Among the 12 months of the year, December seems to be the most Joyful month celebrated with promp and pageantry. This is simply because it is the month that witnessed the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ. But unfortunately, our Christian optimism of having been redeemed in his vicarions suffering and death on the cross cannot escape the challenge thrown by the continued presence evil and suffering in the world.
This is a challenge precipitated by certain hypothetical questions regarding the salvafic implications of Christ vicarions suffering and death. That is to say; if Jesus came to deliver us from our negative predicaments-sin, suffering, agony, death and eternal loss; if Jesus came that we might have life and have it to the full (Jn.10:10); if after his paschal Event, that mission for which he came was well accomplished; and if now we are the redeemed people of God, Children of the new covenant, the new priesthood, the people set apart to glorify God in his victory over evil; if all these are salvific realized realities, why then is it that the evil, weaknesses and turmoil that beset the pre-Christian world are still the same story with Christians? To put it more nakedly; why even with Jesus, are we still suffering, in pains, agonizing, dying and some still getting lost?
For more clarifications, it is very obvious that in concrete daily life, we are still immersed in the vagaries of the negative human condition. The difficulties and mental travail that have come to be the lot of people in Somalia, Sierra-Leone, Iraq, and even the tast Timorese where cries of woe are daily renting the air, and where people are daily massacred and some other left in conditions under which death is much more preferable.
The awful experiences of our fathers especially during the Nigerian Biafran war, when the sledgehammer of kwashiorkor and ethnic parochialism almost dealt a decisive blow on the entire Biafran populace. Even in this recent time, the chaos and disasters are increasingly becoming unbearable. For several times we have heard the news of earthquakes over the countries like Japan, China and Turkey, hemming a great clank of the entire population into unprepared graves and leaving many others childless, fatherless or motherless. The facts that six million Jews were gassed into death for no other crime that they were Jews, would draw the curtain open into a deep agony and hopelessness of the Jews during the holocaust.
In all these hanging blow of itchy circumstances, how can we comprehend the sterling contribution of the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been redeemed. Perhaps, there could be a difference between the sufferings of old, without Jesus, and sufferings of the new covenant with and in Jesus. We can’t wait for next week to reveal the difference if any.