Notes by Nero Okwa
Published in

Notes by Nero Okwa

The Awesome Gift of Easter

Photo by Hugues de BUYER-MIMEURE on Unsplash

“For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” — John 3:16

I watched the film: ‘The Passion of the Christ’ in 2004, and again, last night.

The Passion of the Christ(2014) by Mel Gibson

The story begins at the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus Christ is praying earnestly in preparation of what he knows will come next. His disciples: Peter, James and John who are to keep watch with him, have fallen asleep, while another: Judas Iscariot, has just received a bribe of 30 pieces of silver to betray him.

Shortly after, he leads a group of temple guards to Jesus at Gethsemane and betrays him with a kiss. He is bound, beaten, and led away to the Sanhedrin (court of meeting).

BEFORE THE SANHEDRIN

He is brought before the high priest; Caiaphas, and false accusations after false accusations are levelled against him. When asked by Caiaphas if he is the Son of God, Jesus answers “I am”.

Outraged by his response, Caiaphas rips his priestly robes and condemns Jesus to death for blasphemy.

Jesus is bound and further beaten, and early in the morning just after the first light of dawn he is led to Pontius Pilate; The roman governor of the region.

JESUS BEFORE PILATE

After questioning Jesus and finding no fault in him, Pilate believes Jesus had not committed any crime that demands death. He offers to have Jesus beaten severely and freed to the people.

Jesus is taken away to a barn. He is first beaten on the head, chained, and is flogged and bared with long leather whips with steel pellets on the end, until he is bleeding all over his body. A crown of thorns is driven into his head, causing him to bleed profusely.

Pilate presents a bleeding Jesus to Caiaphas and the people and offers them a choice to either free Jesus or a violent criminal Barabbas. The crowd demands Barabbas to be freed, and Jesus to be crucified. In loud voices:

“Crucify him”, “Crucify him”, “Crucify him”

CRUCIFIXION

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Pilate ‘ceremoniously’ washes his hands of the affair and orders Jesus’ crucifixion. Jesus is beaten further and forced to carry a heavy wooden cross outside the city, to Calvary. Grabbing that cross with determined intent, one bloody step after another, his focus never wavered.

In roman times, crucifixion was the most painful and violent way to die.

At the end of the journey, Jesus is stretched out across the cross, and his hands and feet were nailed to it. Afterwards, he is lifted up, with his full weight exerting agonizing pain at the point of nailing.

While on the cross Jesus proclaims these words:

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mk. 15:34 — Unable to bear the sight of the sin of the whole world on Jesus, God his father leaves. For the 1st time, Jesus is alone.

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” — Luke 23:34 — Even at the point of death, Jesus asked for forgiveness for his tormentors, and for the whole world.

“It is finished” — John 19:30

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” — Luke 23:46

With that he bowed his head, surrenders his spirit to the Father, and breathed his last.

“At that moment, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split” — Matt 27:51

The veil was 30ft high, and 4 inches thick.

The ripping in two of the temple veil exposed the innermost place of the temple: ‘The Holy of Holies’, symbolized the removing away of any obstacle between God and man, due to sin.

Jesus gave up his life so that we might enjoy friendship with God. He exchanged his righteousness for our sinfulness.

The irony is striking, the first Adam was driven away from the tree, and the last Adam (Jesus) was hung on a tree.

Jesus body is taken down from the cross, wrapped in a clean linen tomb, and entombed. After he died, there was a great silence, and his followers returned home, deeply mourning.

But little did they know that this was part of Jesus’s plan. He calls those who believe in him to live by faith and not by sight.

RESSURRECTION

Photo by Pisit Heng on Unsplash

Imagine the scene three days later, 2000 years ago to today. There is a violent earthquake, and the stone covering the entrance of the tomb is rolled away.

Jesus rises from the dead and exits the tomb.

CONCLUSION

The story of Easter: Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection, is one of Love, Hope, Faith and Reconciliation.

It signified his victory over sin and death, and the “finished” redemptive work of Jesus Christ.

That through his sacrifice, all men can repent of their wrongdoings, receive Jesus Christ in their heart by faith, and have a relationship with him.

A PRAYER

At this moment you can be reconciled to Jesus by simply saying:

“Dear Lord Jesus,

I believe you are the son of God. I believe you died for me on the cross and rose from the dead for my salvation. Forgive my sins. Cleanse me now, come into my heart and save my soul right now. I receive you now as my Lord and savior. I am born again.

Amen!”

HAPPY EASTER

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

As we are reminded of the significance of today, I wish you and yours a Happy Easter.

Jesus is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!!!

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Nero Okwa

Nero Okwa

Engineer, Developer and Entrepreneur. In love with Business, Technology, Travel and Africa.