Archive for March, 2010
Is there any connection between the Easter egg and Jesus Christ? Well, none that I can think of. What, then, is Easter?
Most of us know that Jesus Christ died on the Cross 2000 years ago. That day was a Friday. Jesus died according to prophecy – to take the sins of all mankind upon himself, so that “whoever believes in him should not perish (die) but have everlasting life (in Heaven).” (John 3:16) Not everybody though, is aware that he rose from the grave on the third day – a Sunday. That day happened to be the day on which people from many cultures celebrated a festival called Easter. They worshipped a fertility goddess and used the egg as a symbol of fertility. So the Easter egg has no connection with the central message of the Bible.
The Bible is a collection of 66 books with a single theme: God’s love for us so deep, that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And Jesus walked out of the tomb on Easter Sunday, in a resurrected body – one that could pass through locked doors! To all those who receive Jesus as their personal Saviour (one who saves) and Lord and repent of their sins; God promises a similar indestructible body even though they may die physically. That’s the only theme of the Bible: forgiveness of sins and salvation through belief and faith in Lord Jesus Christ.
So should we celebrate Easter? Well, that depends on what you want – fertility only, or
fertility plus everything else plus eternal life! The choice is yours to make… This post can help you make that choice.
“Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.” (Psalm 128:1)
Okay. So you fear the LORD reverentially. You try your best to obey His commandments. But what does God promise to do for you in return? Let us look at the answer one verse at a time.
“When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.”
God promises you that if you honour Him, He will bless your work and the wages you earn. You will be content with your work and your earnings and the tide will be in your favour. Remember, walking in His way (in this verse) includes being faithful in your tithes and offerings. You cannot rob God (read Malachi 3) and expect things to “be well with you.” The Bible clearly warns us, that “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” (Gal. 6:7)
“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants All around your table.”
I have personally experienced this. I do try to obey the LORD in all respects. The result is mine to see – my wife is one of the hardest-working and smartest women I have come across (just like my mom!). And when I watch my son ride his tricycle around the table as I type away on my laptop, this verse speaks to me all the more. You realise that the Bible is indeed what it claims to be – the Living Word of God. It has breath.
“Behold, thus shall the man be Who fears the LORD.”
Here, God re-states what He promised in the preceding verses. He tells you that He’s really serious about blessing you by fulfilling these promises. And He wants to convey that to you. Hence the need to have this verse here.
Psalm 128:5, 6
“The LORD bless you out of Zion And may you see the good of Jerusalem All the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!”
God will surely open the windows of Heaven if you walk in the way the He leads you to. In fact, he already opened the windows in a broad sense by sending Jesus and the Holy Spirit!
‘Jerusalem’ here signifies you – your body – your life. ‘Israel’ denotes your family. As Jerusalem is the chief city (not capital) of Israel, so are you the representative of Christ Jesus in your family (even if the others are saved too).
The LORD promises that each day of your life will be a good day. He promises you with good health and a long life – at least enough for you to see your children’s children. I have literally seen this promise being fulfilled by God. A deliverance minister I knew spent most of his energy serving God by healing others. He probably did not take adequate care of his own health with the result that he died of heart trouble at the age of 49. But by that time his elder daughter had already delivered a baby girl. Amazing, isn’t it? God will never back out of His promise if you are faithful, because it’s not just an agreement or a contract – it’s a Covenant relationship!
His promise to shower blessings applies to your family too if you abide in His Word (read Acts 16:31). When the LORD makes promises, He keeps them! That’s a good reason to do what Psalm 118:8 asks us to do:
“It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.”
Carrying on from the previous post, marriage can be said to have 4 chief purposes. They apply to us today as much as they applied to Adam and Eve thousands of years ago!
- Companionship: God did not want Adam to be alone or lonely. [And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Gen.2:18)] Though every creature had a mate, Adam did not. So God created Eve to be Adam’s help meet and friend forever.
- Raising of children: “Be fruitful and multiply;” (Gen 1:28) was God’s command to Adam and Eve. He has equipped us with all the resources we need to to procreate and raise children for His glory.
- Intimacy: They say intimacy spells “into+me+see!” That’s true. In Genesis 2:24, we see that God purposed for a man to be joined to his wife (not his girlfriend or his fiancee or his ‘boyfriend’) and become one flesh. Such joining and becoming one flesh was only to be within the confines of a Biblical marriage covenant. But it doesn’t stop at that. Intimacy also means you share your deep fears, joys and traumas with your spouse. Marriage allows you to be intimate in every sphere of life, while at the same time giving a healthy space of solitude to your spouse.
- Security: In live-in relationships, there is no legal security. You cannot force your partner to co-habit with you. But when you truly love your chosen life partner, you want to give and receive a sense of security, that your bonding will be life-long. Only marriage can provide that. God knew we would need this security and so created the institution of marriage.
God is truly amazing, isn’t He! He cares so much for us – for our physical, emotional, biological, social and spiritual needs. And He’s given us everything we will ever need to meet these needs. He’s truly Jehovah-jireh!