“A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.’’ Mahatma Gandhi on Jesus.
This is how Gandhi the Hindu, understood the death of Jesus. How do you, the Christian understand the crucifixion?
Gandhi never believed that his soul was saved by the crucifixion of Jesus. His point was that a mindset to sacrifice oneself for the good of many is a perfect thing. A Presbyterian Moderator told me in January 2016 that, ‘’Charlie, kɛ oyana dade fio yɛ Australia, kaaba fite yɛ Ghana nɔ’’ to wit, ‘’my friend, if you have made some small money in Australia, don’t come and waste it on Ghana?’’ The leader of the largest ‘’Christian denomination in Ghana never understood the central message of Christ. Gandhi did.
Let me share my thoughts and experiences on the crucifixion with you.
Responsibility and forgiveness – Jesus was crucified in between 2 thieves. One was sarcastic to him but the other took responsibility for his action and then pleaded for mercy. He received immediate forgiveness from the Son of God. “Tonight, we shall meet in Paradise,” Christ said to him.
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Let me give a personal example. I went to Osu Presby Boys Primary in Ghana. It was a full day school. We went to morning and afternoon classes –‘’leebi kɛ shwane.’’ The L/A schools ran shifts; Salem 1 would attend school in the morning, and Salem 2 would go in the afternoon for their shift. The boys school built by the foreign Christian missionaries was giving better education than schools built by the nationalist government of Ghana.
I was 6years in class 1 in early 1973. I had come home for lunch before going for my afternoon classes. Next to our house in Ashante Klamɔ were my friends – Nii Noi, Dimedo, Yaw, Tawia. They all attended L/A schools, so they had closed for the day. I went to play with them and forgot I had to go back to school.
Klamɔ was one big community; houses were stack together, no walls, no fences, no nothing. People just walked across your house to their house. I heard my grandmother calling me to go to school. I would not mind her. School was about 500m away and we all walked to school on our own. You would be laughed at if someone led you to school. Ino be easy oo!!
Next thing, I heard my grandmother’s footsteps, she was coming to grab me. I took a stone and threw it in her direction. Like David, the stone hit her uncovered forehead and gush! blood started pouring out. To everyone’s surprise, I rushed to our room, brought out a cane and gave it to my grandmother to beat me for my sin. Passersby consoled both myself and her my best friend ever. She just said, ‘’iwu ehi, kɛ cane aya ŋmɛ shi, ni oya school’’ translated, ‘’my husband (dear), it’s ok, go and put the cane down and go to school. I bolted to school like Usain.
Like the criminal, I fully accepted responsibility for my actions and my grandmother fully forgave me like Jesus did. In fact, she was more concerned about my education than her injury. Klamɔ still talks about this incident. My sense of personal responsibility has remained the same. I call it the GOLGATHA Principle.
For president Rawlings of Ghana once said, ‘’leave my men alone, I am responsible for everything’’ these words saved him then and perhaps might be responsible for the cool way he died after all his mistakes.
Good Friday is not about sending posters around. It is about taking responsibility for your mistakes and asking for mercy. There is paradise for you if you man up and do the right thing.
Good Friday to you all.
Written by Nii Amu Darko | President, ARM | 02/04/2021