Living He loved me. Dying He saved me. Buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified freely forever.
The words from Casting Crown’s song ‘Glorious Day’ are more than appropriate for this time of the year as many of us remember the life, suffering and death, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On a gloomy Friday afternoon, Jesus endured great suffering and then – mocked and wounded – nailed on the same wooden cross he carried on his back and dragged from the streets to a hill. A crown of thorns on his head. A sea of people as witnesses. Women beating their chests, weeping. Jesus was human then, He felt every lashing and every stone thrown at him. He endured all the pain to save us.
The Son of God sent to Earth to suffer in our place, to pay for the penalty of our sins.
But nothing – not even death – could contain Him. The story of salvation doesn’t end with death. Then on Sunday, three days after His death, Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, back home to His Father.
Faith is a huge part of the lives of many Filipinos and this Holy Week, this writer decided to ask some friends and family what Easter Sunday means for them.
Aina Tesorero, a travel agency staff from Perth, Australia, shared the Casting Crown lyrics mentioned above, adding the rest of the lyrics, “One day He’s coming. Oh glorious day!”
Francis Colendrino shared the Lent he knew when he was younger.
“It marks the start of summer basketball leagues,” Francis joked. “Also during lent, you can see a lot of people in resorts and beaches. This is lent that I grew up with.”
Francis, now a licensed Engineer and a Bible School graduate, also shared the Lent he knows now.
“It is a reminder for me that Jesus overcame death and is alive. Lenten season is no regular TV program season. You also get to watch re-enactments of Christ’s death on the cross,” he shared.
Robert Alejandro, an artist and one of the minds (and hearts) behind Papemelroti, also shared one of his fondest childhood memories about Easter and his dad.
“The earliest memory I have of Easter Sunday was of egg hunts my parents would make for us siblings. I remember everyone finding eggs except me. I remember my dad looking at me and pointing where I could find eggs, he would point out the eggs with his eyes and mouth. I love him for that,” he joyfully recalled.
For Entomology professor Soc Letana, Lent reminds him of three things in his life: “1) that my works are not sufficient nor worthy to cover my sin; 2) that God’s will, grace, love and holiness is sovereign; and 3) that my hope is not in vain through Jesus’ life overcoming the sting of death.”
Nikos Mercado, an accounting clerk from Winnipeg, Manitoba, remembers how “God became poor so we humans may become rich.”
He shared, “Para sa’kin (For me), Easter is all about the love and grace we have in Jesus. [That] Jesus, even though He is God – mighty and rich beyond measure – was willing to come down to Earth as a weak and poor human (prone to hunger, sickness, temptation, pain, sorrow, etc.) so He can suffer and die and take the penalty for our sins… Even though He is God, He served like a servant, all because He loved us.”
Karis Diaz, a proud single parent and a volunteer church worker, believes that Easter should be even more important than Christmas.
“As a Christian, I was taught that it (Easter) should be more important that Christmas. [It’s a reminder of] how Christ died and redeemed us. It is the perfect time to give thanks and let others know that they have been broken, but now redeemed and renewed by our Jesus Christ,” Karis said.
JR Adriano, keeping is short and sweet, responded, “Jesus, historically verifiable in the space-time continuum: died to give us life; rose to give us hope.”
Freelance writer Carol Delos Santos said that she doesn’t ‘celebrate’ Easter just like the rest of the world does.
Carol explains, “For me, it’s (Easter) an everyday reality – Jesus came in the flesh to show me how to live victoriously and live a life of meaning and purpose. His victory over death and the grave is the culmination of the many victories He has demonstrated through His life – victory over sin, sicknesses, despair, etc.”
She adds, “It is a victory that could be ours if we surrender our hearts to Him.”