Halleluiah, Jesus Has Risen
By: Elias Bejjani


"If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable" (Corinthians15/19)


On this holy day, of Resurrection, we are ought to be aware that for our prayers to be looked upon and heard by Almighty God, we are required to reconcile with with all others on whom we have inflicted pain and injustice, and treated them with an evil manner. To please the Lord we are required to genuinely, heartily and overtly perform all required acts of repentance for all our mischievous conducts and wrongdoings. We are requires to pray and pray and pray.


"Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions" (Mark 11/24-26)


How great is the need nowadays, to understand the meaning and message of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sadly fast pace of life, merciless competition, detachment from almighty God and materialism, have turned us into mere robots and a bunch of spiritually crippled human beings, consumed by greed, selfishness and the lust for earthly pleasures and treasures.


Because of lack of both faith and hope our thoughts and actions are dominated, obsessed and directed by trifle material and earthly matters and concerns. In the midst of all this  faith, moral and ethical havoc, we have forgotten that we are the sons and daughters of Almighty God, and that He has created us in His image and likeness and made our bodies a temple for Him.


For our salvation, "He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead." (Creed)


The rising again of Jesus from the dead, and His ascending into heaven are the resurrection miracle that the church celebrates on the Easter Day. Resurrection is the cornerstone, the pillar, the heart, the foundation, and the core of the Christian faith. Those who claim to be Christians, no matter to what denomination or church they belong,  are not actually Christians if they doubt or do not totally believe in the resurrection. Plainly, and simply resurrection is Christianity and Christianity is resurrection.


Easter Sunday (Resurrection) is a holy feast of love, humility, forgiveness, brotherhood, tolerance and repentance. Religiously worshipers are not to participate in any of these feast prayers or make any offerings or receive the Holy Communion unless they willingly replace hatred with love, grudges with forgiveness, rejection of others with tolerance, arrogance with humility, greed with contentment, deception with transparency, and wickedness with righteousness.


On this Holy Day of Resurrection, we need to be aware that Jesus' Holy blood was shed on the Cross for our sake. Remembrance of His death and resurrection is a Godly consignment that we are entrusted with. Itís up to us either to honour this trust or betray it.


In regards to what is committed to us, Saint Paul conveyed to his disciple Timothy the following advice: "Timothy, guard that which is committed to you, turning away from the empty chatter and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called; which some professing have erred concerning the faith". (6/20-21):

Resurrection, this pivotal liturgical fact was strongly stressed by all the Apostles, especially by Saint Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians. He said: "Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?  But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised. If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain. Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that he raised up Christ, whom he didnít raise up, if it is so that the dead are not raised. For if the dead arenít raised, neither has Christ been raised.  If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable. But now Christ has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christís, at his coming. Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death". (15/12-26):

Lord Jesus who died on the cross, had risen from the dead on the third day just as He has said while proclaiming His message. He triumphed over death, defeated the forces of darkness, overcame pain, abolished anguish and brought despair to an end. He rose from the tomb to be constantly with those faithful to Him throughout their lives, and to never abandon them. He shall empower forever those who believe in His message and observe His commandments with the spirit of truth, knowledge, wisdom and solidarity with His Father, Almighty God.

Do not be afraid, ďDonít be amazed", with these reassuring and soothing words The Angel spoke to Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome. They had came to the tomb on Sunday morning to mummify and anoint Jesus' Body as the Jewish tradition required. They thought death had defeated Jesus and ended His life as it does to every human being. On their way, they were sadly thinking and wondering who will roll for them the stone away from the tomb's entrance so they can get in and perform the mummifying and anointing process. While halfway from the tomb, they saw that the enormous stone had been rolled away. When they entered the tomb they found that Jesus' body was not there. They found only the shrouds that His body was wrapped with on His burial after the crucifixion.

Through Crucifixion and resurrection, Christ has overcome death, broke its thorn, and granted us His eternal forgiveness from the original sin. With His death and resurrection, death in its traditional earthly human concept has been abolished forever and Sin since then has become the actual death that leads the sinners to Gahanna into the unquenchable fire.
When our bodies die, we sleep in the hope of resurrection. On Jesus' return on the Day of Judgment, the dead will be the first to rise and escort Him. "Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed", (Corinthians 15/ 51-52).

Christ is the Way, Christ is the Truth, and Christ is the actual eternal life that we long for. We strongly believe with full conviction that Christ dwells in His Holy Church, and exists in its Mysteries (Sacraments). He is always present in the Holy Eucharist that we receive during every mass. Christ at all times is ready, willing and delighted to help us in our burdens when we call on Him and ask for His mercy.  


ďCome to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.Ē (Matthew11/28)

If we do not learn how to tame our selfishness, anger, hatred and forgive others for whatever evil deeds they commit against us and reconcile with them, than we do not qualify to be called Jesus' followers. Our prayers will not be heard or responded to, if we do not practice the grace of forgiveness as did He who was crucified for our salvation.

ďIf therefore you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift". (Matthew 5/23-24).  

Our resurrection through Jesus Christ occurs today and lives on in each day of our life.

Let us pray that the Holy Spirit enlighten and empower us on this Holy day just as with the Apostles on the day of Pentecost.

Let us all proudly proclaim that Christ is living in us and with us, Christ has truly risen and we are witnesses to His resurrection!

Happy Easter to all, and especially to my dear and beloved family members, relatives, supporters, friends and readers.
Halleluiah!  Jesus has risen! Indeed He has risen.


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Elias Bejjani
Canadian-Lebanese Human Rights activist, journalist and political commentator
Email phoenicia@hotmail.com
Web sites http://www.10452lccc.com & http://www.clhrf.com

Mailing phoenicia group http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Phoenicia/.

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