Daily Archives: April 2, 2021



(A biblical reflection on EASTER VIGIL: Saturday, 3 April 2021)

EPISTLE READING: Romans 6:3-11

The Scripture Text

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. The death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:3-11)

Sin had brought eternal death to all men and women. Who could save them from such a condition? When Jesus died on the cross that Friday afternoon, He did not die alone. He took with Him our fallen nature, our old self that had so stubbornly resisted God’s love and plan. There on the cross with Him, this nature was put to death forever. Jesus took the punishment we deserved so that we could be made ready to receive the new life of Easter morning. Because the sinless one suffered the fate of sinners, the original curse was broken. God’s children were restored to their heavenly Father and enabled to live by the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead! Jesus’ death and resurrection opened heaven to all who would believe in Him – a hope for life in Him after death, and a reality to begin tasting here and now.

Death and life – What a stark contrast we have on this Holy Saturday! We pass through a day in the liturgy where all is silence. As the day begins, many of our churches will be bare – the tabernacle empty as we share liturgically in Jesus’ death and burial. Yet, as the Easter Vigil begins this evening, we will be introduced once again into the fullness of life through His resurrection to glory. Tonight, our churches will be resplendent with new life and beauty. The contrast in the course of a single day is great indeed.

In a passage that will be read tonight at the Easter Vigil, Saint Paul teaches us that we share both in Jesus’ death and in His resurrection. Our own baptism is itself a paradox of life and death. Through baptism into Jesus’ death on the cross, we die to sin. And, through the same baptism into His resurrection, we too are raised to a new life in His Spirit. What a glorious contrast our life is meant to be! As we die every day to self and sin, we receive new life through the power of Jesus’ resurrection. The life of the risen Lord is in us because we have been baptized into Him. His power is within us to change us. By His Spirit, we can begin to live a new life.

Holy Saturday is an excellent opportunity for us to seek this new life by spending time in prayer and reading God’s word in the Scripture. As much as we are able, let us make this a day of seeking God in silence and waiting. Let us anticipate the gift of new life that we will receive tonight as we renew our baptismal vows and participate in the Easter liturgy.

Today is an opportunity to grow closer to Jesus and receive more of His life. Jesus has conquered sin, death, and Satan. We can experience the victory of His death and resurrection this day. We can experience the victory of His death and resurrection this day. We can expect tangible changes in our lives in the days and weeks ahead, because we have received the power of the risen Christ.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, I want to share more deeply in Your life this day. Help me, Lord, to overcome sin through the power of Your death and resurrection. Give me new life in the Holy Spirit! Amen.

Jakarta, 2 April 2021 [GOOD FRIDAY]

A Christian Pilgrim


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(A biblical reflection on GOOD FRIDAY, 2 April 2021)

Second Reading: Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9

First Reading: Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Psalms: Psalm 31:2,6,12-13,15-17,25; Gospel Reading: John 18:1-19:42

The Scripture Text

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard for His godly fear. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered; and being made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. (Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9 RSV)

Today we commemorate the greatest act of love in history: the cross of Jesus Christ. Let us take some extra time today to meditate before a crucifix. We look upon Jesus in all His lowliness – beaten, bruised, and bloodied. We see Him suffering, rejected and alone. Let us listen to His last cry from the cross: “My God, my God, why have You abandoned Me?” Let us see His love for each and every one of us, even as He hangs dying in our place: “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” Let us gaze upon Him who was pierced for our offences and crushed for our sins. Let us bow in reverence as we contemplate the full meaning of this holy day, when the Son of God became incredibly poor so that we could become unspeakably rich. Let us bless the One who now beckons us “to draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

What great love the cross reveals! This is covenant love, a love that springs from Jesus’ eternal promise to love and protect us. Covenant love is ever faithful. It is ready to die so that others may live. It is an eternal love, written in the very blood of Christ.

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, today, as you meditate before the Lamb who was slain, consider the “bigness” of the cross. Has any other act of love ever brought forth such a flood of mercy and grace? Has any other sacrifice completely washed away every sin to come? Has any other act of love overcome the devil’s work of hatred and evil in the world?

How can we make the cross real in our lives today? By showing our loved ones the same covenant love that Jesus has shown us. What joy Jesus will have as He sees the fruit of His cross in the way we spread His love and faithfulness today! Just thing: Every time we love as Jesus loves, we are actually bringing the very presence of Christ into the world where we live!

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, You were perfectly innocent, completely free from sin. Yet You bore all of my sin and injustice as You hung upon the cross. Lord, on this Good Friday I join with the saints in heaven not to mourn what my sin did to You, but to rejoice in what Your love did for me. May this litany be in my heart today: Cross of Jesus, purify me. Blood of Jesus, cleanse me. Wounds of Jesus, heal me. Love of Jesus, free me. Mercy of Jesus, forgive me. Amen.

Jakarta, 1 April 2021 [HOLY THURSDAY]

A Christian Pilgrim


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