(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on April 9, 2017.)
Jesus Christ was born man amidst very humble beginnings. He lived for 33 years on a planet called Earth, but in His rather short life, he did a few remarkable feats deemed miracles by His faithful followers.
If our count is correct, He performed no less than five miracles, although there were claims He likewise cured the sick, made the blind see, and rid lepers of their scourge.
The following are His better known miracles:
Changing water into wine during a wedding at Cana
Oh, as an aside, it is said that was His own wedding, (presumably to Mary Magdalene, but which came first, Cana, or Jesus saving Mary Magdalene from being stoned by an angry mob) since His mother worried about the wine running out, something that invited guests would not trouble themselves with, so it was Mary, acting as host, who informed her son about the wine no longer flowing.
But then Mary was such a kindhearted soul, ever ready to help others in distress, significant or trivial, like wine no longer pouring.
Unbelievers argue, however, that even so, Jesus was not the Son of God, there being no God or a Supreme Being capable of creating an entire world. Maybe he was an alien from outer space, or someone who managed to travel from the future to the past.
Quite easy for a being like that to change the color and taste of the water by just dropping powdered Jello. A guest who had one too many would never notice the difference.
Walking on water
An alien or time traveler would know about the gravity of the moon causing sea water to recede, so Jesus actually waded through shallow waters during low tide. But were not the soles of His feet on the water?
Multiplying bread and fish
This miracle was said to have happened during Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
The explanation given is that you stock up on food when you expect a large multitude to attend your sermon, half believers, half just curious.
The only way you can keep the crowd from dispersing when they are feeling hot and hungry is to bring out the food prepared earlier.
No one actually saw Jesus multiply the fish and loaf, but Jesus was not a magician with props, and the last thing He would do is to trick His faithful followers.
Miracle or whatever, the people didn’t go home hungry. They needed to be fed, and so they were.
Bringing Lazarus back from the dead
As the sisters of Lazarus Mary and Martha told Jesus, His friend died because He wasn’t around.
This implies that Jesus was aware of Lazarus’ sickly condition. Lazarus was epileptic and suffered an attack that made him comatose.
It was only a matter of time when Lazarus would recover, and at the first stirring of movement, Jesus commanded Lazarus to rise, who then opened his eyes, and was soon back on his feet.
The resurrection of Jesus
This is the miracle that belies all the silly arguments regarding His earlier miracles.
Surprised and even afraid that Jesus or His body was no longer in His tomb, these eyewitnesses would later meet and see Jesus along the road, and were amazed that His body bore no blemishes, no open wound on His ribcage pierced by the spear of a Roman centurion, and there was a radiance about Him that they couldn’t explain or even describe.
The question is asked, however, why was His body entombed and not just wrapped in a blanket to be thrown in the forest or desert and be devoured by scavenging wolves, He being a charlatan and all.
Mary, Jesus’ mom, made all the necessary arrangements for Her son to be given a proper burial, including the site of His final resting place. Her request was not denied by the guilt stricken Roman authorities, having earlier condemned an innocent man to His death.
For one who suffered crucifixion thrice, the first during the Agony in the Garden, knowing how much He would suffer at the hands of His tormentors; the second was when He was nailed to the cross that He carried all the way to Mount Cavalry; and the third and most painful of all, the people that He suffered and died for to redeem them from sin continue to betray Him with their lust and greed for wealth and power.
Ah, but even Peter denied the Lord three times, and told Peter so – as the cock would crow thrice, and He likewise knew that Judas would betray Him with a kiss.
So, is there still hope for mankind? Only with the second coming of Christ.
Today, Palm Sunday marks the start of the Holy Week. Remember, dear faithful, that repentance alone, without amending your life, will not bring you to Paradise.
And for all your skepticism and lack of faith, Jesus has made your heart His abode.
No way you can evict Him.
Have a truly Holy Week!