By WILLIAM J. KELLY
Joseph of Arimathea
Not much is known about this Joseph’s life. The one thing I know for sure is that he was a very brave man.
Think about this! Joseph of Arimathea was a rich man, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the Jewish leaders who did not believe Jesus was their Messiah and who conspired against him. Joseph’s belief that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah was his personal secret. He was present when Jesus, hanging on the cross in agony, uttered his last words, as he died for the sins of the world, “My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?”
Of the Apostles, only John was there with the Virgin Mary during the crucifixion. None of the original 12 ever came forward to remove Jesus from the cross. Later that day, now known as Good Friday, Joseph of Arimathea went to see Pilate and asked permission to remove the body of Jesus Christ from the cross and give him burial. Permission was granted to Joseph by Pilate to do so.
Joseph, with the help of a man named Nicodemus, removed Jesus from the cross and, after proper preparation, placed him in the tomb he constructed for his own burial. Joseph did this knowing full well the wrath of the Sanhedrin would come down upon him. This is why I consider Joseph of the village of Arimathea a very brave and loyal man. What do you think?
We Christians have had six weeks of Lent to prepare for Easter Sunday. Some have fasted, prayed and meditated on the way of the cross and how Jesus suffered to redeem the sins of the world. He did this for us. Should we not be doing the same for others? Have you been on the outs with a father, mother or some other family member? Perhaps a friend you once loved, but have not spoken to for months or years? Make yourself happy by forgiving all those you think have harmed you. You will have your happiest Easter ever. What do you think?
During the Lenten season Christians try to abstain from something they really like to eat or do. The more you like that something, the more difficult it is to accomplish the abstention. Staying the course for six weeks and reaching your goal successfully builds and improves your character. You have learned that you have control over the desires of your body and mind for things of the world. Children who learn self-control by giving up candy during Lent get their reward for doing so by receiving an Easter basket full of candy and goodies; your adult reward will be a very happy life.
Eastern churches prohibit the eating of meat, eggs and dairy products during the Lenten fast.
What do you think?
Easter egg legends
The egg represents the boulder used to seal the tomb of Jesus.
The basket of eggs Mary Magdalene took to the tomb of Jesus to share with the other women present turned brilliant red when Mary saw the risen Jesus Christ.
Mary Magdalene journeyed to see the emperor of Rome and greeted him by saying “Christ has risen.” The emperor then pointed to a white egg and said, “Christ has no more risen than that egg is red,” whereupon the white egg turned blood red. These are legends as I have heard them repeated. What do you think?
• Eighty million eggs are sold in the United Kingdom for Easter.
• In Germany, they have Easter egg trees.
• Easter eggs are also known as Paschal eggs.
• In Ukraine, eggs are decorated on Maundy Thursday, blessed on Easter Sunday, and after that, the eggs are given to priests, groups and different people.
• Eggs are the symbol of new life.
• Egg rolling.
• Easter egg hunts.
• American White House Easter egg hunt.
• The Easter Bunny, usually white with bright pink eyes.
• Ladies sporting new Easter bonnets.
• Sunrise religious services.
There are many more, but I will let you add your own. What do you think?
Easter is the celebration of the risen Christ. We have now been redeemed and the gates of Heaven are open to all. At the age of 6, I learned why I was born and the purpose of my life; it was to know God, to love God and to serve God. That is the path to eternal life. What do you think?
Happy Easter to all!
William J. Kelly is a Weatherford resident and regular contributor to Viewpoints.