Death reminds us that our lives have a deadline. It always reminds us that we will not live forever and that whatever we may need to do, we must do now. When Christ hanged breathlessly on the cross, one lesson death was teaching us was that how long a man lives doesn’t matter as much as how well he lives that while.
The significance of Easter is to remember the death of Christ. To many, His death is just another event but therein, there are many lessons it exposes. From events preceding His capture in the garden to His crucifixion on the cross, every man ought to know that there are quite a number of tidbits to learn.
“Great men don’t wear tags.”
Oftentimes, it’s hard to accord people with respect when we barely know them. When a man is barely known, it is easily to take them for granted. However, we should always remember that the greatest of content doesn’t always come in the greatest of packages. Despise no one. Great men won’t always walk into our lives in flamboyance.
The soldiers mocked, flogged and spat on Christ but had little or no idea who He really was. When they were casting lots with His garments, they didn’t know that was the only begotten son of God they were jostling about.
Respect people, especially those you don’t know. Those who have the power to connect us to our destiny helpers may not necessarily look rich on the outside. Some people come our way with sacred keys to open some sacred doors in our lives. It’s unfortunate we disrespect them and let them pass.
“A crown of thorns always precedes a crown of glory.”
For mankind to be saved, someone had to lay down His life. Christ had to be accused falsely, flogged mightily, spat on horribly and crucified like a thief… just to have all others cleared of their guilt.
Every dream begins with a man putting his life on the line for others. All the big brands you see today were birthed at the peril of the founders. They had to reject comfort. They had to endure pain and hunger. For the vision that they had, they had to pay with their all. There’s ever no glory without sacrifice. Sacrifice precedes success. The road that leads to success is not tarred. Don’t expect a smooth ride!
Friday was His crucifixion and Sunday, His resurrection. On Friday, He was in a crown of thorns. On Sunday, He was in a crown of glory. If only we knew our good days were not far from the bad ones, we would have endured a little more. Be patient. Persist a little more. Your Sunday is coming!
“Our worst enemies are always friends.”
There’s always a friend today who will be an enemy tomorrow in our lives. There are a couple of friends who will be instrumental in taking us to the top yet may want to pull us down tomorrow. Judas had been with Jesus all through His three-year ministry. He had been a key figure in the ministry that had brought salvation and healing to thousands. He was in charge of all the finances of this ministry.
Despite how helpful Judas had been, he was plotting with others to kill His master. He knew Jesus so well. He knew where He could be found at what time. He had gone to bargain for the life of his dear friend, Jesus, for only 30 pieces of silver yet was sitting on the same dining table with him… even putting his hand into His dish.
The irony of life is that your worst enemy is always closer than you’ve imagined. You should be wary of those you call friends because no one can harm you without their consent. The slave trade, for instance, could have been impossible if blacks weren’t selling off their fellow blacks. Your enemy is closer than you think!
“If you want to count your true friends, wait for the hard times.”
When all is well, you can barely tell who your friends truly are. When life is all rosy, never assume you are all loved. Let the perilous times come and see those who may stay. Lose that well-paying job. Lose that fame. Hard times have a way of exposing those who were hanging around us just because it was party time.
Until hard times come, your so-called friends are only acquaintances. Perilous times separate die-hard friends from others. Until others have really stuck with you in your tough moments, they’re not your friends yet. Peter swore to defend His master at the peril of his life but when reality hit him, he consistently denied him three times!
When times change, the same people who had sung “Hosanna” with you will come screaming “Crucify Him”. Don’t get all excited at the praises of men. It takes only a moment for a hero to become a villain. The same people who had been beneficiaries of Christ’s miracles opted for the hardened criminal, Barabbas, instead of Him. In life, people have short memory. Not everyone will remember the good you do or did for them.
“Forgiveness is for the sake of the offended, not the offender.”
Even on the cross, Jesus Christ was inviting a thief into paradise. On that same cross, He was pleading for forgiveness on behalf of his accusers. Forgiveness is a hard thing to do. It almost seems undoable asking for forgiveness for those who have willingly caused you so much pain and hurt. But… that’s the only way we can be free.
Forgiveness is freedom because it sets free not only those we’ve jailed in our hearts. It also sets us free from the jail of bitterness we have locked ourselves in. When we forgive others, we forgive ourselves.
Kobina Ansah is a Ghanaian playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), an Accra-based writing firm. His new play, THE BOY CALLED A GIRL, shows on July 20th at National Theatre.
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