The night will soon pass!

The news came, ‘our Dad passed away just now’.  Flashback on the life of my father came like lightning in my mind.  Daddy taught us many things in his lifetime.  Among them was his firm believe in the Resurrection of Christ.  In that moment of our grief, ‘Daddy must be meeting his Savior now.  He holds onto his faith until he breathe his last.  How blessed is he!’  For mankind death is inevitable.  Since Dad had already proclaimed Jesus Christ as his Savior, it was just a matter of time till we met Him.

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.*

Jesus Christ was crucified on the Cross; His body was claimed by one rich man, Joseph of Arimathea.   With Pilate’s permission, they took His body, wrapped in clean linen cloth with spices, and buried Him in his new tomb in a garden.  Nicodemus and others accompanied him in the whole thing.  Jesus was buried in accordance with Jewish burial customs.  Again, with Pilate’s permission, the tomb was guarded. (Matthew 27:62-66)

For the disciples, Jesus was the Son of God; God in the flesh.  In Him, they believed.  Yet they might have expected that in some ways He might skipped death.  But that does not happen.  They saw Him suffering, they saw him dying.  They might be pondering, ‘Oh my! He was the Son of God.  How can this happen to Him?  But now He was dead’.  So they locked themselves in the upper room, where they had the Passover Meal the day before, fearing they too might face the same fate.  Can you see yourself here?

In His death, Jesus Christ set free the dead.  On the third day, He rose from the dead.  Mary Magdalene went to anoint His dead body accompanied by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  They found the tomb open.  Jesus was no more there inside.  The angels told them He has risen!  The angels told them to meet Him in Galilee as they had been foretold. Jesus Christ, in his body, met his disciples here.  Apostle Paul recorded Jesus Christ appeared to the twelve disciples, and then to more than five hundred people, and so on. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8) Let me leave the proceedings of the resurrection here.   Scientists and Researchers keep working on the evident, which are given knowledge for that purpose only.

This particular situation happened many times in life.  We know God is there, but sometimes He just seems dead.  He was not working, it seems.  He has promised us His presence and we know He had all things under Him.  But sadly, He was dead like normal human.  They could no longer talk to Him. We did pray to Him but somehow, we feel, He just did not do anything.  We feel lonely; we feel we are left to fend by ourselves.  It was hard to get through even one night in the wilderness.  Have you been that road? I had.

But it doesn’t end here.  He rose again.  When they most needed Him, He appeared in their midst, out of nowhere.  Even for the ‘Doubting Thomas’, He was there to show the nail marks, and in his reached to even touch Him.  He was kind enough to clear the doubts of Thomas.  He will also clear our doubts one day, in whatever way is best for us.  Keep the faith.  He is available for every situation, for every type of person.

Death, the most feared fate of man, has been conquered.  All our fears and doubts will also be conquered.  The resurrection is the vindication of His teachings.  Christ the Victor proclaimed victory over Evil.  Even death could not hold Him longer.  The hope of life after death was reaffirmed.  One day, we will be joining Him in the celebration.  The dark night is going to pass soon. What a great day it would be when I see my Savior face to face.

*1 Corinthians 15:14

 

Words spoken on the Cross

The time has come for the Son of God to bear the sin of humanity. His disciples are in awe of His words.  They were told what was going to happen next. Still it was hard for them to believe.  Jesus Christ was their Master but then He had to accomplish His great mission.

Jesus Christ prayed in the garden of Gethsemane; His soul exceedingly sorrowful, even to death.  “Let this cup pass from me, O my Father, if possible, nevertheless not as my will, but as you will.”*

In short, He was sentenced to death by the so-called righteous. Jesus Christ was condemned by the righteous.  He was tortured, bored His cross to Calvary.  He was lifted up on the cross, naked and humiliated.

Jesus Christ carried the sin of humanity with Him, so that we may live. I wanted to take you back to Mount Calvary to show empathy with His words.  I want to list out His last words as Jesus Christ was being crucified on the cross:

Here is your mother (John 19:27)

He saw His mother weeping at His feet.  He entrusted the disciples to take care of His mother, as He was on a mission.  Love for His mother as a human must be there.  He was very much concerned with what His mother has gone through.  Can you see the emotional pain both would have experienced at this time?

Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23:34)

Vengeance is mine, declared the Lord.  But still, Jesus Christ seeks forgiveness for the evildoers to His Father.  The ‘evil inside us’ caused us to do things we don’t even understand.  Did you imagine what causes the human race to do such cruelty on another human being?  That needs to be conquered.  This is the height of forgiveness that we are being offered or we can enjoy because of the sacrifice of the Son of God Himself.

Truly I tell you; today you will be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43)

Jesus Christ was hanged between two thieves, who were crucified because of their own sin. He spent his whole life with the outcasts, tax collector, prostitutes, and the downtrodden people.  To the two thieves, the law of the mankind had awarded them death.  Earthly beings cannot grant you life apart from death.  But here, the thieves had their golden chance for life, which the other still denied.  It marked the width of God’s mercy and salvation.

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani.  (My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?) (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34)

When Jesus Christ bore the sin of humanity, the weight of sin was too much to bear.  God did not love sin.  Many times, we feel forsaken when we sinned.  The loneliness we experience, the emptiness was all because of sin.  Atonement for our sin was made by the blood of Jesus Christ.  In sufferings, if God is by your side you will find solace.  It signifies how sin had distance us from God.

I am thirsty. (John 19:28)

He was a human being.  He was dehydrated, lip parched.  These words reminded me of the conversation between Jesus Christ and the Samaritan woman.* Jesus Christ told her; 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.  The source of living water was drying up for you.  By His thirst we became welled up.

Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. (Luke 23:46)

In His sufferings, Jesus Christ shows the model of prayer.  Into yours I commit myself, use me, shape me, and mold me, to be useful for you.  I surrender all.  I surrender all my beings to you. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.**  In happy and in hard times, in sickness and in health, I place my life at your hands.

It is finished. (John 19:30)

Jesus Christ uttered these words.  God in the flesh breathe His last.  A powerful word of victory has been declared.   He offered himself fully to God on behalf of mankind.  This is the word that changed the world.  The fortune of the world was overturned, for those who believe in.  A plan was fulfilled, salvation was made possible.

Now, many of those who are present and taking part in the scene did not recognized what was really happening.  Some cast lots for His cloth.  Some saw the unusual things as they unfolded.  They stood at His feet facing Him.  Just one person, the centurion, was recorded saying, “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”

Please consider these few questions: Where did you stand? Did you believe Him? Are you still a bystander near the cross?  Does it mean anything to you? Are you among the righteous that condemned Him?

*Matthew 26:42, John 4, Romans 12:1, Mark 15:39

Destination Home

It was one among those many days, where I needed to rush home soon, before the end of normal working hours.  Sometimes, I needed rest or medication even in the middle of the day.  On a normal days, I always waited for working hours to end.  I’d do double checking of the work performed in the day to make sure there were no hanging transactions.  I’d even help my colleagues in doing that.

But many times, I had to rush out from the air-conditioned room, as my neurological disorder threatens to strike anytime.  As always, I need space and fresh air.  It was difficult to be in a close room.   But then I need to get home by any means. I’d entered underground subway station, which was rather crowded and lack fresh air.  I waited for a few minutes after which I boarded the train with destination to my residence.

Three or four stations passed by before I need to get out as I sense something is wrong in my body.  The positive side was that I am blessed with auras, which give me time to react or take medicines. On a normal days, I need not get down before I reached my destination.

I’d sat there on the ground leaning my back on the erstwhile pillar inside the underground subway station.  I’d called home informing my situation and the name of the subway station I’m in.  I’d request them to call in my cell phone after every five or ten minutes, to check on me or to help keep me awake.

To get home, I knew, I had to get back on train but I can’t until my condition gets better.  At last, I took my stance and decided to get back on the next trains.  Without doing that I could never get home.  The insecurities I had at these times were indescribable.   Many times I don’t know whether I would even get home, ever.  Will I be brought to hospital first or at home, was the big question looming large in my mind.

Now I want you to consider something here:  Jesus bore my iniquities to the cross before I was even born.  That was more than enough to get me home with Him in eternity.  To have that privilege, I need to do just one thing on my part, to confess my iniquities and give my life to Him.  That is the beginning of my journey towards eternal life.  However, if I didn’t take that particular step, the eternal life promised becomes and will always be a distant dream.  We were more valuable to Him than we value ourselves.  We are made to His children lest we deny it.

As you can see, I need to do something on my part to get home despite my illness threatening.  In the same way, I need to make my decision or take necessary step to have that promise of eternal life even after death.  Missed your chance? No problem, this is another chance because I am reminding you now.  Let Him have your life, it will be renewed.  I also let few trains had passed but I need to get up despite my problem.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.*

Back to my journey home, it doesn’t matter whether I ended up being in a hospital first before I get home.  I am blessed to get home to be with my family.  These are the adversities that drew me closer to God.  It may be mentioned here that many times  ‘the WHY ME, GOD? WHY? moments’ struck me.   But He carried me through on His shoulder to let me see the beauty of another day.  And I am more than thankful for that.

All my sufferings are nothing in comparison with the sufferings Jesus Christ bear for us in his final days.  The humiliation, the curse, the physical torture, the loneliness, the pain…., all suffered for me to live.  He will lead me home, one day.

 *1 Corinthians 1:18

Unanswered Prayers 1; Closer to Him!

 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.”*

When you most needed it, your prayer seems to be in vain, we are often reminded.   Some prayers are answered immediately while some prayers seem unheard.  That is the reality of life.  We knew it and we wonder why?

Unfortunately, my elder brother became alcoholic.  Many tears were shed for him alone.  My parents and my whole family were in prayer mode for a long time.  My sister-in-law was a true prayer warrior.  She literally cried and shouted, to the Lord, ‘please do your work on my husband’.  Many times I saw her, on her knees, shedding tears before the Lord for her husband.

But then, there was no sign of him returning back to his good life that he’d lived before.   Our earthly eyes cannot see beyond that point.  We did not know how God was working on our brother.  But we knew He has worked His ways.  Our prayers went unanswered or it is very much heard?

Brother was a born-genius.  He doesn’t need training in carpentry works.  He can repair and work on any mechanical work.  He didn’t have the chance to pursue business courses.  Yet he undertook some real estate business very easily under his stride.  He built our house on his own.  He got lots of work done in his lifetime.  So he worked very hard.  He worked much harder than anyone in the family.

We spent our childhood together.  He was a good protector for me and a good fighter than me as well.  We love each other very much.  In whatever he laid his hands, to the fullest he did.  The same goes with wine.

Although we no longer lived in the same town, we had the chance to meet up in his final days.  We walked hand-in-hand, as we did in our childhood days.  We talked about what God has done for us.  The love of God was emphasized.  Brother was soft at heart.  At times, he requested me to lay hands on him and pray in his behalf.  We did that together.  I told him nothing can change the relation between him and God.  Many times he reiterated he was late for change.  His health had already taken toll on him.  But still we prayed.    If all the things are revealed time-to-time, there will be no meaning to life.

We returned back to our places.  After a month I was informed brother left for eternity.  Oh my! Doesn’t God hear our prayers and our request? No, He did.  He worked His ways.  It was hard to bear.  But then God did not make mistakes.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.*

“But where is the good part here?”  We asked.  We did not have all the answers of everything in this life here on earth.  Some of the things are better untold.  One day we will understand whether here on earth or in heaven, when we have fellowship with the Lord.  When He reveal the good things being promised here, it will be sweet!

When we see Him face-to-face, all things will be whole.  We will get all the answers we wanted for ages.

Some questions are better left unanswered.  It draws our heart closer to God.  The time will come when all will be revealed.

To God be the glory.  He holds together all the earth.  The mind cannot measure His majesty.

Romans 8:28, John 16:22

Stay Connected: Precautions

IMG_20170410_170819

It’s been 10 years since I was taking medicines for epileptic disorder.   For more than a decade, I have been carrying my medicines wherever I go.  Especially, the so-called SOS medicine was to be kept handy for precautions.

I cannot afford to miss my medicines to prevent any kind of seizures.  An alarm was set in my cell phone to remind me.  Medicine took too much control of my time, I would often recall.  I did that to avoid expected attacks from the illness.  This practice does spare me from embarrassment many times.  It was worth practicing.

A visit to the doctor is another thing I cannot turndown.  By the way, I am blessed to live in a place where there are many good doctors.  There are people who do not have access to this kind of thing.  For them, it was a distant dream.  However, it is one of those things I wanted to strike off in my routine, if possible.

These practices over the years reminded me of many things.  Let me tell you some of them for precautions.

One, for a believer it was our duty to carry our weapons all the time.  More importantly, there are evil spirits that are ready to attack us.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.*

Two, for a man it is advisable to carry the word of God, which is an SOS in times of need.  Many times my SOS was having a word with my God.  I am humbled to experience His presence in times of adversities.  The answers to some prayers are instant depending on the situation, and as has been granted by our Heavenly Father.

Three, it is good to maintain good connection with God who watch you and saw your spiritual and physical needs.  For He knows what is good for you, and what you should avoid.  To be able to live a life worthy for Him, it is necessary to gain prescription from Himself.

As we can see, we need to review our spiritual illness and get it corrected from time to time.  This will lead us to be closer to God.  That will make our living fruitful for you and around us.

At an instance, I underwent surgery to help control my problem.  That means surrendering to the doctors so that they can work on me.  But I find it difficult to surrender myself under God.  It is a good thing to fully surrender before God.  Let us take courage and try to achieve it.

Stay connected with God.  Spend time with Him.

Spend time, not for Him, but with Him, at least once.

*Ephesians 6:12

Hosanna in the Highest! Deliverance is Assured

Palm

There are instances in life, where we wanted to make Jesus what we want.  We wanted Him to act fast.  We misunderstood His ways.  Yet, He did things in His own time.  We have to wait for ‘His time’.

In the final stages of His time on earth, a week before dying on the cross, Jesus and His disciples drew near to Jerusalem.  In short, He sent His disciples to go to the village and find a colt and a donkey.  They came back as has been commanded.  They laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them.

So, as Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, multitudes gathered.  They spread their garments on the road; others cut down branches and trees spreading them on the road.  Now the crowds who went before Him and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna”.

Hosanna, in Hebrew, means ‘Lord, deliver us’ or ‘I beg you to save’.

They shouted Hosanna to acknowledge Him as the Messiah.  Long-burdened with sin and oppressed by foreign rulers, they wanted the Messiah to act now.  They wanted to make Him king, and deliver them from their present situations or hardships.  In the same way, that is all we want when we kneel down to pray.

More importantly, they presented their case while shouting in adoration.  They saw deliverance is on the way.  Deliverance is much nearer than before.

On that day, the sad doxology of ‘Lord, save us or deliver us’ became a glad doxology.  Because, in Him, they have hope.  Their hopes and spirits were renewed.  This happened just before His final presentation of Himself hanging on the cross.

Now, do you think the Lord did not see what they wanted at that moment and time?  He’d seen it all.  He’d knew it all.  But He waited.  He waited for His Father and His plans.

Was He powerless?  No, but He humbled.  He can and He ruled over nature and all that existed on earth.  The people cried out for salvation but there was a larger picture to be seen at this point.  That’s the part we cannot see in our everyday life, without Him.

Yes, the waiting, sometimes the long wait is worth it.  But the hardest part is the waiting period.  In the contemporary world where almost everything follows the stroke of one finger tip, it is far more difficult.

When Jesus Christ declared on the cross, “It is finished”, He delivered all mankind from the bondage of sin, and the chains that bind us no longer exist.  Deliverance is assured!

So we shouted,

Hosanna in the Highest!

Hosanna to the King of Kings!

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!

Matthew 21:9, Mark 11:9, John 12:13, Psalms 118:25