Christ has Truly Risen and we are Witnesses to His Resurrection
By: Elias Bejjani

March 23/08

But what does it say? The word is with you, in your mouth, and in your heart; that is, the word of faith, which we preach: that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says; whoever believes in him will not be disappointed. (Romans 10: 8 -11)

Oh how great is the need nowadays, to understand the meaning and message of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! The fast pace of life has turned us merely into sad human shells of crippled beings, consumed by greed, selfishness and the race for worldly pleasures. Our thoughts and actions are directed by trifle material matters and concerns. In the midst of all this 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.

We often find ourselves intentionally forgetting the fact that our Heavenly Father has shown us His great love and affection by sending us His only son; born as human, He suffered humiliation and pain and was crucified so that we could be relieved from the burden of our original sin. Through His crucifixion and death, Jesus triumphed over death and resurrected from the dead, thereby resurrecting us with Him, pure and forgiven of all sin and impurity. Oh how the yoke of death and sin has been lifted from our shoulders and carried by our Lord Jesus!

Worldly matters frequently make us easy prey to our sinful instincts and wrongful human inclinations. How easy we are seduced by sin knowing that our Father gave so much for our salvation. In such darkness, our faith, perseverance and hope become weakened, as we drift away from the teachings of our Lord. Shame is our neglect of our rightful obligations towards our heavenly Father and towards those who need our love, compassion and friendship.

We need to realize wholly and become fully aware of the great blessing that Jesus’ resurrection from death is indeed a new life for all mankind, free from all sin. This fact alone is a comfort that must be remembered with every breath and allowed to settle deep within our minds, hearts and souls. His resurrection is an established truth in its essence, and this truth should penetrate into our bones.

“He is not here, rather He has risen”. We as Christians truly believe that Christ rose from the dead and is alive within all of us. His resurrection is the essence of our faith, beginning with the holy Apostles and ending with us, the Church. His resurrection is not solely a historical event, but rather it is our source of faith which explodes forth like a powerful volcano in our conscience and thoughts.

For the believers, this truth cultivates and purifies the faith, allowing them to courageously walk the road of salvation with steadfastness, strength, and veracity. The Father blesses His sons and daughters with the same compassion and love that resurrected His beloved Jesus. Our heavenly Father, through the sacrifice of His only Son, provided for us a lesson and an example of true love, fatherly compassion and parental sacrifice. He proved to us, His flock and children, that He is love and that His love for us has no limits and that His forgiveness is unending. What peace and comfort is this for us!

The Resurrection of Christ grants every one of us the right to call himself a child of God; it is the return of Paradise lost, the threshold of the Holy of Holies of immortal life and communion with God. St. Paul tells us that if there had been no Resurrection then our Christian faith would have been deprived of any foundation or value: "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.... If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins (1 Cor. 15:14, 17)."

Easter is a festival of hope for salvation and for a new life and a new beginning. This Holy season calls on us to renew our faith in Jesus as our Messiah and to consolidate our confidence in His Church and its teachings. Easter calls on us all to love and forgive each other and as a family to unite together in celebration of our risen Lord. It is also a time to repent for our wrongful deeds and thoughts; to cleanse our hearts and walk forward with steadfast the righteous path of salvation.

Let us never forget the humbling truth that all of us will one day stand before our Almighty God to answer for our all our deeds, good and bad. It is in this light we need to remember the teachings of the Apostles; That In the end times, there will be hypocrites, walking before their own ungodly lusts and causing divisions, lacking the Spirit. They taught us to strengthen ourselves and our faith through prayer and the Holy Spirit and to nurture our love for our God, while seeking the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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 our family and friends in Diaspora and in our Lebanon!

May God Bless You All!

*Elias Bejjani
Chairman for the Canadian Lebanese Coordinating Council (LCCC)
Human Rights activist, journalist & political commentator.
Spokesman for the Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)

LCCC Web Site
CLHRF Website