Sunday, April 08, 2007

He Is Risen, Not Reborn

My landlord has never understood the resurrection. As a cultural Hindu, he understands enough of his religion to be confused, not enough to truly have a deep faith. So, when it comes to Christ, the god of the Christian, Mr. J. can’t grasp the meaning of the Good Friday (the death of Jesus) and Easter (His resurrection). Every years he asks, “Now, this is the day Christians believe Jesus was reborn?”

“No,” I patiently explain, “Jesus rose from death, He was not reborn in a different form but demonstrated His power over death by rising the third day.”

There’s not much reason to explain to Mr. J. that the during the three days after His crucifixion Jesus was indeed alive, in a different spirit world establishing His victory over the last enemy of all mankind, death. His death, which means separation, was brief as Christ was separated from the Father and separated from His body. But, like all men, the spirit does not die, it is just separated from the physical. The meaning of the resurrection of Jesus was that He has the power over the physical and for those who believe in Him, one day, we too, will have power over the limitations of the physical. Those who are not followers of Jesus will always be separated, both from God and the physical. This is called the second death.

Whew, no wonder my landlord doesn’t understand the resurrection, it’s a bit confusing to even those who place their faith in Him. But, unlike other faiths, which place their trust in their own good works or in or mortal gurus, our faith hinges on the resurrection. The gods of others possess fantastic stories, as confusing and meaningless as to those who are not followers of the faith of Christ. The difference is that no other faith claims the resurrection. Some would say Christians are duped by historical fiction. Others will see this day as mere ritual of another religion.

Those who are followers of the Christ celebrate this day for the One who gave His life as a sacrifice for all men, rejoice that Jesus did not die a martyr’s death. It was not a death that was an ending, but a death that announces a beginning of eternal life. He is risen, He is not reborn!