Over the years I have taken time to analyze different aspects of the Easter story and the life of Jesus. In the process, I have discovered several important truths, some of which are not usually emphasized enough in our discussions.
I have been sharing some of them in past articles, and wish to share a few with you now.
1) Importance of intimate parental relations
Many parents (biological or step-parents) do not have real dependable and intimate relationship with their children. Some children do not even know where their parents are hiding.
Sometimes the children also create problems with rebellion, sinful lifestyles, shirking of responsibility, secrecy, and running away from home, and therefore make parenting feel like a project in hell for many parents.
Jesus never forgot His mother even in death and made provision for her upkeep (St. John 19:26, 27).
It shows the strong loving relationship between mother and child. If you make time for God to speak with you, and make time to ponder quietly on God's dealings with you (as Mary did), God will never abandon you, and your child will never forget you, even when he or she is dying.
It is also never an excuse to neglect your mother or any parent (or guardian) by using any trials and problems as an excuse. Jesus did not use the Cross as an excuse to neglect His mother. Are your problems the most severe among your peers in your country or overseas to become tangible excuses for your silence regarding spiritual, social, and physical needs?
Even if you are being crucified where you are, you will not be excused by God and man. There is always something you can do. Even a phone call, text message, Facebook message, a sentence of e-mail, a prayer, loving greetings, a card, simple gift etc. can be used by God to cheer someone up, meet a need, and turn a situation around.
2) Jesus entrusted the care of his mother to his disciple John for a reason and a purpose
Although John was single, Jesus entrusted the care of His mother into the hands of John. He could not even give His mother to his own brothers and sisters (who were then Unbelievers) or to Peter who was married (who was then spiritually unstable and was far away from Jesus, denying Him).
John was described as "the disciple Jesus loved" (St. John 13:23), and was very close to the Cross during the crucifixion of Jesus. In the same way, the Lord will also entrust precious things into the hands of those who have clearly established a love relationship with Him (not just following Him or observing traditions), and who decide to walk closely with Him, no matter the circumstances.
Can you imagine the gossip around town, mixed with some envy and malice in the hearts of some people around when they heard that the unmarried disciple John had taken the middle-aged woman Mary to his home? Dirty-minded folk would even “wonder what must have been going on between them in that house”.
Peter was older than John, and is often regarded by many as the leader of the 12 Disciples, but we learn that God could bypass a leader who is not prepared for a task, and not close enough to the Lord at a particular time, and rather entrust important things to the younger more faithful member of a group, organization, workplace, institution, church, family, or community.
3) Heaven (God) is the source of all genuine power
These are days when people are seeking after all kinds of power and miracles to satisfy their desires or become popular, but the devil also has several of his counterfeit powers in operation.
If, during His trial, Jesus declared to Pilate that "he could have no power at all against Him unless power was given him from above" (St. John 19:11), how could any of us expect to receive any form of genuine power from any other source?
Or who would think that any power (to even breathe, eat, use our emotions, exercise talents and gifts, make plans, do our job, receive favour, obtain any form of results etc.) comes from only human effort, or is generated from other forms of spiritual sources that God has not allowed or given?
We should always carefully check the kind of faith, Biblical source, level of obedience, holy living, honesty, and the private lifestyle of any religious person, prophet, pastor, evangelist, leader, miracle worker, man or woman of God, and person promising to give us solutions to our spiritual and social problems.
Many false prophets and teachers are running around these days with revelations, miraculous signs, prophecies, strange and contorted ideas, unbiblical instructions, weird practices, and gargantuan promises for prosperity, all of which are fake and usually satanic-inspired. Satan works miracles too. Watch out carefully!
4) God always provides clear evidence
God made sure that the women who first went to the tomb of Christ after His resurrection could see the inside of the tomb in order to obtain evidence of His resurrection. God will always ensure that He gives you every opportunity to see anything He really wants you to see. If you miss it, then it is your fault.
The women were worried (probably throughout the night) as to who would roll away that huge stone at the entrance of the tomb for them, but when they looked, the stone was already rolled away (Mark 16:3, 4). We are told "the stone was VERY GREAT".
Does any obstacle appear VERY GREAT in your life at any time? Do you realize that most of what we are always afraid of (in times of doubt and trials, or when doing God's will) never really occurs?
Our fears and worries often stem from disobedience, unbelief, lack of trust in God's promises, poor preparations, procrastination, pride (lack of humility) that robs us of God's grace for accomplishments. Our inability to forgive ourselves for past offences, and doubts concerning God's perfect will in specific situations, also put fear in us.
We waste our minds and emotions in needless worry, fear, anger, and anxiety, and get stomach ulcers and wrecked nerves from imaginary problems that never materialize.
Sometimes we even prophesy the problems into place in our education plans, career pursuits, courtship, marriage life, waiting for someone to fall in love with us and sincerely marry us, choice of right mate (confused in saying yes or no to a proposal or selecting one among multiple proposals, or difficulty in choosing one out of many ladies we like).
Some of us pronounce negative outcomes that open wide doors of spiritual and human attacks on our courtships, marriages, parenting, in-law relations, ministries, church matters, professions, businesses, investments, acquisition of property, construction and accommodation plans, obtaining travel or immigration documents, safety at new locations, political or leadership matters, and national affairs etc.
If God has promised to resurrect and give life to anything, He will by all means cause it to finally happen. ”Do not fret – it only causes harm (only leads to evil)” -- Psalm 37:8. “From eternity I am He. None can deliver out of My Hands. I work, and who can hinder (stop) Me?” (Isaiah 43:13).
Learn to rest your heart, faith, accomplishments, singleness, courtship, marriage issues, parenting, family life, education, career, finances, investments, business, health, ministry, position of authority, and all hopes in God’s mighty Hands; and expect His love, His divine integrity, God’s mighty power, and His unfailing promises, and unlimited grace to work on your behalf.
5) Importance of prayer
The first thing Jesus did on the cross was to pray: "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
That prayer really stabilized Him. Remember that Jesus was fully human and fully God. Otherwise he could have run into trouble with is endurance capabilities, and reactions towards the vexation thrown at Him with nonsensical mockery by people expected to know God.
Out of His 7 phrases on the Cross, at least 4 of them were prayers.
Jesus set us the example that the FIRST THING to do when any trouble erupts or any crisis arises is to PRAY. The first thing to do is not to allow panic and anxiety to grip you (although natural fear will set in), and get on the phone or walk to someone to complain, lean solely on a confidant, yell for everyone to hear your plight, start blaming people, make yourself miserable, and tell everyone in order to canvass for human sympathy instead of God’s comfort etc.
TELL GOD FIRST, for Him to be primarily in charge. Distinguish between God-directed and wise support, versus immature or carnal human dependence, or self-pity.
Apart from personal prayer, try also not to keep special problems or emergencies to yourself out of your own pride and secrecy when that situation needs corporate prayer and united support of true Believers and genuine lovers who look out for your welfare.
The prayer of Jesus on the cross had its roots in the preparatory prayers in Gethsemane. If you have not prepared yourself with prayer in the morning or prayed before getting to where you are in any situation, then it becomes more difficult to engage in any prayer when problems suddenly confront you, or if things intensify.
Some versions of the Bible tell us in Luke 23:34 that "Jesus was saying Father forgive them, for they know not what they do", implying that all along while He carried the Cross, and they drove the nails into His hands etc., Jesus was saying that prayer within Himself. That made it easier for him to finally utter it on the Cross at the climax of His suffering, instead of cursing or complaining.
I always told my children before they went off to school: "Whenever there is trouble, please do not rush to call me first, but immediately call God first before calling me, even if all you have to do is to call Jesus and shout your prayer as "JEEEESUUUUS!".
After that then call me. Because if I am there with you and Jesus is not there it is worse, than if I am not with you but Jesus is there with you."
No matter your situation today, Jesus took care of every human need on the cross and declared; "It is finished!" (St. John 19:30).
All of your needs were taken care of by the Lord during His life, death, burial, and resurrection. Let us take it all of His finished work by faith. Your faith must be rooted in God's word.
But first ensure that you have given your heart to Jesus by faith, asked Him to wash all of your sins in His Blood, and accepted him into your heart (soul) as your Savior and Lord. Then grow in Christ by meditating on some scripture daily, accompanied by prayers to God the Father through Christ.
If you are already a Christian, then draw closer to the Lord in deeper COMMITMENT with consistent Bible study and fervent PRAYERS OF FAITH, plus diligent efforts to live in HUMILITY, OBEDIENCE to the end, and HOLINESS, in order to derive all the benefits of God's grace through what Jesus accomplished for you on earth.
Such humility and obedience was the lifestyle of Christ Jesus; and that made God exalt Him highly – “He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Phil. 4:5-11).
Learn to thank God daily for his mercies and provisions, and develop a heart of gratitude for what you have now, as you patiently wait for the rest of your blessings from the Lord.
Beware of ungratefulness, pride, anger, quarrels, grumbling, doubts, envy, jealousy, wrong utterances, gossip, backbiting, spirit of un-forgiveness, prejudice, doubts, worry, lust, immorality, pornography (and indecent practices especially in secret), wasting of resources, laziness, prayerlessness, selfishness, unnecessary fear, and occult practices.
These and other associated habits, become huge barriers to the flow of God's grace and blessings in your life.
I pray that the Blood of Jesus will wash and cleanse us; may His stripes and wounds heal us; may His betrayal and trial take care of our betrayals, disappointments, false accusations, and misinterpretations; may His Cross infuse hope and joy into us and give us meaning for all of our trials and suffering; may His broken Body mend and heal all of our brokenness; and may His resurrection power give life to all that is dead or trying to die in our lives.
Enjoy a fruitful, meaningful, happy, and joyful life in the weeks and months ahead, even long after the Easter celebrations are over.
By Rev. Dr. Kisseadoo.
Professor of Biology.
Bible Teacher. Author. Conference Speaker. Relationships, Marriage, and Family Counselor.
Founder and President, Fruitful Ministries International Incorporated (An Evangelistic and Teaching Christian Organization).
Website: www.fruitfulministriesint.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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