An Easter message from the Primate of the Church of the Province of South East Asia, Archbishop Moon Hing.
On Good Friday, the disciples were sad, dejected and hopeless when they saw their Lord and Master Jesus dead and buried. All their dreams, whatever they were, were shattered into pieces. Their stamina and breath were disappearing into thin air. All their hopes and aspirations were only fit for the garbage dump.
On Easter Eve Saturday, every one of them was doubtful, uncertain and fearful of what their future would be. In their minds, probably the thought that haunted them most was: “Should we return to our former careers and hide ourselves somewhere?” They felt shameful and guilty for their poor choice and wrong calculation of joining the Jesus’ team. No one knew what the next step forward was, except locking themselves away from the public, weeping and blaming each other for the inability to save their Lord and Master Jesus. It was a long dark and gloomy night for them.
Early on Easter morning, while everyone was cracking their heads and asking: “Who will roll the stone away for us?”, Mary Magdalene and some women took the courage to advance to the tomb, clueless of how the huge solid stone could be moved. It was a miracle and a great pleasant surprise – the stone was moved. The disciples and women experienced the dreadful impossibility possible and saw the risen Christ. Their lives were completely transformed and became some renewed people intentionally living for God and His kingdom as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Many people today are still living in the nightmares of dejection, depression, hatred and fear. They are aimless and without any fighting spirit in them, just like pebbles rolling downstream pushed by the current of the times. They are like what Jesus described, “sheep without a shepherd” and their so-called shepherds are like “wolves in sheep skins”. Their dreams, strength, aspirations, hope and expectations are, as good as, dead and buried, like a huge stone blocking the passageway. In similar manner like the disciples and women longing for an answer to their question: “Who will roll the stone away for us?”
- The question of “Who” speaks of a desperate longing for someone or something to break the curse of impossibility which has set in and marred our lives. The victims of terrorism, scandals, deceptions, abuses, domestic violence, human trafficking and drug abuse are always longing and seeking for someone to deliver them out of the miry clay. Many have come and gone claiming that they are the One but none can set them free. Jesus is the only One who died and rose again from the dead. He came to take away our sins to the cross so that we who believe and accept Him will have our curses removed and given the privilege to live our lives not anymore as slaves of sins but as free children of God.
- Jesus did not just come, He rose from the dead and “rolled” the stone away. Human mindsets and human ways cannot comprehend such drastic and abnormal phenomenon – the Resurrection. It must be a miracle. There are lots of miracles happening daily, unfortunately, we cannot see or experience them because our minds are not in tune with its frequency. Unless we tune our lives to the frequency of FAITH in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, all our trying and efforts will be futile. The Bible describes faith as “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith operates in the heart and not the head. Knowledge though is good, but it only stays in the head. It must be translated or “rolled” down from the head to the heart by believing and stepping out in faith, just like Abraham, Moses, David and the Patriarchs.
- The “Stone” of unbelief is the greatest obstacle, blockage and stumbling block for many people, including some of us in the church where the Bible refers to as “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power”. We must pray to God to remove our unbelief, just as the father of the child, who was possessed by a mute and deaf spirit, desperately and willingly acknowledge and seek Jesus’ help. This stone of unbelief blocks the passageway from the head to the heart. It stops faith from working. However, it can only be unblocked by intentionally applying the ointment of trust and obey. This involves a willingness to allow Christ to increase and we decrease daily in our lives, ie not our will but His.
True F.A.I.T.H. is Forsake All I Trust Him.
The Son of God became the Son of Man so that the sons of man can become sons of God.
The Most Reverend Ng Moon Hing
Primate of the Province of South East Asia