Saturday, April 15, 2006

Death and Resurrection

I was told I could get a really good hamburger in Bangalore. I even had a friend in the states who wrote and said it was a treat, on him! Can’t beat a deal like that. But alas, it never happened. The reason, Raj Kumar passed away and the whole city shut down, even the five star hotels where I was to go for my treasured beef between the bun.

Rajkumar was an old time movie star from the area, a poor kid who made it big on the silver screen. As many of you know, India makes more movies, I think an average of three a day, than any place in the world. Bollywood (from Bombay) stars are not just admired, they are worshipped, and so it was with Mr. Rajkumar. The day he died until they buried (not cremated) him the next day, there were riots in the street with over 100 vehicles burned and at least eight people killed.

We were in Kenya when we heard that Elvis died. An American friend of ours cried that day in 1977, and was in mourning for a period of time after that. Even today, Graceland is visited by thousands each year. I would suppose that some even pray at the grave of Elvis as it is some kind of a spiritual experience. In this country, where almost everything can be considered a diety, Rajkumar's death was, for some, a loss of a demigod. The riots, in reality, was more political than anything else, giving people a reason to vent their frustrations at the local government.

I didn’t mind not getting my hamburger, it wasn’t that important. I am saddened, however, with the misplaced devotion of people to a man who, like us, was just human. Yesterday, Christians around the world remembered the Son of Man who was like no other who has ever lived on this earth, and His death 2,000 years ago. Sunday, we will remember again that He conquered death and rose from the grave. To those who have put their faith in Him, we, too, will one day live again. Our hope is not in a movie star, a prophet or guru, our hope remains in Christ.