Death and resurrection
DEMAND AND SUPPLY - Boo Chanco (The Philippine Star) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

It is Holy Week… by tradition, we focus on the suffering and death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. After the jubilant Palm Sunday when Jesus made a triumphal entry to Jerusalem, the mood turns dark with the inevitability of death on Good Friday.

This year, the thought of death came a month early and refuses to leave our consciousness. The coronavirus surged in our helpless world. We have nothing more than self-quarantine as a defense against it.

Here we are, forcibly cocooned in our homes to avoid being infected. Distracting ourselves with gadgets is no longer enough. Death keeps creeping into our minds. We see no end in sight for this pandemic.

We hear news of people dying… people we know… young trained doctors falling like flies… not just here, but all over the world. There are news reports of crematoriums working 24/7 burning bodies of victims of this highly infectious virus.

In fear, we have become extremely paranoid… afraid to touch even an elevator button. We have been told the coronavirus can survive on cardboard, plastics and other materials for many hours and even days. We are deathly afraid of dying.

I guess we can’t help being afraid. The lockdown dramatically showed us that nothing from this world we thought mattered is really that important. It is a shocking realization.

We dropped everything on Day 1 of the lockdown. In an instant, our appointment books are spotless… none of the things that normally kept us busy… work... friends… wealth… none mattered.

The virus showed us how fragile life is. Friends we have just talked to one day are in intensive care a few days after. And in our anxiety over the possibility of an untimely death, we realize how unprepared we are for it.

The lockdown gave us all the time to think of “what ifs”. What if you woke up with a fever, a sore throat and a nasty feeling that you might have the virus in your system? The mortality rate is not that alarming, but what if you fall in the two to three percent or so who will react badly and eventually die?

Should you review your last will and testament or write one? Because the medical protocol calls for isolation, you think of the possibility of dying alone in some corner of a hospital unable to kiss and hug your loved ones one last time.

Are you ready to die? If you are like most people, you haven’t given death much thought. It had always been at the back of your mind. But you always dismissed it as morbid thoughts. But here it is now, staring at you in the face.

If you are a Christian or call yourself one, you take comfort in the thought that death isn’t the end of everything. It is the beginning of another life in another world. It is the beginning of eternity.

I know it is a big thought… what is eternity?

Holy Week, specially Good Friday and the Sunday of the Resurrection would be a good time to understand why death is just the beginning of life… eternal life.

Yes, it is something we can’t validate with the tools available to man. There is no way of proving there is life after death… until we die.

Holy Week is about death. It is also about life. Death became inevitable for man because of sin. God hates sin. But God also loves sinners like you and me.

What happened on Good Friday happened because God wanted to start a new chapter in His relationship with man. The Cross symbolized God’s anger and God’s love at the same time.

God can’t let sin go unpunished. That’s why He allowed His perfectly sinless Son to take on the sins of the world by dying on the Cross.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

Jesus Christ is God. He is also our Lord and our Savior. Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation (Colossians 1:15).

On Good Friday, Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God, sacrificed His human life and shed His human blood to wash away the sins of the world. There was no other way God’s wrath for man’s sinfulness can be assuaged.

And because Jesus paid for our salvation on Calvary, we have been redeemed. All who believe and trust in Him and accept Him as their Lord and Savior have nothing to fear… not even death because Jesus conquered death with His glorious resurrection.

The virus has made it clear how temporary our life on earth is. But even without the virus, we really ought to be ready to go without even a moment’s notice.

And if you are a Christian, the good news is, because of Calvary, all our sins have been forgiven. We have a clear path to eternal salvation through Jesus Christ.

As believers in the power of Jesus Christ and His Resurrection, we should no longer be afraid of death.

St Paul made that clear in his First Letter to the Corinthians 15:55-57 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Happy Sunday of the Resurrection.

Boo Chanco’s email address is bchanco@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @boochanco

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