The Lost Easter

Keegan

The air in Janakpur tastes like rustic bike spokes and dust. The city is in the south of Nepal, very close to the Indian border, and the faces around reflect that in a range of hues that contrast with the windblown, desaturated, surroundings. I didn’t have any clear expectation on what this place would look like, but to me, it looks like a small city in India.

 
It’s the day before Easter, although you couldn’t tell unless you went on Facebook (well done on sitting out the 5-minute page load…). The city has no hints that this weekend is special, but I mean why should it? It’s not as if I expected to see easter bunnies and brightly coloured chocolate eggs? What was surprising was that the church we visited didn’t know it’s Easter either. Either Christianity is just too new, or they simply don’t celebrate it. Regardless, at this time, Christ is dead, His friends have largely disbanded, His closest are in shock, His mother is, most likely, inconsolable, His brothers are at a loss at what to do. He has not risen. The world is still dark and hopeless. Across the globe people are born, they live, they have happiness, but they struggle. They cry out to gods and protect against demons, they light incense, give flower offerings, worship the trees and paint the rocks, they sacrifice the goats, they worship the cows, they hunt the doves, and give money to the priests, witchdoctors, sages, and fortune-tellers. They work in their allotted societal groups, they look down on the lost, and either despise the foreigner or have no knowledge of him. They eat, they sleep, they bleed, they die. The end.

What if there never was an Easter Sunday? What if tomorrow never came? What if He never rose? What if the tomb were still full. “There lies Jesus of Nazareth, He claimed to be God, we showed him.” Underneath is a 1000 year old piece of graffiti: “Ha!” See if that had happened, nothing would look different here? I mean, the Maithili people would still find happiness, they would still have children and grow old, they would still live, largely, peaceful lives, they would have aspirations, and some would still reach those. They would wake, work, eat, and sleep, just as they have for hundreds (a thousand?) years. They do that daily now. For them, Christ means nothing, and Easter means less. The dead don’t live. Avoid the cows.

But the tomb is empty, and that is why we are here. This film will hopefully bring hope to the hopeless. The Maithili will still be happy, they will still live peaceful lives, they will still wake, work, eat, and sleep. But they will do it facing eternity. They do it facing a loving God who has welcomed them home. They will sing their Maithili songs in worship of Him, and they will fellowship with castes below and above them. They will be understood. Their God loves them and they will love their God. Now and forevermore. Around His throne will be every tongue and tribe, including the Maithili. This is why Jesus as hung himself on a cross. And He will rise tomorrow as proof of His divinity, having struck down death, and having created a way for us to know God and love Him back. Such is a world in which we all live in, but one in which many do not know about.

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