The Tarkwa Area Head of The Church of Pentecost, Apostle Dr. Daniel Okyere Walker, has observed that the only way for humanity to receive the crown of salvation is by believing in the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Speaking at the Tarkwa zone Easter convention held on the theme, “Jesus Christ; The Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25-26), Apostle Dr. Walker, who is also a Member of the Executive Council of the church, drew believers’ attention to the story of the death and resurrection of Lazarus which was an occasion in which Jesus revealed himself as the Resurrection and the Life.
According to him, Martha thought the resurrection and life was in the future but did not know that Jesus standing before her was the Resurrection and the Life.
Referencing Philippians 3:10, he indicated that knowing Christ is loving him, following him, fulfilling his word, and also participating in his sufferings.
He gave ten stages of the sufferings of Christ which every believer would one way or the other identified themselves with.
The first stage he mentioned was the prayer at Gethsemane. According to him, the physical and spiritual sufferings of Christ began in Gethsemane. Jesus was sorrowful and troubled (Matt 26:37),his sweat was like drops of blood (Luke 22:44). He, therefore, admonished believers to be strong in prayer and fasting.
The second stage was the mockery that Jesus had to endure. He said that Jesus was arrested and manhandled, while his disciples fled and abandoned him. The people slapped his face and struck him (Matt 26:67), blindfolded and spate on him, and brought him before Caiaphas and the Jewish Council for trial.
Apostle Dr. Walker indicated that sometimes believers can go through some humiliating situations in life but “we must dare to be different by sharing in Christ’s mockery. if you fail to share in his suffering, you will fail to share in his glory and the way to the crown is through the cross.”
The third stage was the trial by Pilate. According to Apostle Walker, Justice was traversed when Barabbas was released (Matt 27:21) and Jesus convicted.
The fourth stage was flogging. Apostle Dr. Walker demonstrated how Jesus was stripped and stretched against a pillar with hands tied, while two soldiers did the whipping. The whip tore his flesh and cut his veins (Isaiah 53:5).
The fifth stage was the crown of thorns that was forced on his head which went deep into his skull.
The sixth stage was the carrying of the cross to Golgotha. He mentioned that because the cross was made of a heavy beam, Jesus became exhausted along the way and fell severally. Simon of Cyrene was finally asked to help him.
The crucifixion was the seventh stage, describing it as a barbaric act. Apostle Dr. Walker noted that Jesus was placed on the ground and laid on the cross with arms stretched and a heavy square wrought iron was driven through his hands and his feet.
The eighth was the insults and thirst stage which, he indicated, was a pathetic spectacle to watch as blood-streaked from Jesus, covered with wounds and exposed to public ridicule. He revealed that Jesus experienced hours of bodily pain, fatigue in the arms and cramps in the muscles and felt intense thirst and cried for water but was given vinegar. He added that passersby insulted him including the criminal hanging on his left hand.
The last but one stage was the separation from the Father. At this stage, he said, Jesus cried to the Father(Matt 27:46). He told believers that sharing in Christ’s suffering may sometimes seem like “we are being separated from God, but our victory is assured at the end if we remain steadfast in him.”
The last stage was the victory cry when Jesus uttered his final words in John 19:30. He explained that Christ could have died from the pain of suffering before getting to the cross, but there was a statement he had to make, that is “It is finished.”
In conclusion, Apostle Dr. Daniel Okyere Walker urged Christians to share in the suffering of Christ as stated in 1 Peter 2:21-23.
The Tarkwa Area of The Church of Pentecost began the Easter convention on Wednesday, April 13. The conventions were held in four zones, namely Tarkwa Zone, Nsuta Zone, Aboso Valley Zone, and Nsuaem zone. The following districts also held theirs on district level: Tarkwa PIWC, Wassa Simpa, Wassa Benso and Gwira Eshiem districts.
Report by Tarkwa Area Media Team.