|image found at: http://www.romanempiretours.com/|
|Left, Tou Yang|
Today I invite to my blog Tou Yang who will be my guest blogger. He will take a few minutes to give you some background on the Roman world and what Resurrection means to him. Tou is a student at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and an intern at Christway United Methodist Youth Ministries.
The Power of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection In Everyday Life
The Roman Empire used violence as a way to control large populations throughout their conquered lands. One example of this violence was through crucifixion on a cross such as endured by Jesus. Crucifixion was not only seen as a consequence for not conforming to Roman law but it was also a form of humiliation to the individual and the individual’s family. This act was meant to oppress the very spirit of the people and to dehumanize the non-Roman citizens. This made Jesus’ crucifixion not only physically painful but also psychologically painful to the local population and Jesus’ family.
Jesus’ resurrection was proved God’s victory over death but just as important it gave hope to the followers of Jesus that victory was possible in the face of Roman oppression. “Carrying the cross” was no longer something to be feared but instead became an empowering image and a sign of hope over the punishment of death. Even though Jesus’ movement was broken with the death of its leader it was made whole again both physically and spiritually by the news of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave. The fact that Jesus’ death did not mean the end of his believers or the end of Jesus’ ministry gave inspiration to future apostles such as Paul to share Jesus’ message with full confidence.
Jesus’ victory over the cross and oppression is still a powerful and relevant message for today. Everyday hundreds of millions people all around the world face oppressive social and political systems meant to destroy the will and beliefs of the individual. Through Jesus’ example there is hope for redemption and restoration even in the worst conditions. Not that suffering should be a part of life nor that oppression is needed to understand the resurrection of Jesus but that suffering and oppression is not the end of life. That even when we face the brokenness of everyday life no matter big or small we can be reassured of God’s ever restoring power and victory over oppression. The power of Christ’s death and resurrection is not only connected to an event that happened 2000 years ago or a future apocalyptic event but can be understood and relevant everyday of our lives. That is the true power of Easter. That is the true power of the love of God.