Faith in Jesus

It is worth considering the fact Jesus actually died criminal’s death

Just as before Easter when we celebrated the glorious rising of Jesus from the tomb, we observed the Lent season for 40 days with special prayers and worship, similarly we observe 50 days of distinct liturgical celebrations with specific prayers and worship after the resurrection of Jesus.
Christian scholars hold the view that more than the birth of Jesus it is His rising from the dead that fundamentally gave birth to Christianity. The Resurrection of Jesus has become the event that has kept the Christian faith alive.
It is worth considering the fact Jesus actually died criminal’s death. He was accused of two crimes. One, that he claimed himself to be the Son of God, hence equal to God and which amounted to blasphemy and death. The religious leaders of that time could not stomach His claim that God was His Father and that He had come on earth to establish the Kingdom of God. His talking about the Kingdom of God, led to another misunderstanding. The same religious leaders, who were otherwise opposed to the Roman rule in the area, brought an additional charge of treason against Jesus. They said that they paid allegiance to the emperor in Rome and to no one else. Remember the description to identify this particular criminal on the Cross was, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”? This was, of course, objected to, but as Pilate proclaimed, “what is written is written”.
The logical question that can be raised is that if Jesus died the death of a criminal with the demand of the masses and as the Gospel accounts tell us, his disciples had all but abandoned him for the fear that they might undergo the same fate, how then did Christianity spread?
Jesus not only rose from the dead, but after His resurrection He appeared to his discouraged disciples and commissioned them, “Go out to the whole world and preach the good news and remember I am with you till the end of time”.
Most of Jesus’ disciples were only fishermen, probably illiterate, with neither political nor money power. The faith that Jesus was alive and active made rejuvenated the disciples to go around the world. It is this faith that inspires the Christians today as well.

Father Dominic Emmanuel, a founder-member of Parliament of Religions, is currently the director of communication of the Delhi Catholic Church.
He can be contacted at

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