Janghaolun Haokip

Janghaolun Haokip

Janghaolun Haokip, a resident of Kholep Village, P.O –Motbung, Kangpokpi District, Manipur -795107  is a regular contributor of articles to Imphal Times. He completed his B.A (Psychology) Delhi University, Delhi and is currently pursuing Bachelor of Divinity at Manipur Theological College, Kangpokpi, Manipur. He used to work as a Assistant Teacher in English Literature for two years at MBC Higher Secondary School, Kangpokpi Mission Compound, Kangpokpi.

Haokip can be contacted at : [email protected]

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The Resurrection of Jesus Christ essentially is the basis and the foundational event for the Christian faith. It signifies the victory of Jesus over sin and the reconciliation of human beings to God through Jesus Christ. It is also the basis of Christian hope that they would one day be resurrected like Jesus and ascends into the kingdom of God for eternity. According to the New Testament, the resurrection is the triumphant cry that God indeed did come to visit his creation and conquered the power of sin and death.
“I will rise again after three days”, Jesus had said to his disciples before his death on the cross. On the third day of his crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb where Jesus was laid. They wanted to know if what Jesus said is true and he indeed had risen again. Then suddenly there was a great earthquake, and an angel of the Lord appeared like lightning in front of them. Seeing that, the guards panicked and became like dead men. The angel of the Lord then said to the women, “Do not be afraid, I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised, as he said”. They went in to see the tomb, and lo! The tomb was empty. Jesus indeed had risen again!
The high priest and the Pharisees also have heard that Jesus would rise again on the third day. They were afraid because if Jesus really would rise again, people will mock them and even stone them to death, for they were the enemies of Jesus. So they went to Pilate and seek his permission to guard the tomb. They alleged that His disciples and followers would steal the corpse and lie that he actually had risen like he had promised. Pilate agreed, and so they went, sealed and guarded the tomb. However, on the third day, after they witnessed the strange appearance of the angel in the tomb, the guards went back into the city and told the chief priests everything that had happened. The priests didn’t want to make the story known to the people so they devised a plan to bribe the guards for a false testimony, directing that the guards must say, “His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.”
The guards did give the false testimony that which there are people who still believe in it even today. But the Son of God couldn’t be contained. Jesus appeared to his disciples who were filled with terror and amazement. Even though they believed in Jesus, they never had seen a man who had predicted his death and his resurrection and it all comes true. Jesus stayed with the disciples until his ascension to heaven. He taught them about the world and directed them. The most significant event after Jesus’ resurrection was the commissioning of his disciples. Jesus appeared to his eleven disciples, and told them, “Go into the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation, the one who believes will be saved, but the ones who do not believed will be condemned”. The disciples listened to him, and in around A.D. 52, St. Thomas, the apostle, came to India which became the beginning of Indian Christianity.
Without the resurrection, Jesus would have been just another “prophet hopeful” who died a tragic peasant death in Jerusalem. Jesus would be an imposter like the high priest and the Pharisees alleged him to be –working with the devil and deceiving the people –a blasphemer who does not fear the wrath of God. Without the resurrection, Christianity would have no meaning and it will just be another myth of the great myths of the world. But the prophecies were fulfilled, and Christ was who he said he was –the son of God sent on earth as a sacrifice to save the world –Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead.
Easter Sunday is a day of great joy for the Christians all over the world. It is celebrated as a day of the fulfilment of the purpose of the coming of Christ –the saving of the world from its sin. In resurrection, Jesus had conquered sin, and in him, the sins of the world are forgiven and those who believe in Jesus are granted eternal life in heaven. That is why it says in John 3:16 –for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have an eternal life.
Wishing you all a joyous Easter Sunday, and may the saving grace of God rise in you as Jesus rose from the dead.

Two thousand years ago, a man came and died for the world. He was stripped and mocked, and they made him wear a crown of thorns. People spat on him and the soldiers tortured him. He was demanded to be crucified by his own people whom he so dearly loved. On the way to Golgotha, he carried his cross, tired and weary. He walked up to the place of skull, Golgotha, and died for the sins of the world. His name was Jesus.

When God created humans, He has an intimate relationship with them. In the Garden of Eden, God would come down and fellowship with Adam and Eve. But soon, the relationship between God and humans was broken in the disobedience of Adam and Eve. God was so grieved that his own creation would disobey him. Since then, God has always desired to save his people. All through the ages, He had people whom He selected as messengers for him, to stand as a mediator between Himself and the world. However, despite the unwavering love of God to re-establish the broken relationships, humans still grew in sin and immorality. Then God knew that He needed something way more bigger than a mere human messenger, so He sent Jesus, His son, not only as a messenger, but as a sacrifice to redeem the world of its sins.
Right from the birth, Jesus was like no other child, for he was the Son of God, the most high. He was conceived through the Holy Spirit in the womb of Virgin Mary. In his Birth, the Angels in heaven rejoice, and on earth, wise men from the east and the shepherds in the fields went to greet him. Since his childhood, he was guided by God, for he himself was also God. He amazed the teachers of the synagogues with his knowledge of God although not one, except his parents, knew that he was the Son of God. When Jesus was thirty years old, he started his ministry. He started to perform miracles; started to heal people and cast out demons. For three years Jesus ministered day and night for the people, with many believing in him, following him, and becoming his disciples. After three years of his public ministry, in A.D. 33, Jesus was crucified on the cross.
On his last days, Jesus knew that his time to fulfil the purpose of his coming was near. He was grieved by the suffering that lay ahead for him. He was then betrayed by Judas, and was arrested by the soldiers in the Gethsemane where he was praying. Jesus was then tried and sentenced to be crucified because his own people demanded so. He was mocked and people spat on him. On his way to Calvary, Jesus was carrying the sins of the world on his shoulders. There Jesus was, walking in the middle of the crowd, tortured and mocked. The son of God allowed himself to be treated as the lowest for the sake of the world. In Calvary, he was nailed to the cross, the symbol of the most wicked of men. Then Jesus cried with a loud voice and breathed his last. Even after his death, a soldier pierced his side with spear.
At that moment, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks were split. The centurion and those who were with him who were keeping watch over Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they became to be terrified and exclaimed, “Truly this man was God’s son”. Indeed he was. He was Jesus, the Son of God who came to the earth and suffered like the lowest of man because he loves his children.
To the Christians, Good Friday is one of the most significant religious celebrations. It is the day when they are redeemed of their sins. It is the day that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made and ultimate sacrifice of his life in the cross to re-establish the broken relationship between God and human beings and to save them for eternal condemnation. And most of all, it is the day of the assurance of God’s eternal and transcending love for his people.
Wishing you all a blessed Good Friday, and may the Love and Joy of Jesus Christ be with you all.

Thursday, 01 April 2021 18:28

In need of a savior: the wailing of Myanmar

It is today needless to tell of the chaos that Myanmar is going through. Since the military coup, Myanmar has been but a land of savagery and chaos, particularly of barbarous killings and inhuman tortures against helpless civilians carried out mainly by the Tatmadaw, the Myanmar military, lately coming to be tagged as a terrorist organization by the people. The situation evidently is simply devastating and despairing for both the country and the international community.
Not long after the coup, the military has turned the country into a war-zone. The people who are holding peaceful processions are confronted with live bullets and other lethal weapons causing immeasurable damage to life and property and worsening the situation of this ill-fated state. The military has been solely responsible for mass killings of protestors, including women and children with the number of deaths rising everyday. The killings and the response of the military as a whole are becoming more and more brutal and ruthless as they fight for power. Undoubtedly, these are more than grave violations of human rights that calls for the attention of the international community. 
It is impossible to imagine the agony and the hopelessness that the people of Myanmar are going through as their freedoms have been seized, their homes taken away, and their families being broken in the hands of the military. The military are denying the essence of life to the people and also utterly violating their rights. It is also clear that the people are running out of options from the military aggressions. As a result, they are reported to have started to build bunkers as a measure against air bombings, while there are others running away from their homes into the forest for safety. Moreover, hundreds of youths are also believed to be joining hands with the Federal Army, an army of nationalist movements united against the Myanmar military, with hopes to regain their homes and their freedom. 
At this point, the people of Myanmar as well as the rest of the world are looking at the leaders of the international community, particularly the United Nations and other humanitarian organisations, to act as a saviour for the people of Myanmar and hear their cries for help. While the situations have heightened and the killings of civilians are incessant, the world must no longer look at it as an internal issue that must be internally solved. Rather, what happens in Myanmar is a humanitarian crisis that calls for international intervention on humanitarian grounds. The war that the military declared on the people is a war against humanity and must be fittingly responded. The people of Myanmar cannot be left alone to defend for themselves.
The international community cannot look away, it must warn the Myanmar military against the  alarming violations of Human Rights. The CCTV footages of bikers mercilessly shot at a point-blank range must not go unnoticed and must be fought back. The heinous deaths of men, women, and children cannot go waste but it must shape a better future for the people, their aspirations, and their land. This is a challenge for the international community, especially its leaders, on how far it can  go to protect and promote the rights and well-being of an individual. On the other hand, it will be really unfortunate if people were to lose faith on humanity and the international community that would only mean more chaos and confusions.
The world must act fast now and save Myanmar from its own guns and bullets. Let the world remind itself that Human lives are more than economic prosperity, and the wicked hunger for power.  The worlds biggest powers should be reminded to look away from business opportunities  but rather look onto the people as belonging to the same human kind. Let us be more humane that we are, and stands as a relief for the people of Myanmar. Especially for its neighboring countries as ourselves, let us not think twice to accept them into our lands and honor their rights to life and personal liberty. We cannot send them back to die.

Yuval Noah Harari, a renowned world historian, in his book Sapiens –a brief history of humankind wrote, “Homo sapiens held the record among all organisms for driving the most plant and animal species to extinction. We have the dubious distinction of being the deadliest species in the annals of biology, and if we knew how many species we’ve already eradicated, we might be more motivated to protect those that still survive”.
In fact, this reminds us of the critical stage we have come to. It is true that over the years of its evolution and revolutions humans have caused immeasurable damage to the environment. We have changed the course of nature with all the scientific advancement that we call technology. All the comfort that hi-tech offers are but polluting and degrading the natural environment. Perhaps, we have endangered species, driven them to extinctions, and worst, we still seem to be at a point where we are yet to realise what we have caused and what it may cost us humans.
Sadly, even today, many of us don’t seem to notice the dying nature around us. Our rivers are drying up, and our forests have very few –our ecology has been imbalanced. There are no more trees to store rainwater, and consequently we are ravaged by floods during rainy seasons (which happens every year but we still deny to learn and change), and scarcity of water during winter –we cannot even sustain ourselves for a year anymore. But we still don’t seem to realise or otherwise we are still gripped by selfishness with a little sense of social responsibility. What will it cost us?
In a few years from now there will be no more freshwater but gallons of treated water. We will go inside our rooms and turn on some kind of machine to give us fresh air instead of going out in the open for it. Or someday the air will become so polluted that we have to walk around with gas masks. We will turn to our record-players, and will have mobile applications to listen to the sounds of nature; of flowing streams and of the sound of birds and breezes hustlin with the trees because we will have no more of them in reality. It’s not impossible if this trend of pollution and degradation continues with a little effort to turn it around. In fact, we already have a few of such applications that play the song of birds. Where are we getting at?
We’d rather not talk about the entire world and the whole impact of global warming, and of the rising sea levels and the depleting ozone layer. But let’s look at our state as the least we can do. What have we done to prevent flooding? What have we done to prevent the depletion of natural forests? What have we done to preserve our ecosystem? If it is Jhum cultivation that destroys our forests, what alternative have we offered? If it is the avoidable emission of gasses from burning of plastic wastes or other harmful materials, how much awareness have we given? How much effort have we taken to safeguard our natural environment? When crores and crores of rupees are spent for other sectors, how much has been granted to restore the environment, or for afforestation and reforestation? Are we simply ignorant?  
An average tree takes at least 7-10 years to grow to its matured height, and another 7-10 years to grow to its full size. How many of those today are being destroyed in less than a minute with machines? Or how many trees are cut without planting another, which too is the least alternative we have. In fact, we need those trees for furniture to beautify our homes, but we also need them to survive to give us clean and pure air and to regulate the availability of water. What about plastic wastes and industrial wastes? Those rivers filled with dirt and poisonous substances? These are simple sciences we have learnt in high school. What must we do?
This is a challenge to the people and the government as well to start being responsible towards the environment. We need a convention that would agree on a certain set of laws and the government to take the initiative while the people must as well engage responsibly. We cannot leave it to a handful of activists anymore because the seriousness calls for a more collective action and a more well-thought out consensus otherwise which certain consequences could harden our lives as well as threaten our very existence.  We must now realise the necessity and urgency.
We should no more lose our mind. We are speaking of high-end technologies and the wonders of science but we are forgetting the necessity to preserve the very essence that makes our lives possible. It’s time now to go back to saving the natural environment. Protection alone cannot do anything anymore, because there is the least left to be protected. We need now to rebuild the environment, plant trees and safe-guard the little that we have, for good and for the entire human race.

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