The National,Thursday March 24th, 2016
AS we approach that all-important date on the Christian calendar, believers would obviously be reminded by their church leaders to renew their hope in the resurrected Messiah of the world.
One might even want to toy with the hypothetical question in relations to the Easter story; What if there was no resurrection? What would Christianity be without the resurrection – that most stupendous moment in human history that many have tried without success to disprove?
What if some human historical human remains were chanced upon on the outskirts of Jerusalem or somewhere farther afield – to confirm the New Testament conspiracy theory – and proven with the use of modern testing, to be that of the Messiah? Christianity, certainly would never be the same again, if it were to be known as such.
According to many scholars and even among simple believers themselves the resurrection is the central truth of the Christian faith and it is that which sets this faith apart from all other world religions – even the other two Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Islam.
The importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ cannot be overemphasised. Plainly, without the resurrection there is no Christianity.
Without the resurrection, Christianity has no meaning for humanity – its founder would have been a liar and a failure, and its followers would have no hope.
Thus the importance of the resurrection to Christian faith cannot be overestimated.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is unique to the Christian faith – no other religious figure has ever predicted his own resurrection, and then accomplished it.
All of the other world religions are based on a founder who lived in the past and whose religion is his only legacy.
Whether by default or by the hand of the divine himself, this country was “discovered” by foreigners bearing the Christian message of salvation and civilisation.
And upon the basis of the teachings of Christianity, the country has transitioned from stone-age to the 21st century.
Our legislature, the public service, the judiciary and the education system all have aspects of the Christian faith built into them.
By the declaration, “So help me God” are important officials of government sworn into office; the Lord’s prayer is recited even at the start of Parliament sessions; the national anthem contains a line exhorting patriots to “Now give thanks to the Good Lord above…”
These are open and outward expressions of a national faith in God.
There is no argument that Papua New Guinea is a Christian country, however, living out that proclamation of Christianity has and will remain a daunting challenge.
Citizens of a less religious country may shudder at the extent of evil currently pervading our communities – communities in a supposedly Christian country.
And we need no outsider to point us to that; we are fully aware of our desperate need to end that sense of depravation and moral decline.
The urgency of the situation is felt everywhere – in family homes, in public service offices, in the private businesses, in Parliament.
Corruption and violence the two most common consequences of such moral decline are seen and spoken of almost on a daily basis.
Yes, there is much evil in our midst but there is even greater hope in the lives of ordinary people everywhere.
That hope cannot be snuffed out just like the tiniest flicker of light cannot be overcome even by the blackest darkness. That hope is reinforced by the amazing story of the resurrected Messiah during this time of year.
The Holy Week leading to Easter is a time for believers to reflect on their lives and make amends with their fellow men and to reconcile with a loving God who has sacrificed the best of heaven for a fallen race.
That is the hope that should be rekindled this time of year in the hearts and minds of believers to be remain steadfast in their pursuit of peace not only so they see the subject of that hope face to face in the unknown future but also that they can live in proper relationship with their fellowman.
We pray that the true spirit of the risen Messiah will lead many to repentance and reconciliation with others this week.