Happy Easter!
Greetings in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Praying for you, your family, your community and the rest of the world.   Right now, the whole world is suffering because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).   Let’s pray together to God, Our Ever-Loving Father, His mercy and protection on all, and God’s healing on those who are infected by the Coronavirus.   We all believe God’s grace and love rest on all who look upon Him every moment with faith in Him.
“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee (Luke 24:5b-6)
Jesus came to this world not be served to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.   Jesus, Son of God, came to this world with only one purpose to show God’s love.   He went many towns and met many people.  Many of the towns were not rich and famous like Jerusalem, but He visited lowly fishery towns around Sea of Galilee.  No rich and famous people would visit these towns of fishermen who worked daily out to the sea to make living on a sunny day, a rainy day and a stormy day.   Jesus found the people who were poor in heart and hunger for righteousness.   Many people came to see and hear from Jesus.   Jesus also healed the sick.   Jesus did many miracles: the blind saw, the deaf heard, and the paralyzed walked.  He was always compassionate.  He never sent them back home in hunger, who came to hear Jesus to be comforted by His message from near and far towns to the middle of wilderness.   He fed five thousand and three thousand people with a few fish and loaves of bread after praying and giving thanks to God.   All were fully satisfied by the food which was miraculously multiplying when breaking off and distributing the fish and the bread one by one by His disciples.   Feeding thousands were a miracle, but a bigger miracle was that the people gathered were fully fed with Heavenly message from the mouth of Jesus.   Yes, Jesus always found the lowly and the sick, and gave hope, comfort, peace and healing out of His love.
His love did not stop here.   He loved His people till the end.  What does this end really mean?   Jesus was such a miracle worker, teacher, comforter, and healer, who gave hope, light, peace and love that nobody could have given, but His work on earth would be ended.   Most of good movies end with a memorable scene that the lead actor puts all chaotic events and conflicts in order, and receives a great honor from people in those movies.   This is a heartwarming ending that everyone wants to see.  Such a happy ending  makes all feel good of the courage, justice, and righteousness depicted in those good movies.   How about Jesus?   Jesus was not a fictitious character seen in a movie, but a real person who lived about two thousand years ago in the land of Israel, and lived with Jews.  As being described above, Jesus was the teacher of teachers, healer, and comforter.  He always sided with the poor, the oppressed, the sick, and those who mourned.   Then what should you expect the end of the Jesus’ life on earth?   Jesus should have been praised, and all were happy with Jesus at the end like a movie.  In reality, It was not.   Let follow what had really happened to Jesus.
Truly, Jesus was regarded as a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people.  Thus, people flocked around Him wherever He went.  If He sailed to the other side of the sea by closing Sea of Galilee, people followed Jesus to the other side also.   Jesus was really popular and truly loved by people. All loved Jesus, and followed Him.  
Lazarus was one of Jesus’ personal friends, and died.   Jesus came to his tomb and wept.  Then Jesus prayed and raise Lazarus from the dead.  This miraculous even immediately made Jesus a superstar.   All wanted to see Jesus and Lazarus.  As Passover approached, Jesus came to Jerusalem with His disciples and Lazarus.  When all the peopled heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, because Jesus made Lazarus rise again from his death.  This made leading priests nervous.  They wanted to kill both Jesus and Lazarus.   Many of the people had deserted the leading priests, and believed in Jesus.    While looking at the crowds flocking to Jesus, they felt a terrible insecurity and an extreme jealousy and anger of Jesus.   They were the ones who taught God and God’s love, but in reality, they were the worst, being filled with evil desire in their hearts.
Jesus knew this extreme jealousy and anger of the religious leaders of the time.  Jesus continued His ministry without being deterred by the evil desire of the leaders.   He entered Jerusalem on the Palm Sunday humbly riding on a donkey, which was led by His own disciples.   In fact, Jesus, Son of God, was the King of kings, but He entered the Jerusalem as a humble king.  God revealed the glory of Jesus by making the entire Jerusalem shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”   (John 12:13b)
Then the religious leaders said to each other, “There’s nothing we can do. Look, everyone has gone after him!”   Yes, Jesus was a painful thorn in their eyes.   It made them more convinced that Jesus needed to be eliminated.   If not, Jesus would steal away all who used to follow them.   The religious leaders had a meeting.  At the meeting, the high priest (the head of the priests) spoke at the meeting, “You don’t know what you’re talking about!  You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”  All heard him and nodded.
They all together made a decision to kill Jesus.  Once the decision was mode, they moved swiftly.   They picked Judas, one of Jesus’s twelve disciples, who most likely betrayed Jesus, and reached out him.  They bribed Judas with thirty silver coins.  It was not a large sum of money, but it was big enough to sway Judas.  Judas agreed to sell Jesus.  (Later, Judas returned the money to the temple because he had a great remorse of selling his own teacher, Jesus.  However, the high priest felt it was not right the blood money in the temple.  Instead, he made a decision to purchase the potter’s field to bury and to make it into a cemetery for foreigners.)  
By the help of Judas, Jesus was arrested.  All of the disciples ran away from the scene for their own lives.   Peter used to openly say, “I will never forsake Jesus, and would die with Jesus, although all other disciples run away,” but he was not different from the other disciples when he confronted with the fear of being arrested and then killed like Jesus.  It was certain that Jesus would be crucified.   In fear, Peter denied and denied.   He even cursed Jesus before a servant girl.  Then the rooster crowed as Jesus prophesized.  Peter went out into the night, and wept bitterly.
As carefully plotted by the religious leaders, Jesus was sentenced to death by the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate.   Pilate was the only person who had a right to  make a sentence to death, and he found Jesus not guilty.  However, the rest of the religious leaders along with the rest of the Jews pressured Him by shouting and demanding for crucifixion of Jesus.  Indeed, the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate tried to release Jesus, but the Jewish leaders threatened Pilate.,
“If you release this man, you are no ‘friend of Caesar.’ Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar.”  (John 19:12b)
As written, Jesus was betrayed by the crowds.   By the people who used to follow Jesus, He was mocked, tortured, hung on cross by nailing his hands and feet.   On the cross, Jesus had to suffer.  He was experiencing excruciating pain and thirst by bleeding from His head, His hands, and His feet.   It was a gruesome and slow death.  
However, Jesus did not stop loving of those who fled for their own lives, those who mocked, those who nailed Him on the cross, those who insulted and shook their heads, and even the robbers crucified with Jesus at the same day.   As dying on the cross, Jesus prayed to God for forgiveness of all:
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”  (Luke 23:34b)
When one robber asked Jesus’ mercy while dying on cross, Jesus promised  a paradise together with Jesus.  Soon, Jesus experienced the full strength of sins of all humanity.  To bear the sins as a perfect sacrifice, Jesus was being completely separated from the Father God.  The weight of the sins crushed on Him, and cried out,
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  (Matthew 27:46b)
This is the only place that Jesus called Father God as God, which signifies His total separation from Father God as a perfect sacrifice.  Then darkness fell across the whole land for three hours while Jesus was in His total agony under the entire sins of all mankind.   
Then Jesus triumphantly declared,
“It is finished!”   (John 19:30p)
The salvation plan finally had been completed so that whoever believed in Him would not perish, but receive eternal life.   Jesus was brutally crucified for our sins, but all our sins are paid.   
Then Jesus calling out with a loud voice, said,
 “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”  (Luke 23:46p)
And having said this, Jesus breathed His last.  Yes, this is the end of Jesus on earth.   Sure, we have lots to thank about for what Jesus did.    We got our eternal life because of Jesus.   Thus, we call the day Jesus Christ was crucified, “Good Friday.”    This day is really good to us, but how about Jesus?   It was the most horrible day for Jesus.  Even so, Jesus faithfully walked the walk given to Him.  He was completely obedient to death on a cross. 
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death– even death on a cross!   (Philippians 2:8)
The real story of Jesus starts from now.  Yes, it is an extraordinary story.   So far, we talked about the first ending.   Now we are about to talk about the second ending, which is the real ending.   
Very early on Sunday morning, three days after Jesus’ death, the women went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.  So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.
The women were terrified and bowed with their faces to the ground. Then the men asked,
“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?  He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.”  (Luke 24:5b-7)
So they rushed back from the tomb to tell his eleven disciples—and everyone else—what had happened.  But the story sounded like nonsense to the men,   Nobody believed what was told by the women:  the empty tomb and the angel’s report that Jesus rose again. 
Peter immediately jumped up and ran to the tomb to look. Stooping, he peered in and saw the empty linen wrappings; then he went home again, wondering what had happened. 
That Sunday evening, the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders.  Although they heard from the women at the tomb, they still could not believe what had happened.   Jesus used to tell many times about his death and resurrection, but nobody understood.    
Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them!
“Peace be with you,” he said.  (John 20: 19b)
 As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord!  
However, one of the disciples was not at the place.   His name was Thomas.   He could not believe what was told by the other ten disciples.  He tried many times to believe what was told by his fellow disciples, but Thomas’s brain did not allow.    Thus, he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”    Thomas really demanded a proof.
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” He said.  Then He said to Thomas,
“Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” (John 20:27b)
 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 
Surely, Jesus found Thomas who was in doubt.  Jesus is always compassionate.  Jesus never forgets one single lost sheep.  Jesus finds one who is in doubt in His compassionate love.   Jesus’ love is greater than anything that we know and imagine.  Sometimes our doubt is towering up from our heart, but we should remember that Jesus’ love is even bigger than our towering doubt in our hearts.   He is always there to compassionately hear us in this immense love of His.    Thus, we can always and confidently come to Jesus, and ask His mercy.   Surely and always, Jesus provides.  With His mercy, He forgives fully and fills our heart with His love abundantly.
Today is the Easter Sunday that we celebrate Our Lord, Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Please humbly present our hearts before God, and ask His grace.  Jesus will fill our heart with an eternal joy of His resurrection that conquered the death of all.  Jesus became the first fruit for all believers.  We can hope in Him, and we all will be like the Risen Lord when the time comes.  Praise Him and Give thanks to Him!
Christ has risen!
Yes, He is risen, Indeed!
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:20)

We’d like to share about how to wisely respond to the current worldwide Coronavirus pandemic.  First, except our own family living together, consider all others as a potential source of transmitting the Coronavirus because people who are asymptomatic (no symptom of Coronavirus at all) can carry and transmit the virus.    Thus, please avoid a physical contact with others, and maintain distance about two meters (or six feet).   This social distancing saves lives.    Please wash hands with soap about 20 seconds to wash out the Coronavirus that might be on our hands.   Our hand skin is pretty thick and it protects well against the Coronavirus, but our hands frequently touch our mouth, then the Coronavirus on our hands will go into our body.   We should prevent this type of infection by our own hands. 
Most of all, this is the time to have a quality time with one’s own family and with God, Our Ever-Loving Father with prayers, and reading and medicating Bible every day.   Please fix eyes on Jesus, who is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, and follow the foot step of Jesus Christ together with our own families in this difficult time.   When this Coronavirus pandemic is over, by doing so, we will all find that we are one step closer to each other among our own family members in Christ’s love and have a deeper relationship with God.  
May God’s grace, protection, healing on all and especially for those who are physically suffering from the Coronavirus and those who are mourning for the loss of the loved ones due to the Coronavirus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>