Resurrection, Regeneration and Reincarnation
- N. Manokaran
On Good Friday one of my friends asked, whether he could greet me for Good Friday. Another friend who was with us said, “No it is mourning day or fasting day.” The first friend asked: “Then why that day is Good? It should be termed Black Friday or Sad Friday or Bad Friday.” The second friend, responded: “You can greet for Easter – the day of resurrection.” The first friend quickly said: “You also believe in reincarnation?” Then only I got a chance to respond.
Reproach and Death
The Death of Son of God was not a normal death. The term Good Friday does not just talk about the historic event that happened that particular day in the city of Jerusalem. The historic event was also a spiritual event with eternal consequences. Lord Jesus Christ did not die for his own sins as he was sinless and holy. He died for the sake of sinful humanity. In place of each and every person born in the world, Lord Jesus took position or was the substitute. When he died, he defeated Sin, Death and Satan, which was established, declared and proclaimed by His Resurrection on the third day. In a limited sense Good Friday is mournful day, but in eternal sense it is the Glorious Friday.
There are even Christians who confuse resurrection with reincarnation. The idea of reincarnation is mainly found in Hinduism and Buddhism. Both the religions believe in the doctrine of Karma. Each person has to pay for the sins they commit. One life time may not be enough to pay for sins. Hence, each person has to come back to the world in different form of life and pay for the past sins. This is termed as reincarnation. A person (soul) may have to go through several births (in some calculation 8.4 million births) to get rid of all karma against the soul and be immersed in the one eternal reality. The new form of life need not be human, it could be any animal, bird, reptile or fish.
The resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ is different. On the third day, which is celebrated as Easter, Lord Jesus rose from the dead that the tomb was empty. His body was transformed into a glorious body. The people could recognize the resurrected Lord. He could speak with them, Of course, shut doors and shut tombs cannot lock him in. On one occasion he cooked breakfast and served his disciples. The Risen Saviour challenged Thomas to come touch and feel the wounds. It is not migration of soul or life from one form to another form even human form.
The response to resurrection can result in regeneration of a person. When Jewish religious leader Nicodemus met Lord Jesus Christ: Lord said: You must be born again. The learned religious leader was confused and asked: “How can you enter mother’s womb to be born again?” Lord explained that he has to be born of Spirit and Water to enter the Kingdom of God. It happens alike the flow of wind. The breeze is not seen but the effect is felt. Similarly, this spiritual experience is not seen, but certainly experienced. To all human beings, the message is the same. Be born again – or experience regeneration. Nicodemus had to realize irrespective of social, religious, economic, gender status all are sinners. They have realize this fact, receive forgiveness by faith on Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross on their behalf. His resurrection is attestation of his deity and authority to forgive sins. The water symbolizes the Word of God that convicts a person of Sin and the Spirit of God convicts a person helping him to see Lord Jesus as the Saviour. When that person responds in faith, he or she is regenerated or born-again.
Response: Repentance and Life
This Easter reminds us once again that we are all sinners. We all need regeneration. That is possible only because of Lord Jesus Death and Resurrection. Repentance, Forsaking of Sin and Forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ is a needed spiritual transformation. Let Easter bring this transformation in the lives of each person in the world.