The Easter story is a significant one for everyone around the world. Most people both young and old know the story of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. The Christian and a heathen know that on Easter Sunday a long time ago, Jesus rose from the grave. So what is my point in telling this same story which is so popular: There is story about a non believer who heard the Church bell ring on a Good Friday, as he was preparing to go fishing. He jokingly said; “How many times is this man going to die? This man needs help to know the difference between a religious observance and the fact of the matter that Apostle Paul states in 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17. “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”
Jesus died once and for all to redeem us from our sins that we could no way save ourselves from (Hebrews 9:12; 10:10). We were not there to witness the empty grave but the infallible word of God clearly describes the details of the first account; particularly the statement from the two men with shinning clothes; “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24: 5)
In our immature ways we create sarcastic statements aimed at religious observance rather than critically studying the statement provided by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17). In other words, we do not fully understand the story behind the story in a particular event.
The picture on the right is a typical illustration of a story behind a story. The five pig jawbones piled neatly on a branch of a tree, represents a significant occasion in time, to serve the purpose of their owner. Only the owner knows when and why those five were slaughtered; and prepared for five important occasions. They may have brought joy or sadness to their owner, depending on the reason or occasion.
But our Lord Jesus was sent by God for only one reason; to die on the cross for our sins. The cross and the empty tomb are our symbols of the greater story behind the first good Friday and the first Easter morning! As Christians then, our passion must be to keep telling the bigger story behind the first Easter story.
For the LTPNG team, we decided to use the “Story Telling” approach to share with the women of Christian Life Center at their Easter camp. The team used the five story telling steps, the five discussion questions and adapting the Bible study questions to do group Bible study the sensitive topic of “Haus Karai” (place for crying) The Scripture reference from Luke 23:50 -56 was used to set the platform for critically asking questions about “congregating in a specific venue with expectations to receive gifts of food while mourning for the dead”
The initial intention for congregating to comfort the immediate family and relatives of the lost has lost its real story line. It has now become an opportunity to feast on the expense of the family who should be mourning and not managing guest’s lists and menus; again the good story behind the now not so good story!
Jesus’ followers did have a “Haus Krai” as recorded in John 20:19. Their situation was different but they congregated in a specific venue for a specific reason; their leader and teacher was dead. Now comparing the haus karai of Jesus’ time and now was a very good approach to do a group bible study on a sensitive topic. We trust that the Word of God will do its work to help people make better decisions when its comes to observing death in a family or any social situation which requires a decision that will please God.
We also had a WIFIBible set to trial out at this gathering and ended the time with the showing of the Jesus film.