Friday, March 21, 2008

Lord I Lift Your Name On High

I had difficulty waking up this morning as I went for the Good Friday Church Service. My church was packed like a can of sardine. I had difficulty finding a seat. The service wasn't very long, but it surely made an impact on me. I used to think that Christians always mention "We have to believe God and trust Him, because he sent his only son Jesus to die for us" over and over again. I used to feel that their sermons was always revovling around this message. "Because Jesus died for us" was said every week. People used lame examples to show God's love for them.

" I wanted a watch, but I had no money to buy it. Thanks to God I got one coincidentially for my birthday". These examples always contained the element "luck" in it. So does this mean God equals to "Luck"? In this case, I guess that the next example would be "Thanks to His grace, I struck 4-D/Toto grand prize". Has Christianity, a religion which withstood the test of time and the martyrdom of many saints, been reduced to something of pure luck? I had doubts about that religion and this made me lose some of the faith I had in God. Furthermore, the busy and hectic schedule I had in my school resulted in my absence during church services. When I stepped into the building, I no longer had the feeling I had when I was first introduced to Christianity. That familiar, refreshing, feeling of being reborn and forgived. Faces once familiar to me were like strangers now.

I want to mention in particular the drama presented by the Drama Team today which showed the cruxification of Jesus. The skit was very good but what really shook me was the fact that the re-enactment of the scene was so near me. I finally understood the message.

Sacrifice, is a highest form of Love that someone can offer to you. Jesus was humiliated by the people, spat on by the soldiers and died in the most painful way. However, in he made no retaliation. No form of fighting back. Because in his heart he was filled with Love. Love for his people, even though they do not understand what he was trying to do and why he is willing to die for them. "CRUCIFY HIM!" filled the air. Soldiers whipped him brutally. The cross weighed a ton on his back. Blood blurred his vision. Still he was forced to walk to the execution grounds. As he lay down on the cross, nails were driven through his flesh. He screamed in pain. No one knew that the Son of God is on the cross. All they see in front of them is a fraud and a phony. As His heart beats slower every minute and his breathing becomes more laboured, he lifted his head up to the sky and heard a voice from the heavens. He smiled and stopped breathing.

Sacrifice, is what Jesus had shown us through his death. Love made him able to withstand the countless whippings he received from the soldiers. I think the reason why he sacrificed is not because that he is delivering us from all sins, but rather showing to us that we must learn to love each other and respect each other despite our differences. Then we can achieve salvation. A song by NickelBack goes like this:

"If Everyone Cared, and nobody cried,
If Everyone loved, and nobody lied,
If Everyone shared, and swallowed their pride,
We'd see the day where nobody died"

If we learn to respect each other amidst our differences, if we could swallow our pride and learn to care for others. Then there would be a day where "World Peace" , something that we have all been praying for, something that the kids in war-torn countries have been writing in their wishlist every single day, something that the mothers of soldiers who were sent to Iraq have been hoping for, can finally be achieved. Tears can be stopped. Unecessary bloodshed can be reduced. Jesus taught us how to love, and also showed us the power of love. Love is a powerful weapon, something even more powerful than the Nuclear Warheads which caused the tension between nations. If people learned to love, and starts to embrace love, then the world would then be, a better place for everyone. Isn't this the message in the speeches of politicians every day?

Also , today is the day where I had my first Holy Communion . The taste of the bread and wine still lingered in my lips. Love gave us redemption and a chance to pay for our mistakes. Jesus was a great man because he was the first to die for his people for a cause so simple as Love. He is great, not because of the fact that he is the Son Of God or the Messiah, but the one who taught us the importance and the Power Of Love. And so today, as many of us commemorate the death of Jesus, keep in mind that he died for a simple reason, in fact he died for a cause which consists of only a single word. Love, makes the World go round as indeed, when people forgive and forget, or when someone says "I Love You", your world is instantly illuminated and brightened by Love. Happiness, Hope, springs from Love and it is through these powerful forces that people can be inspired to break limits and the hurdles in their lives.

Love, brings us hope. Love, brings us joy. Love, brings us peace and finally, it is Love, which will bring us salvation.

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