Once again we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. It is a privilege to be able to do so in 2021.
When we pay tribute to someone who has passed on, we often end it with the words, “Rest in Peace.” In my native language, Yoruba, there is a saying that goes “Ojo iku ni ojo isimi.” This means the day of death is the day of rest. Thus when one dies in Christ, it can be described as rest. I pray that we will all have an eternity of rest.
After Jesus died on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea, a Jewish Council leader, who had not agreed to the decision to crucify Jesus, asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. His request was granted and he took the body, wrapped it up and laid it in a new tomb. We are told: “It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning.” Luke 23: 54 English Standard Version. The cleaning of the body and the anointing of it with spices as was the Jewish custom would then have to be done on the day after the Sabbath. The day of Preparation was a big deal as the Jews were expected to do nothing at all, on the Sabbath. So there was preparation in advance, of family meals, cleaning homes and personal grooming too, organizing the Sabbath day worship and prayer schedule as well as arranging the time to be spent together. There was also spiritual preparation that consisted of a cleansing ritual in a bath followed by prayer and reading the Word of God.
If indeed the day we die is the day we rest, how are we doing in Preparation for our eternal rest? Are we even considering it at all or are we just going after what we need for the here and now? Much attention is given to detail on the day the Jews prepare for the Sabbath so that all will be ready and nothing will be left undone. The truth is no matter how old we are going to live (if the Lord tarries) it will be absolutely NOTHING compared to our eternity. We should therefore make the Preparation for our eternal rest a priority. And how can we do this? Let us see how it was done then so people could observe a Sabbath of rest. There was meal preparation. So what are we eating? “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became a joy to me and the delight of my heart;” Jeremiah 15:16a Amplified. Are we eating enough of the Word? Cleaning of house and personal hygiene were also emphasized. What are we occupying our minds with? The cleaning is symbolic of renewing our minds and this should be done in the Word of God, for it is the Word that washes and transforms. “…so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word [of God]” Ephesians 5:26 Amplified. Spending time studying and meditating on the word of God can never be over emphasized. There is no short cut . Let us endeavour to develop daily routines to help us see to this. We should invest quality time in our loved ones. It will set them on the straight and narrow. And let us make a habit of singing hymns, praising and worshipping God. These activities will usher us into the presence of the Lord where there is great joy.
And just as the Preparation for the Sabbath makes a day of rest possible , the Preparation for our eternity will make it a peaceful rest and not a turbulent, torturous one. When we are going to spend time with a loved one,(as that is what eternity is) we prepare. Sometimes we even make lists of things we want to talk about, we take care of our appearance and we generally look forward to it.
Is Jesus your loved one? Are you in a relationship with Him yet? Then His Resurrection means we are guaranteed an eternity of rest. That means an eternity with the One who loves us most.
THEN, LET US PREPARE.
HAPPY EASTER 2021.
OLUYINKA EGO-MARTINS ©