Easter. A feast that commemorates Christ’s resurrection. Resurrection. The rising again to life. Resurgence. Revival.
It is this time of the year that we pray, fast and launch crusades throughout the country. Though in our Church, prayer with fasting is observed throughout the year, it is during this time that this spiritual discipline is more widespread, longer time is spent, and it becomes deeper still, if that were possible. This is to remember the Lord’s sufferings, to thank Him for our salvation, and also to pray for the victory of spiritual revival crusades.
Crusades are launched throughout the archipelago, preaching the Gospel to the poor and rich alike, and those who are in the dark, and bringing healing and hope to the sick and the suffering. For what is the very essence of Christ’s sufferings? Isn’t it to obtain our salvation? That is, the healing of our bodies and souls to make us whole?
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5, NIV)
Isn’t this the whole meaning of His resurrection? To bring life to our spiritually-dead selves, sin-laden hearts and diseased bodies? To bring peace to our souls and lives, the peace that He has paid the highest price? To revive the paralyzed spirits, minds, hearts, and limbs, and bring forth life to every crevice of our beings? That the cancer cells are replaced by new healthy cells, that fresh blood flows to the lifeless limbs, and that the breath of life blows and enters again to our collapsed places – all springing from the Fountain of Life Himself, the One who hung on the cross, wounded, bloody, but still pleaded, “Father, forgive them…”
Ah, the wonder, goodness, and love of God – amazing Grace! Here is resurrection power that gives life to our mortal bodies so we could live!
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. (Rom. 8:11 NKJV)
Our salvation and healing. These are the things that He won at the cross. And these are the things that we bring to the dark valleys, over mountains and hills, across rivers and streams, for we are the ambassadors for Christ.
And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matthew 10:7-8)
And so, as early as March, our Church members flock to our fasting houses which are scattered all over the country, spending time with God, worshiping, praying with the sacrifice of not eating any food, and for some, also of not drinking water for a number of days. This is the best way to observe the Lenten Season.
Then we go to crusades, to the remote barrios in little towns, big cities and far provinces. Some places are dangerous, where the Gospel can’t be accepted by some groups or communities, but we trust in the Spirit of God, leading always, and the mighty hand of Him covering us from all kinds of perils.
And so it was, that the past weekend during a revival crusade in a place mostly inhabited by people who have made themselves enemies of the government – but still, Christ’s love reaches out to them, for in His offer of salvation, there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, but “who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth”* – glad tidings were sounded off to all the people. And they came, hundreds of them, from the mountains they trekked down, seeking God’s peace and salvation, surrendering lives. And on that day, 655 people were baptized in water in the name of Him whose blood flowed on Calvary and whose tomb lay empty and won our salvation, whose life now flows in our very veins.**
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
Easter and resurrection definitions from Merriam-Webster dictionary; *1 Tim. 2:4; **One-day Revival Crusade in Rizal, Cagayan Valley, Philippines, March 29, 2011.
- Related post: Beautiful Feet: What Love Really Means
- Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry website: www.jmcim.org
- Crusade photos here.
- Empty tomb photo source here.