Bishop’s Easter Message
Look to Jesus Christ !
By Bishop Aaron Yap
Where are you, God ? When we are in pain and suffering, where is God? When we are struggling with our lives, where is God? When our health is deteriorating, when we need Him the most, where is God? When we suffer great setbacks and losses in our jobs and business, where are you God? When our children face challenges and difficulty, where are you God ? No matter what happens to our family, community, congregations, church, and countries, these questions arise. There are so many occasions in life, particularly very challenging times, when we doubt God’s very existence, not to mention His presence and help!
However, Jesus Christ’s very presence on this earth speaks loud and clear about the love and care of our God, the Creator and God Almighty. “When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the Man!” As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw Him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” … 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.” 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”” (John 19:5-15) When we are in difficult situations, look to Jesus !
What happened to Jesus Christ? In John 19:19 describes the situation. “ 19 Pilate had a
notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE
JEWS.” In fact, the notice marked Him as a rebel against the Roman government. Don’t you
think Pilate knew it was a lie? Of course he did, he knew that Jesus was innocent. But by
posting those words over Jesus' head, Pilate had the chance to insult the Jewish leaders who had maneuvered him so successfully into executing a man he didn't want to kill. And so all unknowingly, Pilate gave Jesus His true title. However, this still happens today, and perhaps, we, too, have fallen into such a trap as well! At this moment, look to Jesus! The true King of our lives !
In the Old Testament, Isaiah, in Chapter 53, clearly wrote about this injustice done to our God and King, Jesus Christ. “ 4 Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced for our
transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was
on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us
has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
For the old folk and children who are living in difficult contexts, we provide our “Rumah Love and Care Homes” in Kajang, Menglembu & Tronoh, “Kaizen Children Home” in Broga and “Rumah ROS for OA children” in Pengkalan Hulu to care for them because we know that when we are in pain and suffering, we need to look to Jesus on the Cross! We direct those in pain, both old and young, to Jesus !
Jesus received unjust punishment on our behalf, 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, … “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) And “ 30 … Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30) Look to Jesus when we face life threatening moments! It is OK to cry out to God! Jesus was buried according to the Jewish burial customs (John 19:40) after His death.
Is that the end of Jesus Christ’s mission on earth? No! In John 20 there is a record of the empty tomb. After three days, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He appeared to many apostles and believers. “He has risen! I have seen the Lord!” exclaimed Mary to the apostles! She turned from mourning to joy, from hopelessness to hopefulness! (John 20:18) When we are in despair, look to Jesus, the risen Christ!
No matter what our situations and challenges may be or where we are in life, our risen Lord has promised us, “… And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) It is most certainly true that our God is our everlasting help! He is our refuge and our salvation! Look to Jesus, the risen Christ !
On behalf of the EXCO and my family, I wish all of you, “A Unique Lenten and Easter Experience by looking to Jesus on the Cross, and the Risen Christ !”
但是主耶稣在地上的出现已经清楚表明创造主全能上帝的爱及关顾。“耶稣出来，带着荆棘冠冕，穿着紫袍，彼拉多对他们说：“看哪，这个人！” 祭司长和圣殿警卫看见他，就喊着说：“钉十字架！钉十字架！”……….那日是逾越节的预备日，约在正午。彼拉多对犹太人说：“看哪，你们的王！“ 他们就喊着：“除掉他！除掉他！把他钉十字架！” （约19：5-15）当我们处在困难的时刻，仰望耶稣！
耶稣基督发生了什么事？约翰福音19：19说 “彼拉多写了一个牌子，钉在十字架上，写的是：“犹太人的王，拿撒勒人耶稣。” 事实上，耶稣是被标明为罗马政府的叛徒，难道彼拉多不知道这是谎言吗？他当然知道耶稣是无辜的，但是藉着把牌子放在耶稣的头上，彼拉多有机会羞辱那些成功操纵他杀害一名他不想杀害的人的犹太人领袖；因此在无知的情况下，彼拉多给了耶稣他真正的头衔。今天仍然重演着这件事，我们也有可能参与在其中！此时此刻仰望耶稣 ！我们生命真正的王！
在旧约圣经圣经以赛亚书五十三章清楚记载我们的上帝及王耶稣基督被不公平的对待，“ 4 他诚然担当我们的优患，背负我们的痛苦；我们却以为他受责罚，是被上帝击打苦待。 5 他为我们的过犯受害，为我们的罪孽被压伤。因他受的惩罚，我们得平安；因他受的鞭伤，我们得医治。 6 我们都如羊走迷，各人偏行己路；耶和华使我们众人的罪孽都归在他上。”我们位于加影、万里望及端洛的“爱心之家”， 位于 Broga 的“凯胜儿童之家”以及位于Pengkalan Hulu 的“原住民Rumah ROS”皆为了照顾那些生活在困苦中的年长者及儿童，因为知道在困苦中我们要仰望在十字架上的耶稣！我们要引导他们认识耶稣！
耶稣代替我们承受了不公正的刑罚， 46 约在下午三点钟，耶稣大声高呼，说:“…..我的上帝！我的上帝！为什么离弃我？” (太 27：46) 以及 30 ….耶稣说：“成了！”就低下头，断了气。（约19：30）当我们面对生命受威胁的时刻要仰望耶稣！向上帝呼求是对的！耶稣在离世后是按犹太人的礼仪安葬（约19：40）。
耶稣基督在地上的使命是否就这样结束了呢？不是的！在约翰福音二十章记录了空坟墓、三天后耶稣基督复活，在许多们徒及信徒面前显现。玛利亚向门徒喊叫说“祂复活了！我已经看见了主。” 她从悲伤转为喜乐、从无望转为大有盼望 （约20：18）。当我们绝望时，仰望复活的耶稣基督 ！