Post Mortem

Glory of the Cross of Jesus

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 4/18/2019 12:45:49 PM IST

 In this Holy Week tens of thousands of faithful as well as average Christians all over the world will be flocking to churches and cathedrals to bow their heads before the Cross and participate in worship services that relive the death and the resurrection of the Messiah on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Many worshipers will pick up the most loving divine hymn with adoration-”When I survey the wondrous Cross, on which the Prince of Glory died, My riches gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride,...Love so amazing, So divine, Demand my soul, My life, My all,”

The climax of Jesus’ life on earth was the Cross. Cross was the glory of life and the way to the glory of eternity. The majesty of Jesus appeared only in His crucifixion and death. With Jesus on the cross, the cross appeared beautiful, majestic and had amazing spiritual gravitational pull. He glorified God on the cross by perfect submission of perfect love. The cross was not the end. There was resurrection to follow. It was the proof that men could do their sadistic brutality but not all their worst could conquer Him. Cross, an image of ultimate horror turned into the paramount icon of love. Love gave eyes to read the signs and a mind to spiritual understanding. Love is the great interpreter. Love can grasp the truth while intellect becomes uncertain. The cross is the centre of Christianity. Christian faith and hope revolve around the cross. This is also the key to spiritual patriotism. 

The gospels of the New Testament were not to give a full account of the life of Jesus but appeals to take Him as Saviour and Son God. The gospel is meant for man and women seeking divinity of God. The cross stands for the truth. The truth cannot be buried for long. It will surely come out for the world to see. Jesus is the truth and the truth will make you free, says the Bible.

The cross is the centre of attraction that drew every human character to Him in a way that even before His crucifixion had ever done-rulers, leaders, administrators, cowards, criminals, extortionists, wavers, etc. The Centurion at the foot of the cross left saying, “truly, this is the Son of God.” 

The name Barabbas is interesting. He was a terrorist and a secessionist for the Romans. He was a hero and a freedom fighter for the Jews. Because of popular demand from the Jews he was freed. His place was taken by Jesus. No doubt, Barabbas was a sinner.

Roman Governor Pilate was a weakling. He could not withstand the illegal pressure tactics of the Jews. He vacillated to crucify Jesus or let Him go. Later, he surrendered before the demand of the Jews. But the same Pilate was adamant over the removal of the inscription on the cross-”Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” He was stubborn over the matter of no importance and not wise over the delivery of wrong judgment of supreme importance.

One of the criminals who crucified along with the dying Jesus recognised Him as the Saviour, was instantly given a place in Paradise. Joseph from Arimathaea and Nicodemus were men of authority. They were secret disciples of Jesus only because they were afraid of their own Jewish community. But the death of Jesus on the cross emboldened them to face the truth. Joseph managed to bring the death body of Jesus from the Governor Pilate for burial and Nicodemus was there to do the befitting tribute that the world could see. The cross made them cast their fear aside. The power of cross had begun to operate. It turned cowards into heroes and waverers into spirited fighters to carry His mission dead or alive

Mary Magdalena was the first to visit the tomb of Jesus and the first to see the Risen Christ when all other Disciples were hiding in fear of being persecuted. She was fearless and her love and devotion to Jesus was extra ordinary. She in reality was empowered to become a great evangelist. Her encounter with the Risen Christ is crucial for every Christian today. 

Peter with all his weaknesses and even open denial of Jesus on the crucial moment before crucifixion, did not desert Jesus. There was something outstanding about him-the moral strength. It was to him that Mary Magdalena first went to break the news of the Empty Tomb. Peter was still the acknowledged leader of the apostolic band. Appearance of Risen Christ before His disciples on several occasion and their empowerment by Holy Spirit emboldened them to get rid of their fearful concealment. They became spiritual patriots and warriors of Jesus.

People love to see God fearing leaders. Christian leaders/ law makers/ legislators have clear obligations to oppose any law that attack human life and its rightful existence. But today, they are in miserable position. They are struggling with contradictions between the spiritual teachings and what they practice. They struggle with different feelings and different issues at different times but they cannot come out of the warning against the soul-less materialism. But, “what does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead,” says the Bible, James 2: 14-17.

Many conflicting issues and factionalism can be settled peacefully with the spirit of the Cross. “Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” The glory of cross will work best where there is respect for the opinion of others and freedom to practice one’s own belief. Society based on such principles will integrate rather than disintegrate. Each generation has to work hard and make sacrifices to ensure better life for the next generation. We need to progress. To progress we need an environment of peace, unity and hope. Any action that brings division across communities will not help this cause. We need performing leaders in both religious as well as in secular fronts and the leaders must have the courage and conviction to send message of hope, tolerance, honesty, love and affection to the people through their action. Through faith can transform a nation and heal the scars of division among people. Let the glory of the cross of Christ be the flag bearer to remove all the negative aspects of our faction-ridden society. In this Holy Week let this Hymn be our revival prayer: “Let the water and the blood, From thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, Save from wrath and make me pure.”

Mapu Jamir I.A.S (Retd), Duncan, Dimapur

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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