VICTORY OVER DEATH-KILLED BECAUSE YOU ARE CHRISTIAN
And He (The Lord of Host) will destroy on this mountain the shroud that is cast over all peoples, the sheet that is spread over all nations; He will swallow up death forever. Then the Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 25:7-8.
It has been difficult for me to write the Easter Message particularly because, while I was still weeping for the Saints who are being persecuted in India, we received the shocking news of forty eight students of the Garissa University who were brutally killed by Al Shabaab-killed because they were students and Christians. Being a Christian and president of a University, I truly empathized with the faculty, and the parents and the surviving students. The killing took place on Holy Thursday, when Jesus had the last supper with his disciples and when he was betrayed and arrested.
How can we talk about the resurrection while this brutality happened to innocent students? We can. There is no resurrection without death. Prophet Isaiah foresaw the death of Christ and the people of God in term of victory: He saw the Lord of Host destroying the shroud that is cast over all the people. For Christian, death is self-defeating. For it ushers the saints to the endless, joyous relations with the God. When we get there, then the Lord will wipe away the tears from our faces.
I would like to invite you to ponder the Easter story in terms of “first”. It took place on the first day of the week. Women were first to reach the tomb. Mary Magdalene (a former mental patient who was healed by Christ) was the first to see the Risen Lord and she became the first Apostle (this justifies inclusion of women in the Holy Orders). Peter was first to enter the tomb. John, a young man, was first to believe that Jesus is risen from the dead. Thomas was first to declare Jesus “My Lord and my God” and first to take the Gospel to India and planted Mar Thoma Church. After the Pentecost, Peter became first to preach the Gospel of resurrection and thereby won three thousand people to Christ.
We are now challenging you to be first in a particular ministry. You may be first to reach out to the Muslims in your neighborhood. First to Venture the ministry to agnostics and atheists. Being as wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, you reach out to the people in public institutions in the USA where it is illegal to talk about God in this institutions. A friend of mine who was admitted in the Hospital told me how he was strengthened by an African Nurse, who entered his room, knelt and prayed for him. I know of an African Professor who not only taught New Testament but also made the Bible a text book in a secular University in the USA. A Christian in Sri Lanka, informed me that he has a secret ministry to Muslims and that he has won a good number of them for Christ. We need to realize that each one of us is unique and has a special key which can open the door to the kingdom of God for a particular person. To this end, we encourage you with the words of St. Paul: “Therefore my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in in vain. “1 Corinthian 15:58
By Dr. John Githiga