March 21, 2013

Risen Christ--How do I Portray Him? - Sulo Moorthy

In ten days time we’re going to celebrate Easter-the resurrection of our Lord Christ Jesus. Two thousand years ago, when the news of risen Christ came from the mouths of the women and hit the ears of Peter and John, they couldn’t believe it at first.

These men had spent whole three years walking beside their Master, listening to His teaching, attending weddings and funerals, watching in amazement at the touch of their Lord's hand, blind man seeing, lame man jumping, lepers healed and demon possessed ones calmed and restored. They had witnessed a young maiden pronounced dead brought to life and the young  man Lazarus dead and buried for three days walking out of his tomb in his burial clothing at the sound of Jesus call.

Yes, they had witnessed all that and more. They were the chosen ones to be in the inner circle of three.  They were there with Jesus on the mountain to witness His transfiguration and to see their Lord conversing with Moses and Elijah. They may have even heard the voice from heaven affirming that their  Master was truly the Son of God.

Great witnesses, they could  have been, but they failed to rise up to the occasion when Jesus needed them the most. In the garden of Gethsemane, at the time of His distress, the Lord requested them to watch and pray. What did they do? They gave into sleep and started to snore instead of praying. These devoted disciples who vouched to follow Him to the end couldn’t even boldly accompany Him to the courtroom of Caiaphas or Pilate. Instead, in order to save their own lives, they completely left  their beloved teacher alone to defend Himself. 

Probably I too would have done the same in their situation. The threat of arrest and torture at the hands of Roman soldiers, on top of lingering doubtful thoughts about Jesus’ divinity, would have driven me also to flee and forsake the Lord I might have vouched to die for.

But the encounter with the risen Lord on His resurrection evening and afterwards completely changed these men's attitude and behaviour.  Jesus never accused them for deserting Him in His time of trial.The sovereign Lord knew the limitations of humanity. Being the Son of Man, He understood the fears and doubts His disciples had. The miracle of seeing the buried One alive released the disciples from the grip of fear and uncertainty there onwards.

At times I had wondered whether Peter, John, James and Thomas would have chosen the path of Cross to the end, if they hadn’t seen the risen Lord face to face. Truly, something amazing started to happen when they encountered the risen Christ. Their passion for the Lord got rekindled and was set ablaze.With the empowering of the Holy Spirit on the Pentecostal day, they ventured into a new journey with no turning back.

These men painted as deserters previous to their encounter with the risen Lord emerged as giants of faith fearing not even death in the post resurrected period. It is said that when Peter was sentenced to be crucified, he requested him to be crucified upside down because he found himself unworthy to be crucified in the same way like his Lord.

John,the beloved disciple, who got exiled to Patmos island finished his life well by writing down his vision of the Lord in the Book of Revelation for our benefit. Thomas, the doubting one, journeyed all the way to India to spread the Gospel and later got beheaded for his unshakable faith. I was privileged to visit the site of his execution when I was studying at a  college in India. Named after the disciple, the place is called St.Thomas Mount. James too was beheaded.

Because these men were eye witnesses of risen Christ, many came to accept the Lord through their teaching and acquaintances in the early years of the Church. In my time of doubts and dry spells, I too have looked upon these men’s lives and drawn strength. If they weren't convinced what they had seen and believed, no way they would have gone to the extent they went to spread the gospel.

I hope and pray that the risen Lord within me would be so evident that  many would draw strength from my walk of faith too.  But if I use Jesus as good luck charm or as someone who grant my wants and get me out of trouble,  others would see Him through me only as a  miracle worker,  a holy man  or a spiritual guide. Today as well as in the past,  there are so many spiritual gurus who have been sought to gratify people's emotional and spiritual needs. So, I need to be watchful of how I portray Christ- The Risen Lord and Saviour or  a miracle worker, who helps me out whenever I need Him?


  1. Praise the Lord for a risen Savior! Great post. Thank you for the reminder to be aware of our actions and the way we portray The Lord Jesus Christ. God Bless!

  2. I appreciate this very thoughtful post. I would have cowered and run exactly like the disciples did. I'm glad that God understands what it's like to be human and that he's very patient with our faults. Thank you, Jesus!

  3. Sulo, thanks for leading us through the Passion with thoughtfulness. We serve an amazing God who understands our human frailties and meets us where we're at. Hallelujah, What a Saviour!

  4. Thank you Ladies for your encouraging comments. Aren't we so blessed to have such a precious Saviour whose understanding of us has no limits.


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