GOOD Friday is at hand and, beginning tonight, Christians throughout Papua New Guinea will flock to churches to commemorate the greatest event in the life of Christianity worldwide.
This week, Christians observe the Holy Week – the last days of Jesus Christ in his earthly journey – leading to his crucifixion which is commemorated on Good Friday.
The last days and hours of his life on earth tell an extraordinary story of humility, caring and self-sacrifice.
In tonight’s church services, Christians will recount how Jesus humbled himself by washing and cleaning the feet of his disciples. Then he served them the last super – a sign of service and caring for others.
We know as Christians that when Jesus was crucified on the Cross, he shed his blood to wash away our sins.
God, through the death of His Son, signalled the forgiveness of the sins of all men and women on earth.
After the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, his body was then placed in a tomb and the Bible tells us that on the third day, he rose again from death.
What message does Good Friday and Easter bring to Christians in Papua New Guinea?
There are many lessons and every pastor, priest and bishop will proclaim these to their faithful. But, as a nation we have lessons to learn from this great event in the Christian calendar.
Throughout his life on earth, Jesus worked for peace, forgiveness, service to others, righteousness and forgiveness.
He worked with humility – lowering himself to the level of the common people in everything he did. He worked to bring hope to the poor, the needy, the downtrodden and bring healing to the sick.
Papua New Guinea’s National Constitution proclaims this nation as a Christian country. It means that the people of Papua New Guinea are followers of Jesus Christ.
Yet, are our ways Christ-like?
From the level of the elected leaders down to the people on the streets and in the villages, we should be challenging and questioning ourselves where we are leading our country to if we call ourselves a Christian country.
Jesus never promoted corruption in his life on earth – yet corruption is now rife at every level of our society and destroying this country.
The challenge for all Papua New Guineans from the highest to the lowest level as we remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ this year is to clean up our country – restore its dignity and respect. Restore and promote peace and good, law-abiding living.
We need to return peace and harmony to every community in this land, destroy forces of evil and bring dignity to all men, women and children.
We cannot commemorate the death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection by pretending that all is well. We must make a definite change to our lives to make PNG become a better, Christ-like country.
Leaders must take the lead by confessing their sins and seeking God’s forgiveness. Every father and husband must do likewise in order to lead their families to God.
Parents must make a resolution this Good Friday to commit themselves and their children to God and to raise them as Jesus Christ himself had challenged them to do so.
Good Friday marks the greatest sacrifice made by Jesus Christ to save our lives. What sacrifice will we, as individuals, make for the good of our own families, communities and country?
Christ was selfless. He suffered to save us. Are we selfless enough to bring good to the lives of others and bring relief to those who need our help the most this Good Friday and Easter – and beyond?
Every year, Good Friday and Easter feature prominently on the Christian calendar. Yet it seems that these special days pass like every other day – quite meaningless for many Papua New Guineans.
For many young people, Good Friday and the long Easter weekend mean – not flocking to the churches – but to the sports grounds for sporting competitions.
Sporting activities have their place but respect for Good Friday and Easter must be maintained at all times. Sports cannot supersede events of the Christian calendar.
Let this Good Friday and Easter Sunday mark a new beginning in your own lives.