we are unfairly treated. We are quick to grumble. It is worth noting Christian life is not all bliss and blessing, it has dark turns and valleys we encounter while on this side of eternity. Through His silence and patience during the worst moment of His life, our Savior models the importance of quietly and faithfully going through challenges and diligently carrying our crosses as we await our blessed hope.

While on the Cross, Jesus made seven important statements that sealed our redemption. In Luke 23:34, Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” He added: “It is finished”, not “I am finished.” This meant He had accomplished the task the Father had given to Him. This is a calling for every believer to fulfill their purpose on Earth before eternity comes. The price for our redemption had been paid in full. His death on the Cross sealed our freedom.

Death could not contain Him on Easter Sunday. As it had been prophesied, He resurrected. His resurrection secured our eternal hope. He is Risen, He is no longer in the tomb! Hallelujah! He was delivered up to death because of our offences, and raised for our justification (Romans 4:25).

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