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  • Writer's pictureOlufunmilayo Adekusibe

HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED CHRIST?

 

Readings:

Acts 3:13-15,17-19

Psalm 4:2,4,7,9

1 John 2:1-5

Luke 24:35-48

 


The third Sunday of Easter is a time to go a little personal into the Resurrection story. You have to experience the risen life personally. Without a personal encounter with Jesus, the Easter season loses its significance in a Christian’s life. Without Easter, our spiritual life feels like drifting in an open sea, instead of sailing over the storms of life. Although we did not see Jesus after his resurrection, He offered us something that everyone can enjoy with the same intensity and relish as his first disciples did. When he appeared to them, Jesus prayed, “Peace be with you”. The same peace is offered to us when we come for fellowship before Him, study God’s word, take the Holy Communion/sacraments and relate with one another. May the peace of Christ always abound in our lives in Jesus’ name. Jesus goes a step further.


After calming his disciples who thought they had seen a ghost, Jesus opened their minds. Jesus opened the minds of the disciples to grasp two things written in the Scriptures: a) that he “would suffer and rise from the dead,” b) and that “repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in His name to all the nations” (Luke 24:35-48). Their minds were opened to accept two very important virtues which are the two pillars of the Easter season—Repentance and forgiveness. They are themselves encounters with the risen Jesus, an invitation to deeper belief, and an experience of our own coming to share in Jesus’ risen Life. Our repentance—conversion of life—turns us to the God who forgives and who fills us with the new Life of the resurrection. Ultimately, this risen Life within us empowers us to live in a way that witnesses God’s forgiveness of our sinfulness. You need to search for yourself and decide what you need repentance from. While sin is sweet, it is ultimately deadly and the sooner you come to Jesus to deliver you from your sins, the sooner you will experience true peace through the same Christ our Lord. Jesus was revealed in the breaking of the bread and repentance and forgiveness. Why is forgiveness so central to embracing Jesus’ risen Life? Being forgiven by God for our offences means that the weakened or destroyed relationship caused by sin is strengthened or restored.  We become strong once again in the Life that God offers us. Forgiving others who have hurt us means that we are not controlled by their hurtful actions, a control that can lead to resentment, anger and hatred. Forgiving another might not erase the hurt, but it frees us to live with compassion and joy. The risen life is summarized in the words: “You are forgiven”. Your witness to the resurrection is captured in the words: “I forgive you”.

 

Our belief in the resurrection cannot be passive. It is made visible when we “preach in his name” the kind of repentance leading to the new life of forgiveness. We encounter Jesus today when we repent of our sins and forgive others. I pray that you open your heart to forgive and receive forgiveness.

                                                                                    JUDE-MARY OWOH


 

To surrender your life to Christ, say this prayer aloud: Father, thank you for Jesus Christ. Forgive my sins, take control of my heart and lead me in your righteous path by the power of Your Holy Spirit.  Thank You, Lord.

If you said the prayer, Congratulations! Prayerfully look for a living church and report to the resident reverend, pastor or priest.

 

Prayer:

  1. Lord, grant me the grace to repent of my sins and stubbornness. Give me the strength to forgive those who have hurt me so deeply. In revealing the wounds of my hurt to You, heal me and give me the grace to heal those who I may have unknowingly hurt. May I experience your risen Life anew today through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

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