The 2nd of April, 2010 is Good Friday, the day on which Jesus fulfilled His mission.
The day on which after having undergone humiliations beyond human endurance, He gave up His life, only to rise , in full glory on Easter Sunday.
I have often wondered why it is called ‘ Good Friday’ it may have been called God Friday?
It is said that Jesus died for us! It is said that He died to save humanity! How?
Jesus claimed that one could gain access to the Lord without the mediation of priests and their complicated, and often expensive rituals.
Jesus thundered: “Why have you turned the house of my father into a den of thieves?” His life might have been spared had He conceded to the Jewish priests’ demands to continue to belong to the old popular beliefs.
Jesus declined to conform. That was His only ‘crime’.
I believe that He was crucified because he continued to claim the TRUTH.
That all we need to do to achieve the “Kingdom of Heaven” is to Serve, Love and Pray. “Knock and the door will open” He said.
He gave up His life to give to Humanity the above simple message. He gave up His life for us. Could we in return try to follow His teachings? Could we start tomorrow?
You know, it is possible for us to to ascend, just like Jesus Christ did.
Ascension, for most of us could also mean that we raise our consciousness with prayer, faith and affirmations.
Jesus said: “I AM the resurrection and the Life, whosoever believes in Me shall Live forever”
Christopher Mendonca writes:
Death is an abstraction we fear. Dying however is a daily reality that we can learn to accept…Fear of death is largely linked to the ego. We are afraid of losing what we are most attached to… The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, celebrated each year at springtime is all about death and dying, to take away the ‘sting of death’…to invite his disciples to follow the way of daily dying to self… The central message of Easter is that if the process of ‘dying’ is integrated into one’s life, we need not be afraid of death when it comes. Death becomes an event in life…Jesus accepted death with not a sense of bitterness or anger but with a sense of anticipation and joy in the full realization that it would be His hour of triumph…
I was reading the Speaking Tree’ by Sumit Dhanraj. He writes: “Some claim that ‘good’ is a corruption of the word ‘God’…just like ‘God be with you has become ‘Good bye’…
THE SPEAKING TREE
11th April 2009
An Encounter With Jesus Rising From The Grave
The Latin words ‘Noli me tangere’ are uttered, according to the Bible in John 20:17, by Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene after his death and resurrection, and often translated as ‘Do not touch me’. The painting shows an overwhelmed Mary, on her knees beside her Teacher, one hand on the ground, the other reaching towards Jesus, who leans away slightly, avoiding her outstretched hand.
Titian has managed to portray in the positioning of the body of Jesus a slight yet distinct moving away, as well as a compassionate reaching out, through a hand holding a staff that is extended over her head almost in a gesture of blessing.
Try and picture this scene: Mary, a close follower — and in the early Christian Tradition a respected teacher of the faith, before later interpretations managed to distort and lower her status — has come to his tomb in deep mourning. She encounters the risen Christ, at first mistaking him for a gardener. He gently speaks her name, “Mary”.
“Rabboni”, she responds, a loving form of the word that means Teacher, amazed and joyous, very naturally reaching out to him. Jesus immediately replies “Don’t touch me!” Given the trauma and inconsolable grief Mary and the other disciples have recently been through, this sounds extremely rough, the harshness mitigated somewhat by the explanation that he cannot be touched as he is not yet ‘risen’.
But if we examine this further, we learn that the original Greek phrase in the Gospel of John is better translated as “Stop holding on to me” or “Cease clinging to me.” And this puts a whole new meaning to the potent message, sadly one that many of us, individual Christians and churches too, tend to overlook.
These words do not reject the feelings of love, respect and closeness of his followers, but caution about externalising or misrepresenting what he taught and what he lived and died for. Jesus has always pointed us towards a spiritual experience and a lived expression of his teachings, rather than mere worship of his person.
This encounter with Jesus also teaches us that we cannot make a new start without letting go of what we think we hold most dear. And that includes our incomplete image or perception of the Teacher, which might involve prayer and ritual devoid of true understanding. We cling to the ‘form’, ignoring the ‘essence’. Christ resurrected shows us the essence which lies beyond the form, which is not temporal body but eternal message.
The moment beautifully illustrates that while the relationship with physical presence of Jesus may be over for his disciples, a newer, more powerful relationship needs to take hold — a relationship with his teachings and the courage to not just preach, but to actually live them.
Being attached to the image of his person and dwelling on the physical loss could stop them — and us — from learning what is essential in his teachings to actively engage in a life of love, to care for the helpless and to work ceaselessly for peace and justice.
The writer is a Mumbai-based personal growth coach. E-mail: email@example.com
The Gospel according to St Matthew: Extract from the Sermon On The Mount.
Jesus of Nazareth
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.
For this reason i say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?
And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet i say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
Do not worry then, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear for clothing?” For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it…