Do We Deserve to Celebrate Easter? An Easter Message. By Rt. Rev. Dr. Major (Retired) Timotheus Nasir Bishop of Siloam Biblical Christian Churches of Pakistan.


"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose the third day according to the scriptures:" (1. Coranthians 15 : 3-4) Today t

This day our Lord and Savior entered Jerusalem and was greeted like a king. The people who were shouting "Hosanna" were expecting a king the Messiah who will deliver them from the bondage of Rome. But they failed to understand the purpose of coming of Lord Jesus Christ. He did not come to deliver the Jewish nation from Roman bondage but to deliver them from bondage of sin. Their messiah was an earthly king who would reign our the thrown of David but in Jesus Christ they were disappointed. He was talking of the kingdom of heaven. Therefore he was rejected by the people and our Lord thus said "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gatherth her chicken under her wings, and ye would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolated" (Matthew 23 : 37-38). We read in next few days while He was in Jerusalem the religious leadership plotted against Him and night Thursday Friday they were finally able to lay hands on him. He was tried by the religious court and condemned to death. They did not wait till the morning and wanted to put Lord Jesus Christ to death as soon as they could. And they succeeded when Pontius Pilate gave his them a choice they choose Barabbas. They took the blood of Jesus Christ on them and their children and were rejected for ever by the Lord God. It was not the Jews or the Romans who put Jesus to death on the cross, God sent His Son to be crucified for the sins of the world. Our Lord went through extensive pain, He was ridiculed for us. He gave His precious blood on the cross for our salvation and a time came when even His father turned His face from Him. That was the time when Jesus Christ cried, " Eli Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why have thou forsaken me" (Matthew 27 : 46). Many people question why Jesus prayed to His Father in "Gethsemane" to "take away this cup". Many think may be Lord was trying to avoid the death. That is not true. Our Lord knew that the moment He will carry the sins of the world His Father will turn His face from Him. For Lord Jesus Christ this was the most difficult an unbearable thing and therefore he prayed to God, take this cup of separation from me, and when God tuned His face from His Son as he was carrying the our sins, He cried in loud voice, My God, I have fulfilled your Will and though I am carrying the sins of the world, It is unbearable for me that you turn your face from me. That was a brief moment yet it was very heavy for our Lord. He did not say a word while he was bearing the pain but he could not bear the pain of separation from His Father. The Scriptures had to be fulfilled and therefore our Lord died on cross and was buried. The Jews thoughts that was the end. Yet the third day our Lord Jesus Christ rose from dead. He defeated death and sin. He rose from the dead never to die again. He lives and will live for ever. In Jesus Christ, God fulfilled His promise that He shall send a deliverer from the seed of the woman who shall "bruise" the head of the Serpent. (Genesis 3 : 15) Our Lord Jesus Christ paid the price of our sins with His own precious blood and now through our faith in Lord Jesus Christ we can have eternal life. We are saved and the death has no meaning for us any more. What God did for our salvation was His love for us. He wants us to go back to Him through His Son. Yet when we prepare to remember the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ and next Sunday we shall be celebrating His Triumph over sin and death. We shall be celebrating His resurrection, we need to look into our own lives. We need to see what change has come into our life through Lord Jesus Christ. Have we changed our wicked ways? Have we given our self to our Lord. We need to look into our lives very seriously. We need to see seriously what is going on in our lives and churches in these last days. Where is Lord Jesus? Have we accepted him in our own life, in our family, in our society and in our churches? But when we look around we see the very opposite. Today most of us don't know Him or we don't want to know Him. Jesus Christ has been shut out of our life and our churches. He has been given a secondary place in our personal and ecclesiastical life. What is happening in our churches today? What are we discussing today. I tell you my brothers and sisters, it is sad time for us. We have forgotten our Lord Jesus Christ. We are trying to please other gods which are yet no gods. As the Lord said "For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolated, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2 : 10-13). Yes we are the people for whom God said to the prophet Jeremiah. Look around, see the people around you. No nation has changed their gods who are yet no gods. Ask a Jew, ask a Muslim or a Hindu or even an atheist. Have they compromised their faith as we are compromising our faith? No, they have not. But we have changed our God. We have compromised our faith, we have sold our Lord and we have forgotten His Word. What is going on in our lives and churches? We are dying for the love of un-repented sinners. Homosexuality has been accepted in Christian church. Same sex marriages are taking place every where. The Family life that was blessed by God is diminishing. We are too busy in unnecessary debates and discussions. Have we ever counted the cults that are destroying the very image of Christianity? We have never asked our selves or our churches and the leadership which way they are heading and where did they leave Lord Jesus Christ? What is the status of Christ in our lives and our church. Today we are trying to please Jews, the very people who made Jesus suffer. Who rejected him then and are rejecting Him today, yet we prefer to keep silent. We are ashamed to be Christians. We deny the Deity of Lord Jesus Christ. We have made Him a common man just like one of us. We question His virgin birth, we question His miracles, and we question His atoning death and Resurrection. Talk to a Christian church leader, he will tell you that he does not believe what the Holy Bible says. They question the authority of the Word of God or they twist the Holy Bible to suit there own desires. See the disobedience of the Word of God in "women priesthood" in "homosexual pastors and bishops". See the "agenda' behind the "Religious Tolerance". That is "forget Christ and accept other doctrines". See the agenda behind "interfaith peace and harmony". On 17th September 2002, I was invited to an "Interfaith Peace and Harmony" conference at Lahore, Pakistan. There were more Muslims than Christians. A Christian rostrum was used by Muslim clergy to present Islamic doctrine and no bishop or Christian leader had courage to present the Christian doctrine. When I suggested that this so-called "Interfaith Peace and Harmony" must be taught at Madrisa level and from Mosques, almost all Mullas got up from their seats and started shouting. Well I had to snub them in strong words. Thereafter no one invited me to such gatherings and I myself do not go even if invited. If a Muslim has right to preach his faith from a Christian rostrum, Christian leadership should have courage to preach Christian doctrine from a Christian rostrum. We do not want to annoy people of other faith. Yet we deny and annoy our own Lord. The Christian world, (if there is a Christian world) or the Christians are celebrating Easter on Sunday the 11th of April 2004. We need to see, do we deserve to celebrate the day of resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ? Is Jesus Christ still our Lord? Do we give Him Primary place in all aspects of our life individually and collectively? If we do, we can rightly celebrate Easter, but if we don't, we have no right to celebrate this day that has no meaning in our personal and collective life. If we have Christ we have every thing and if we don't have Him in our life we have nothing to celebrate Easter. In this situation, how can I say, HAPPY EASTER.

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