Summary: Easter message woven around the "Identification" theme.


Let me begin with a Tarzan story! Well, this is as real as it is surreal. Johnny Weissmuller, the Champion Olympic swimmer who donned the role of Tarzan the ape man in the Silver screen with as much aplomb in 1930s & 40s’ as he dominated the Olympic swimming lanes in 1920s’, had a close encounter of a different kind with the Pro-Fidel Castro’s soldiers in late 1950s’. When the Cuban uprising was reaching its peak, he and his golf mates (on a recreational tour to Cuba) on Havana’s suburbs were surrounded by gun-toting Cuban revolutionaries, who on mistaking them for Pro-regime supporters were intent on kidnapping them. When all his pleadings to convince them that he was the harmless movie Tarzan on a normal tour (with no political links) failed to convince them, he came-up with a spectacular ‘Tarzan act’ immaculately. Thumping his chest in a typical Tarzan style, he gave out a blood curdling yell “KREEGAH TARZAN BUNDALO”, so much so that the highly impressed Pro-Castro’s men immediately curtsied with the words “Welcome Tarzan, welcome to Cuba" and escorted him and his friends to a safer area. Let me cut this story short here but doesn’t this story in a small way mirror the anguish of our own Lord in identifying Himself to his disciples post-resurrection? Mary of Magdalene failed to recognize him at the first instance (John 20:14-15), ditto it with his followers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13), throw in the confused disciples and the other followers who mistook him for a ghost on his sensational appearance (Luke 24:37) and the picture of ‘identity crisis’ of a special kind would be complete. No wonder there is a record of the Master rebuking them for unbelief (Mark 16:14)! Ah Tarzan...before going any further on this blessed Resurrection day morning aping the apeman shall we give a full-throated cry (no chest beating, just with hands raised, pumping the fists) "THE LORD IS RISEN"!!!

This Easter, continuing with the ‘Identification theme’ I have split my message into five parts,

1. Identifying the Resurrection prophecies and their significance thereof

2. Identifying the Messiah’s purpose

3. Identifying ourselves with the Messiah’s cause

4. Identifying ourselves with the Resurrection power

5. Identifying the times, we are living in


1. Identifying the Resurrection prophecies and their significance thereof

When so many events relating to Jesus’ life had been prophesied such as…

a) his virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14)

b) triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (celebrated as Palm Sunday in Christendom – Zechariah 9:9)

c) betrayal by an acquaintance (Psalm 41:9, Zechariah 11:12)

d) sufferings on the cross (Psalm 22:15)

to name a few, it follows that an event as paramount as Resurrection would also be foretold in the Scriptures. Well, it was in Psalm 16:10/ 49:15 in oh-so-clear terms that its fulfillment should not have come as a surprise to His ardent followers but it sadly did, so much so that the good Lord had to remind some of them of the same painstakingly (Luke 24:27) on the Easter evening. Why so many Prophecies, even without a single prophecy our good Lord could have come to Planet Earth , finished the redemption plan and gone back. You see there is no shortage of rationalists in this World who demand a proof for everything before accepting any Divine act as Divinely inspired. ON ONE SOLITARY LIFE OF THE SAVIOUR, HINGED THE ENTIRE SALVATION OF MANKIND! Lest the rationalists’ attribute the virgin birth (Isaiah 7:14), place of his birth (Micah 5:2), atoning death on the cross (Psalm 22:16/Isaiah 53), resurrection (Psalm 16:10-11, Acts 2:28) and his victorious ascension (Psalm 68:18/Eph 4:18) to a sheer accident or coincidence, the Heavenly Father in infinite wisdom had everything written down in “black and white”, several centuries before those landmark events even occurred. Let me illustrate…

Last Christmas, the womenfolk of our Church went to a reasonably distant Departmental store to buy gifts for the widows/orphans/Sunday school children of our Church. When, they came back it dawned on one Sister (in faith) that she had forgotten her purse containing many valuables in the parking lot of a huge, busy commercial complex. Praying profusely, the entire “Purchase committee” rushed back to that hustling, bustling area after full one hour (traffic snarls you see) where a unguarded purse has as much chance of remaining unpicked as an ice-cube would have of not melting in a fiery furnace. Hallelujah, they found it safe and secure! Now if I were to share this thrilling account with a rationalist giving all glory to the prayer-answering God, (you guessed it right), he would attribute this “miraculous recovery” to sheer “coincidence or luck”. But ponder for a moment, if this entire account had been foretold and documented in a book, say 20 years ago, would he still attribute this true story to a mere coincidence. He would have no other option but to accept it as an Divine act! Ditto the same, with several of the Messianic prophecies, including the one about His resurrection.

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