“Because I live, you will live also” ( John 14: 19)
Easter is the most important Holy day of the Christians which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ taking victory over death. The Christian Church’s foundation of faith is the resurrection of Jesus. If Jesus had not resurrected, then there would not have been Christian faith and the Church. That is why the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15: 14, “If Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” . (John 11:25)
When Christians world over were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus on Sunday, the 20th of April ’19, some religious fanatic suicide bombers blew up themselves, killing more than two hundred people who were praying and worshipping the Risen Lord in the St. Sebastian’s Catholic Church, St. Antony’s Catholic Church, and the Zion Protestant Church in Sri Lanka. Apart from the churches, bombs exploded even in hotels and other tourist places where tourists had gathered. Visuals of blood and body parts strewn all over the place was appalling, devastating and horrific. There were blood stains on the church walls and on the statue of Christ at the St. Sebastian’s church in Negombo.
Sri Lankan Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the bombings as a terrorist attack carried out by some religious extremists. Media reports suggest that the Sri Lankan attacks could be a handwork of IS inspired terrorists. Whoever they are, and whatever their intention, no one with a sound mind can ever comprehend these ideologies of killing people – innocent men, women and children on the basis of their religion, for the fulfilment of their religious fanatism of some.
We can only join withPope Francis in his prayer “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured”. And to all my readers and the members of the bereaved families, I can only say that there is hope in the resurrected Jesus. The Bible says “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen ( 1 Corinthians 15: 13). Jesus himself has promised that “Because I live, you will live also”. This is the greatest message Easter has for all those who believe in Jesus. St. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4: 13-18; “But I do not want you to be ignorant brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep ( meaning dead), lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, evenso God will bring with Him those who sleep ( meaning die) in Jesus. Therefore comfort one another with these words”.
In this hour of grief, let us join the Catholic Church of Jerusalem in their words of prayer, which reads, “We pray for the souls of the victims and ask for the speedy recovery of the injured, and ask God to inspire the terrorists to repent of their killing and intimidation”. Amen…