“The great gift of Easter is hope.”
Basil C. Hume
Another Easter is around the corner. Though year after year we celebrate the occasion of Jesus’ resurrection, it is unsettling that we have never looked in deep enough to imbibe the real meaning of the historical event.
The whole of Christian faith is founded on the idea that Jesus was crucified and he resurrected after three days, thus overcoming the grasp of death on human kind. Christians around the world believe that Jesus by this very act redeemed the human race from their sins and the hopelessness of death.
Seeing beyond the veil
Jesus, unlike some fanatics who claim to be his followers, was a very practical teacher who relied on the notions of the afterlife only when it was absolutely necessary. All through his life, he tried to spark the goodness of the society with his words and deeds; teaching those who would ‘lent their ears’ to him, how to lead a life of love and virtue.
Hence every celebration of his life, beyond the peripheral meaning, should point towards a practical aspect which inspires generations into action.
Setting the theological implications aside, Easter, seen practically, is an invitation for redemption.
In his melodramatic novel, ‘The Resurrection‘, Leo Tolstoy portrays the life of a noble man named Dmitri Ivanovich Nekhlyudov. His youth hood sin is brought back to him when he meets Katyusha – the maid with whom he had a brief affair, which resulted in her firing and ending up as a prostitute – in a courtroom. He sits in the jury which sentences her to prison in Siberia for murder.
The story paints the efforts of the protagonist to find appeasement to his guilt. He is forced to give up his comfortable life and respectable position in the society in the quest. He gets acquainted with the pitiful life of the poor and through the revelation attains what he has searched for years: resurrection.
Redemption from what?
The novel is the humane portrayal of a person’s redemption from his past self. It is this idea that we should strive for. But do we actually need redemption? If so from what?
All of us are under constant social auditing. We unknowingly set into motion a chain of events, that affects the society, through our actions. Thus like the protagonist in the novel, we are vitiating the universal order. This is the real sin.
Our hatred and grudges which destroy us, prejudices which hinder personal growth, unjust words which hurt people, actions which set wrong example, moods swings which affect those around us, all confine us to self-created hell.
If we seek happiness, we need to redeem ourselves from this hell. How idiotic it is to believe in an after-life resurrection if we are unable to resurrect ourselves from shortcomings in our lifetime!
Getting ready for the journey
Once we become aware of these barriers which distance us from heaven, we need to transcend them. But it requires a long, painful process of catharsis.
The arduous journey towards appeasement is a time taking process. We need to re-evaluate our preferences, shed our beliefs, and give up many things which we considered precious. Nevertheless, nothing is as appealing as the joy of redemption from the hell that we are in.
A Celebration of Hope
Jesus stands as a beacon of hope for all those who strive for redemption. His virtuous life inspires generation beyond two millennia.
Only if we can follow the footsteps of the great guru can we boast that we are his followers. All other proclamations of faith are like meaningless sounds echoed in the mountains.
Let this Easter be a time for redemption and resurrection from our own past selves; for giving up the ways of hatred and the returning to the eternal abode of love.
Happy Easter everyone..