Easter Sunday has the tag, “He is Alive.” This tag is special to me for two hallmarking events and its impact in my life; My Brother who passed to paradise in glory a few years back had a resurrection experience in his short sojourn on earth. My Lord who walked almighty on earth defined himself as God in resurrection.
Lt. Zhazotuo Ziitso was my brother for two (too) short but supernatural years on earth. He now smiles in glory with the risen Lord whom he loved on earth. This brother of mine was different and unique from my other younger brothers, in a good way. He has the face of an angel and many times fairer than all of us brothers. His smile shone brighter and better with a well deep dimple that can consume and contain all sorrow of the beholder. He was the calmest baby ever. His maturity and faith preceded his age and that amused and amazed me the most.
I saw his faith rising up the horizon when he was just 1 (one) year old. Apparently it was a bizarre and exotic relationship that I didn’t want to miss even when I was a 13 year old uncertain Christian. He knew Jesus personally (acted that way) which is quite a catch for a 1 year old baby. He prayed frequently at his own accord. To use Paul’s term he prayed without ceasing. We never knew what he prayed, all we knew was he was online with the Divine. He loves going to church and loves people who prays. He had an unusual burden for my Dad, who had an estranged relationship with the Lord. He cried and dried his duct when Dad was into things which were unsuitable for a Christian. But he was as happy as a lark when Dad went to church or prayed at home. These experiences were far removed from normal to be real for a 1 year old boy. I look back today and have no explanation than to accept it as a good exception.
When he was 7 months old, My Mom and Dad took him to a Jhum cultivation. It was a bright hot sunny day. As my parents were busy cultivating, he started crying. He cried harder than never that day. He could not be soothed. My Mom tried to breastfeed him (panacea for babies) but he rebuffed the offer. My Mom knew this was no normal crying, something has gone real wrong with the baby. She called Dad and they caravan home. His duct dried because of crying but he continued to yell in pain. My Mom and Dad tried every trick in the book to soothe him but to no avail. Upon no choice they took him to Naga Hospital, Kohima. The doctors were left flabbergast. They have no gram of idea what was wrong with the baby. At the hospital he started to convulse. No medicine could stop the convulsion.
For 6 days all he did was crying and convulsion. On the morning of the 7th day, he stopped crying, his convulsion stopped. My Mom was thrilled and thought to herself, “the medicine worked, at last.” Her joy lasted only for a few minutes. She realized there was no movement in the child. She went near his face to sense his breath but the air was at ease. She tried his heart with her hand but felt no pump. Tears flooding her cheeks she gave her distress call. The nurse rushed in. Tried all they could but the baby boy went far away. The head nurse turn to my anxious hardly breathing Mom and gave the news she hated to hear. My mom was stunned in numb. The nurse removed the tubes fixed to his body, changed his clothes and covered him with deadly white cloth (how ironic).
Worst coming to worst, the Naga Student Federation called a bandh that day. No movement was allowed, be it on the pavement or on the road. But the hospital authorities entreat my parents to take the body home, with sympathy though. My shattered Mom with the heaviest heart cried and sat at the edge of the cot where the body was laid. She couldn’t believe or accept that her baby boy was dead. She cried and shouted up to the heavens. She was as desperate and pathetic as Hagar in the desert without water and her son dying of thirst. My Mom cried to God, “My God, why do you allow this shame on me? Why do you allow shame upon shame? (Her son died and she cannot take the body home but the authorities demanded otherwise) You are the God of Miracles, I plea for a Miracle.” She prayed earnestly for the next 30-40 minutes. All of a sudden, she saw some movement under the white ironic deadly cloth. In thrill and gratitude she sprung up and shouted, “He is Alive, He is Alive.” Stunned, the nurses rushed in again and saw the boy breathing. They immediately fixed the useless tubes on my brother. The doctors together with the hospital authority had no explanation. They just shrugged in indecision.
The prophecy and promised of Jesus in John 11:25-26 where Jesus said, “… I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in me will never die…” was fulfilled again. My Mom believed and her son was brought back to life. My Brother lived miraculously for another 15 months. After his resurrection and restoration of health, one healthy morning my Mom picked my brother to change his clothes, the clothes given by the nurse deeming he was dead. To her sheer surprise she saw a finger print on the skull of my brother. I saw it myself; some parts of his head went bald forming the print of fingers. No wonder, the doctors failed in diagnosis. He convulsed because it was no mere fever but his head was squeezed by an evil heartless spirit. But God sent his good good Spirit and saved my brother. I marveled when my Mom told me that the convulsion never occurred again after his resurrection.
My brother passed to paradise after 15 months of his coming back to life. I could not believe it. I was hoping for another resurrection. I saw it in my dream that he was brought back to life. I hope against his death. Even after his body was laid in the grave and concreted above, I still kept the hope. I had this feeling that I will see him again, and will play with him. I never lose the hope of seeing him again. I did moved on but kept the hope with me as a young boy. Today I am thrilled that I kept the hope. Yes and Amen, and indeed I will see him again in glory. I am cast iron sure he is with the good Lord, who is the resurrection and the life. My brother lives even when he died because he believed in Christ. Now, I am guaranteed by the Holy Spirit that I will see my brother in glory.
The story of resurrection is centrally pivotal to our faith. In the first century when some skeptics challenged the idea of resurrection after death, Paul responded, “Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty…. For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins” (1Co 15:12-17). The resurrection of Christ then guarantees the resurrection of believers, validates preaching, gives meaning to faith and assures the forgiveness of sin.
I will resurrect when my time comes because Christ resurrected first. My faith is neither in vain nor my hope. Paul nailed it when he said, “19 For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone. 20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man.” (1Co 15:19-22).
All to say, Jesus is Alive. Blessed Easter Sunday!