Editorial - No Christianity without Easter

6 April 2012 06:30 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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St. Paul who as Saul was one of the greatest persecutors of the Church going from city to city to bring Christians for execution on charges of blasphemy met the Risen Lord on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). That meeting transformed him completely and the greatest persecutor of the church become the greatest and most powerful propagator of the gospel, writing as many as 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament.
After several years of having a personal relationship with the Risen Lord, St. Paul wrote, “If Christ had not been raised from the dead, then your faith is in vain and our preaching is in vain” (1Cor.15:14). He would have gone on to say that if Christ had not been raised from the dead, our Church services, festivals, feasts and novenas are in vain.
In other words, St. Paul is telling us that Christianity is much more than dogmas and canon laws. He tells us that essentially and basically Christianity is a Person – the Risen Lord. Christ alive is Christianity and Christianity is Christ Alive.
If as the Bible says Christianity is Christ Alive, then who is a Christian? Is it enough to have a baptism certificate, followed by catechism classes and attend various religious services? Those are good and have some value. But as was the experience of St. Paul (Acts 9:-1-9) a Christian is someone who keeps on meeting the Risen Lord and has a two-way communication with Him, and a deep and continuing relationship with the Living Christ. We need to meet Him in every event and situation. In Galatians 1:12, St. Paul says that most of what he wrote in the 13 books of the New Testament was not told to him by other people but directly by the Risen Lord.
In the first chapter of the letter to the Colossians, St. Paul also tells us another incredible truth that Christ is not only alive, but lives in each of us. Not the helpless baby of the cattle shed in Bethlehem, but the Lord of Lords and King of Kings lives in each one of us.
In a pre-resurrection prophesy, the Lord Jesus tells us that just as He lives in us we need to live in Him, just as He abides in us, we need to abide in Him. Then we will be like branches connected to the wine and produce spiritual fruit like love, peace, joy, forgiveness and compassion for the Kingdom. How do we live in Him? The Lord Jesus Himself gives as the answer. In John Chapter 15 the Lord says that just as He lives in us, we will live in Him and connect ourselves to Him when we obey the only commandment that He gives us – “Love one another as I love you.” Then He will keep on filling us with the joy and power, the fruits and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord Jesus tells us that when we keep on forgiving one another not just seven times but even seventy times seven, when we are humble and are even ready to wash the feet of others, when we serve others sincerely, sacrificially and selflessly we will connect ourselves, to Him and gradually become other-centred like Him instead of being self-centred, self-righteously hypocritical and sanctimonious humbugs like the religious leaders at the time of the Lord Jesus.
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