Every eclipse gives a silver lining which tells that there is a brighter side after the eclipse. Every low of life tells that there is a high at the end of it. Every Good Friday is followed by an Easter Sunday. It is a hope that there will be a better tomorrow which helps each person to run through the rough strides of life. The rough patches of life do not mean that it is the end of the road. It rather means that the journey is to be kept on; for there is a bright end. The season of lent was spent in the hope of the resurrection of the Lord. The season of Easter begins with the Lord rising from the dead. The Lord who is faithful to his promises kept up his promise and rose again on the third day. May the risen Lord guide our steps on paths that are not yet clear and which we are afraid to take!
Way to Calvary was a Holy Way!
Jesus was sentenced to death; a cruel death on the cross. The Jewish leaders together with the soldiers led Jesus towards mount Calvary making him carry the wooden cross. It was a celebration for the Jews, the enemies of Jesus. They did celebrate it in the best way possible making a mockery of the Lord. When the journey took off, they thought that Jesus would be tired by the time he reached the top of the mount; the soldiers would nail him down on the cross and then hang him. In a few minutes Jesus would die and then all will be over. When the journey to Calvary reached the mount, unexpected happenings began to shake the people. Those who witnessed the crucifixion began to testify that the man who was named ‘king of the Jews’, was really the king of the Jews. The man whom they accused of blasphemy was the Son of God in reality.
Strange things happened as the moment of the death of Jesus came close. The nature began to take strides. The dramatic changes that happened in the nature at the moment of the death of Jesus proclaimed loudly that Jesus was the Son of God and his death meant the salvation of mankind. It was not going to be the same as it was till then. Those who rejected Jesus and wanted to rush home after the crucifixion noticed the turnaround in the nature. They preferred to stay back to see what was happening. What happened in those few moments was not merely an event that changed their mindset but an event that changed the entire human history. The man whom they sentenced to death and whom they ill treated all the way from Pilate’s house to Calvary was not just a man of this world. Wonderstruck at the happenings at the time of his death on the cross, they began to whisper among themselves that he was indeed the Son of God.
Way to Calvary has a turn!
The way to Calvary was not quite familiar for many of the Jews. They hadn’t even once in their life gone up the mount, because it was a place for condemned men. They probably had never been to Calvary to see someone else being crucified. But on the day of Jesus’ crucifixion Calvary had a turn that probably no one had thought or heard of earlier. It was a turn that appeared at the death of Jesus. It was the turn that led the condemned and crucified Jesus to rise up on the third day. It was the turn from death to resurrection. Easter is all about the empty tomb. It is all about the rising of Jesus to life after three days in the womb of the earth.
Easter is all about the glory that Jesus attained after all the suffering, crucifixion and death. The Resurrection of Christ changed the whole world. The world was no more what it was before Jesus’ death. His resurrection from the tomb changed the whole human history. It brought new hope for the entire world. Calvary was not the end of the revolution of love that Jesus started, but only its beginning. With the risen Jesus a new world had come alive which revolutionized the whole mankind. The disciples of Jesus too had undergone a turn; they became quite different persons filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. They became the torchbearers of a new world order.
Easter: an invitation to take a turn!
We have been travelling with Jesus all through these forty days, trying to follow him from the garden of Gethsemane to the mount Calvary through the palace of Pilate. This journey was not merely to participate in the suffering of Jesus but also an effort to die with him on the cross and then to be buried with him so that we may rise up with him on the third day. The Son of God had to be buried in the womb of the earth to be risen from the dead. If so, how much more we, mere human beings will have to be buried in that tomb of the Lord to be raised to life with him. We have been sincerely following the Lord during these days of fasting and abstinence. We have commemorated his death on the cross. We have rejoiced at the resurrection of the Lord. Now, it is good that we ask ourselves: have I died with the Lord? Have I been buried with him? If we haven’t yet been crucified, let us nail ourselves today on to his cross. If we have not yet died with him, let us commend our spirit into the hands of the Heavenly Father and die with the Lord. Let us bury our old self in the tomb of the Lord to be risen again as a new being. Remember, the resurrection takes place only after the crucifixion.
Fr. Rajesh Puthussery