You looked forward to Christmas all year long. Now the celebration for this year is over.
It will be another 360 something days before you will have another chance to celebrate it again. That is if you are still alive.
Please don’t get me wrong there. I’m not suggesting that you would die before next year’s Christmas. But I’m not denying that the possibility exists for all of us.
Come to think of it, not everyone who celebrated Christmas last year’s Christmas was around to join in this year’s celebration. And as sure as the as the rising sun tomorrow, not everyone who celebrated this year’s Christmas will be alive to celebrate the coming year’s.
You know I’m not being a prophet of doom here. It is the sad reality of the life we found ourselves in: after all said and done, death is inevitable.
The Bible says, “There’s time for everything under the Sun.”
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance… Ecclesiastes 3:1-11.
Let’s take further exploration of the first part of the above quote:
A time to be born, a time to die
Jesus had the time He was born to this earth. He had the time He had to die as well. Gratefully He had the time to resurrect as well.
If you are reading this now, I know you had the time you were born; you had a beginning. Or don’t you have a birthday?
And if you had a beginning on this earth, you are also going to have an ending. It is called death – the way of all mankind.
Unlike when you were born when everyone jubilated, when you die, people will cry. I mean if you are not Adolf Hitler or anyone else in his mould, I don’t see why anyone should be glad when you die.
But whether anyone is sad or happy when you die, it would not really matter to you. What would matter would be how you have used your short life on earth to prepare for the eternity that death would be the doorway to.
If you have prepared well for eternity, death will be a gain to you. But if you have not, death will be a great loss to you. Regrettably, it will be too late by then to make amends.
But how can you prepare well for eternity?
To be honest, the answer is simpler than you think. It requires simple faith in Jesus Christ, the birth of whom we just celebrated and will continue to celebrate in the years ahead.
Think back a little to the Christmas story: a virgin gave birth to Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the whole world. (See Matthew 1:20-21).
You see, that’s why we celebrate Christmas every year: a Saviour was born to save us from our sins. In this Saviour lies the hope of all humanity. But it is sad that many are not seeing it that way.
Now that Christmas is over, the question I would like to ask you is this: do you have a personal relationship by faith with the Celebrant? By that I mean, have you accepted Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour?
If your answer is yes, I will advise you to nurture that relationship so closely that nothing will come between you and Him. You have His assurance that nothing can separate you from His love till you will get to meet Him face to face on the other side of this life.
On the other hand, if you have not put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour, you have between now and the next Christmas to do so. Actually, no one can guarantee that you will be alive till the next Christmas. So that means NOW is the best chance you have to invite Jesus into your life.
Please wait no further, “For God says, “At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.” Indeed, the “right time” is now. Today is the day of salvation” 2 Corrinthians 6:2.
What do you say?
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I penned those words about thirteen years ago. I was on holiday in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria during the 2003 Easter celebration with my elder brother and his family.
On the Easter Sunday morning, I stayed in bed reading Luke’s account of the resurrection episode (Luke 24:1-7):
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’
As I meditated on that Scripture, the Holy Spirit quickened my heart and a heavenly song welled up from within me. I jumped to my feet and I began to sing in other tongues and then later in English (which I perceived was the interpretation of the tongues):
“No longer in the grave.”
Yes, Jesus is no longer in the grave. And it was not His disciples that stole Him away as alleged in the propaganda churned out by the religious cum political authorities of that era.
Jesus Christ resurrected from death with great power and majesty. God would not allow His Son to suffer decay:
…..because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay Psalm 16:10.
Speaking by the Holy Spirit, Peter tells us that:
But God raised him [Jesus Christ] from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” Acts 2:24.
That’s the crux of Easter celebration: Jesus Christ, crucified and buried in the grave, conquered death and rose from the dead and never to die again.
That is what separates Christianity from other faiths. No religious leader in history resurrected like Jesus did.
All other religious leaders (before and after Him) died and remain rotten in their grave. Death still kept them in its grip till date. But for my Lord Jesus, it was impossible for death to hold Him captive. He died and came out from the grave alive.
Jesus Himself declared:
I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Revelation 1:18.
Jesus Christ is no longer in the grave. He has conquered death once and for all. And He is alive forever.
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