Happy Easter! ... some thoughts.

Yesterday morning (Saturday),  I was conducting a baptismal service for one of the children in our ward (cf. parish).  A great weekend for anyone to be baptized.  It's extra special.  It's Easter weekend during which the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior are observed and celebrated. And according to the apostle Paul, baptism is in likeness of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

Romans 6:4
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Baptism is the ordinance by which we experience newness of life, like Christ's resurrection to new and everlasting life.  Spring, as a season, even enhances the resurrection and baptism message of newness of life, as plants and flowers start to bloom and blossom again.

The day before yesterday was Good Friday!  Good in the sense that Christ died for our sins.  And if Friday was a good day, then Easter Sunday should be called a "better day". Better Sunday. It's the morning of the resurrection, which is at the heart of the gospel - a word that means "good news" (tala lelei) of Christ overcoming death. The resurrection is the one event upon which the message of Christianity solely rests.  Without the resurrection, there would not have been any good news - no gospel.

Of the many miracles that Jesus performed - healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out evil spirits, etc.- I think the one that best foreshadows the essence of the Atonement, hence Easter, is the one where Christ heals the woman with a bleeding condition ("an issue of blood").   The woman has had the condition for twelve years, and according to the law, she is considered unclean.  And anything that she touches becomes unclean too.  She had learned that Jesus was passing by and she was determined to touch the border of his garment, having faith that she would be healed. She was able to reach out and touched the hem of the Savior's clothes.  At the same time, Jesus felt virtue - and strength - gone out of him.

Luke 8:46
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

The woman came forward and fell down before Jesus and she was healed.

The main element in the Atonement is blood.  In Gethsemane, Christ bled from every pore. On the cross, he was also bleeding from his many wounds. By his blood we are made clean.  As Christ was in the process of atoning for our sins, he experienced virtue and strength being drained from him. In the case of the woman, the irony is that blood made her unclean but it was also her tainted blood that initiated her healing and cleansing.  It's almost as if Christ healed the woman's blood, possibly from his own blood (symbolically, at least) - as virtue was gone from him when his garment was touched.  Blood is life.  And when Christ healed the woman's blood condition, he was in essence giving her life - at least another lease on life. Again, Christ became "unclean" from the tainted blood of the sins of the world. And he spilled his own blood to give us new life; to make us clean and for us to gain the unconditional blessing of immortality (tino ola pea) through the miracle of this Easter morn. The miracle of the Resurrection.

Have a Happy Easter!

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