Open Forum ‘Community Program’

Sabeel’s monthly Community “Open Forum” Program continued this month on Tuesday, May 10, 2011, with reflections on the resurrection day of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thirty-two Palestinian Christians joined Sabeel Jerusalem for a lecture titled “Pesach or Resurrection day?” by Rev. Naim Ateek. The program started with the great seasonal hymn of “Al Masih kam,” or “Christ is risen,” followed by bible verses from 1 Corinthians, Hebrews, Mark and Romans that reflect Christ’s unconditional love for us.
(Romans 5:8) But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
(Hebrews 10: 11-12) And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, ‘he sat down at the right hand of God’.
Rev. Naim reflected on these verses, noting how the Arabic, Aramaic and Hebrew words for Easter Sunday derive from the Hebrew word for Passover. Similarly, the name of the church that commemorates Jesus’ death and resurrection is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, or tomb. Both the name of the holiday and of the church focus on Jesus’ death rather than on his resurrection. As Christians, our focus should be on Christ’s conquering of death with the resurrection, and so it would be more true to our faith to celebrate “Resurrection Day” in the “Church of the Resurrection.” Rev. Naim ended with the encouraging words to celebrate Christ’s resurrection every day by living through Christ, with Christ and by Christ.

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