by Ahmed Olayinka Sule, CFA
Alatenumo Times | 33 Anno Domini (AD)
I couldn’t believe it, says Eric Fox, a centurion with the Roman regiment, “One moment I looked up and saw his bloodied body on the tree, the next moment everywhere was dark even though it was three in the afternoon. Then came the earthquake and the big rocks around us started splitting. On my way home, I saw a number of dead saints coming out of their graves.” Eric’s story might sound like a scene from Michael Jackson’s Thriller movie, but the events that he so vividly describes occurred three days ago when the LAMB was executed. Two sources who declined to be named claim that the FAITHFUL AND TRUE is not dead, “We saw him on our way to Emmaus,” they said. Tom who is a close friend of the WAYMAKER told Alatenumo Times, “Everyone is talking about the ROCK OF AGES resurrection. I even saw the hole where the nail was hammered into his hands.”
Ever since the INDESCRIBABLE GIFT was born around 33 years ago, the world hasn’t been the same. His birth was an extraordinary event. According to one of the shepherds who witnessed the event, “While I and two of my colleagues were taking care of our flocks, we were nearly blinded by a bright light which was the glory of the LORD. We were initially terrified, until a voice us told not to be afraid.” The shepherds received the good news about a MESSIAH who was born in the City of David. This special child was born of a virgin and despite being called the KING OF KINGS, he was born in a barn because there was no room in the nearby hotel. A couple of days after his birth, some wise men from the Eastern part of the world were led by a bright star to the location of the BELOVED SON. Upon seeing the SAVIOUR, the men worshipped him and gave him some expensive gifts.
As news about the birth of the ALPHA and OMEGA spread, Herod, the king of Judea, made plans to kill the ROSE of SHARON because he considered the baby a threat to his kingdom. Herod didn’t know that the CHIEF CORNERSTONE’S kingdom was a spiritual kingdom and not an earthly one. Herod’s clandestine plan was revealed to the baby’s earthly parents in a dream, so they fled to Egypt and returned after the king’s death.
If EMMANUEL’s birth was extraordinary, his ministry was exceptional. When he was twelve, it was reported that he used to have deep theological discussions with a number of religious leaders who were astonished at the depth of his knowledge. His first teaching took place in a building at Nazareth. “We were all seated waiting for the LIGHT OF THE WORLD to speak”, says Ben Whitlock, “He walked to the pulpit confidently and read something about the Lord being upon him and how he had been sent to preach to the poor and free the oppressed. He then closed the book and after a long period of silence, he looked at us and said this Scripture has now been fulfilled. We were all astonished because we had never heard anybody talk with so much authority”
In what would go down as one of the greatest speeches of all times, The SON OF GOD once gave a talk on top of a mountain. “Speaking extemporaneously, he turned conventional wisdom upside down,” says Janet who witnessed the historic speech, “The MASTER blessed the weak and taught us how to behave and treat our enemies, who he said we should forgive.” Wherever THE PRINCE OF PEACE visited throughout the region, he went about doing good things. THE GREAT PHYSICIAN cured many people of their sickness. In an exclusive interview with the Dove Network, Daniela Smith said, “I had an issue with my menstrual flow, which caused me to bleed continuously for twelve years. One day, The DELIVERER was passing by and I touched his clothes and from that moment the problem that cost me a lot of money and shame was finally solved.” The GOOD SHEPHERD also healed blind people, straightened bent backs, made the deaf to hear and the paralysed to walk.
Not everyone was receptive to the HOLY ONE’s message. Many felt his rhetoric was offensive while some considered it foolish. A number of people couldn’t understand why he would claim to be the SON OF GOD when GOD had no wife and why the HORN OF SALVATION should be called LORD. The villagers were upset when THE BREAD OF LIFE said he was the living bread that came down from heaven and anyone who eats of this bread will live forever. According to Paul Davis, a former enemy of HIS MAJESTY, “The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved it is the power of God, who has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.” Though the ROCK was compassionate to the people at the margin of society, he was a thorn in the flesh to the highly placed preachers, whom he considered hypocrites. “We felt like idiots whenever we tried to trick or debate him,” says Pastor Ajibade Cole.
Besides having authority over sickness, the CORNERSTONE also has authority over the powers of darkness. Even though he was in the very nature GOD, he didn’t use it to his advantage. As a result, he was given a name above any other name — past, present or future. Everything in heaven and earth will eventually bow at the name of JESUS. The SON OF MAN also has authority over death. In Bethany, there was a friend of THE WORD called Lazarus who fell sick and died. After his death, The TRUE VINE went to see the family of the deceased. “We were wondering why the COMFORTER, did nothing to stop Lazarus from dying”, says Stephen Moore, a student at Bethany Academy, “But as we were pondering about this, the SAVIOUR asked for the door of the grave where Lazarus was buried to be opened and he commanded him to come out. We thought he was crazy until we saw the dead man walking.” Besides raising Lazarus from the dead, he also raised the daughter of a man called Jairus.
Never in the history of mankind has anyone been given the authority to forgive sins, however, the ALMIGHTY conferred this power on the ADVOCATE. “I was caught sleeping with a man,” says Sarah Richardson, a former prostitute, “The synagogue leaders dragged me out of the bed half naked and were about to stone me publicly. The HOLY ONE OF GOD was nearby and they asked him what should happen to me. The JUST ONE first ignored them and wrote something on the floor, then he asked those who had not sinned to throw the first stone. They began dropping their stones one by one and left.” The MIGHTY ONE later forgave Sarah of her sins and told her not to sin again
As the LIGHT OF THE WORLD’s fame increased, some people conspired to have him executed. A plan was hatched by the clergy and Judas Iscariot, an acquaintance of the STRONG TOWER, who betrayed him with a kiss. The GOOD FATHER was arrested then pierced, wounded, crushed, chastened and scourged. “When I saw his broken body on the cross, I found it odd that he could save others but not himself,” says Kevin Taylor, a farmer who witnessed the execution. The haters rejoiced at his fate, but little did they know that the death of THE TRUTH was part of GOD’s master plan for mankind. As the MEDIATOR hung on the cross, the sin of the world was laid upon him.
Last week, some people went to the tomb where the WONDERFUL COUNSELLOR was buried only to find it empty. The RISEN LORD’s crucifixion was GOD’s greatest gift to the world. What his accusers meant for evil, GOD turned for good. Three days after his execution, the SACRIFICE FOR OUR SINS rose from the dead and through this act, he reconciled the world to GOD. “The beauty of this Christmas gift of salvation is that it is free. All one needs to do to get this gift is to confess that JESUS is LORD and believe that GOD raised him from the dead, “says Roman Blake, a history professor at the University of Redemption.
· Christmas message: For GOD so loved the world, he gave his only SON and whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
Ahmed Sule, CFA