The proof of the pudding is in the eating

Easter is the biggest and most important Christian celebration. We celebrate God’s victory over evil, sin and death. We celebrate life, new life, restored life. We celebrate God’s compassion, love, grace, righteousness and the manifestation of God’s Kingdom with Jesus as King.

Many people today are asking why this was necessary! All this suffering and the blood, this awful occurrence. This is a typical contemporary question of people in the west who define suffering as bad and something that we need to avoid. It is a disturbance of our romantic worldview that everything must be nice and happy, without pain or suffering. But can we practise love by not putting the interest of others above our own interest? What does love, forgiveness and grace mean, when they only stick to words and not become a reality in our life. Love, forgiveness, grace, righteousness is suffering. We will pay a price for these virtues, if we would practice them. They will cost us something. The price is our comfortable life of self-interest, hedonism and own glory.

I know today many people who try to combine these two longings; the interest of others and their own comfortable life, with the use of technology, their skills and their intellect. They try to raise the comfort and well-being of many people by the use of new innovations and a growing economy; they call it love, compassion, good ambitions and receive glory, appreciation and esteem for it. They help people to improve their life and grow out of poverty. This is indeed a good thing, but only till a certain extend. Because what many people don’t understand is, that in the end technology nor circumstances will change people, nor will they give fulfilment and contentment. They don’t create relationships of love and the key and core of life is : 'Loving relationships'.

The Kingship of Jesus is relational. It is not a Kingdom of goods, well-fare or material wealth. It is not a Kingdom of healthy and happy people. It is not the Kingdom of the circumstances. It is the Kingdom of Jesus as Saviour and Lord in our heart. It is the Kingdom of compassion, love, grace, forgiveness and righteousness. It is the Kingdom of suffering, because of the love for God and our fellow humans. Love and relationships are often hard, messy, slow and ask a commitment and an investment on personal costs in putting not our own interest first. It is also the Kingdom of righteousness, where the other get a second, third, or even a seven by seventy-seven chance to become the person God designed him to be. The price is to accept the injustice done to you and out of love and calling invest in the other over and over again. Inhabitants of the Kingdom are willing to pay its price for the greater good of the values of the Kingdom itself. Their hearts are inspired, impressed, changed and transformed by Jesus. Jesus died and rose as the King of men. We, his followers, accept his Kingship, his suffering is our suffering and his resurrection is our resurrection.

Would we like to live the same life of compassion, love, grace and forgiveness as Christ did, on all costs and for God’s glory and the sake of men? Don’t expect praises, by doing so. Real goodness and suffering is offending us. It is foolish, it costs you everything and people cannot bear it. The call of suffering is an accusation, an obstacle to live their own comfortable life. They will avoid it or try to get rid of it. I personally believe that the refugees to Europe were and are a test case of God for us and we failed the test. The great problems we face globally are a test, but we choose our own interest first. Our wallet and how we spend our time and energy is a test, but we fail.

I and we all failed, although we may have wanted to do right. If this longing to do right is really in your heart, I don’t know, but God knows. If this longing is there, know that his grace is bigger than our failure. Praise God, He dealt with our failure and in return He offered us Jesus as the hope for this world. In the cross God expressed his transcending wisdom, love and grace, not in vain as a failure, but as the proven Victor at Easter morning. His goodness and love was expressed and practised on the cross. If the cross was not there, we should never have experienced this love.

Please celebrate this good news and share it with the world.