“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you belie ve and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” (Romans 10:9-10)
Salvation is a belief which sits right from the heart of the Christian religion. When Jesus Christ, son of God, died on the cross, the Bible dictates that, in the act of doing so, he delivered humankind from pain and suffering.
The Bible states that salvation is a gracious, undeserved gift from God (Ephesians 2:5, 8). It’s available only to those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12).
Salvation, also known as ‘deliverance’, promises believers eternal life, full enlightenment and emancipation from the flesh and blood temptations that cause men to falter.
Although the various denominations of Christianity have different opinions on where exactly humanity’s need for salvation stems on, most agree on the doctrine of ‘original sin’ based on the ‘fall of man’ and Adam and Eve’s ejection from the Garden of Eden.
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)
Christianity revolves around hope and faith in Jesus Christ, the savior. The message of salvation was passed down to the rest of humankind by Jesus’ apostles.
Paul, who was not an original disciple and in fact despised Christianity, encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. This dramatic meeting inspired Paul to become the Lord’s most fervent supporter. Therefore he was disseminating the message of salvation through scripture, such as:
“But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (NIV, Romans 3:21-25)
‘and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem‘has led Christians to believe that salvation of the Earth will begin in the Holy City.
The Stone of the Anointing is also often called the Stone of Unction. It can be found just inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains the two most holy Christian sites in Jerusalem, Calvary where Jesus was crucified and
the Stone of the Anointing where his body was prepared for burial by anointing and being wrapped in cloth.
The Stone of the Anointing is of enormous importance to Christians across the world as it was here that Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the newly risen Jesus. She didn’t realize it was him and thought she was speaking to a stranger when she said:
“They have taken my Lord away, and I don’t know where to find him.”
For Christians, this is the most important event in the history of mankind, as it is when death was conquered by Jesus and from that moment on his believers felt they too could defeat death and experience eternal life. The importance of this event is reflected in the importance of the Stone of the Anointing.
Most historians are in agreement that the Stone of the Anointing is the place where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial. Because of this, the stone itself and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are very popular destinations for pilgrims and they have been the scenes of some difficult times throughout history.
The Roman Emperor Hadrian didn’t want a site of such significance to be available to Christians, so he built a temple to the goddess Venus over the holy site in the 2nd Century AD. Around 325 AD the Roman empire had its first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, who oversaw the replacement of the temple by a church.
In 630 AD this church was damaged by a Persian attack and a difficult history of earthquakes, fires and repairs followed.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was totally reconstructed in 1810 and it was at this time that the current Stone of the Anointing was placed where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial.
The Stone of the Anointing remains a very holy pilgrimage site for Christians today. Pilgrims queue to either kiss the stone or rub it with oil or rosewater and then wipe it with a cloth. Priests burn incense around the stone and sometimes people place their own crosses on it in order to transfer the unction or anointing.
Rosewater is used to anoint the Stone of the Anointing because it is a perfume that has traditional use in a number of religions. For example, during Muslim burials rosewater is sprinkled into a grave before burial. Rosewater has in the past been used for the embalming of bodies as it has properties that are good for the skin.
Over hundreds of years, there have been stories of miracles and cures experienced by people who have visited and anointed the Stone of the Anointing. The atmosphere in the Church of the Sepulchre is one of reverence and worship. This is clearly one of the holiest places and somewhere that each and every one of us should consider visiting during our lifetimes.
Resurrection – or the promise of life after death – is integral to Christian belief. As such, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ form the central tenet of Christianity. The gospels of the New Testament don’t just describe the resurrection of Jesus after his crucifixion, they also point to at least one resurrection of humanity, often thought to be on the Day of Judgement.
The term ‘firstfruits’ has been integral in Christian culture as the holy offering of the first fruits of the harvest. The Bible employs this terminology to describe Jesus’ return to life three days after he was laid to rest in the tomb. In Corinthians, it is stated that
“Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]” [1 Corinthians 15:20].
Therefore, Christians believe resurrection to be God’s harvesting of mankind, the first and most important of which was carried out through Christ’s resurrection.
The resurrection of Christ is just the first part of God’s plan. In John, we are told Jesus said,
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” [John 11:25-26].
The emphasis is on God’s intention for humanity’s salvation which too will feature a resurrection since “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” [John 3:16].
However, the Bible also suggests that resurrection does not point to the full assumption of a physical life after death. Instead, Corinthians explains “It is sown a natural [physical] body, it is raised a spiritual body” [1 Corinthians 15:44].
However, The resurrection of humanity cannot take place until what many regard as the Second Coming of Christ. At Judgement Day,
“We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” [1 Corinthians 15:51-52].
There is also some debate as to whether only true Christians will be resurrected in order to enter the Holy Kingdom, or whether both the just and the unjust will be resurrected to face their judgment.
We all know wonderful real-world examples of motherhood, but when we seek inspiration and a figure to model ourselves upon, there is none better than the divine mother herself. A woman worthy of emulation, we can find inspiration in her virtue, and in her unconditional love towards not only her son but humanity as a whole.
You see, when Mary agreed to bear God’s son, she also made a commitment to become our mother too, for we are each united with Jesus in the Mystical Body. Though taken up to Heaven millennia ago, it is in her manifold intercessions that we continue to receive the gift of eternal salvation. To us, she is an advocate, comforter, and benefactress in one single feminine form.
Through the study of her actions and defining traits, every woman can thus gift their children with an upbringing worthy of God: one where we exemplify acceptance, courage, endurance, faith, hope, joy, obedience, patience, strength, and trust.
More, we can learn a lesson in faith, and in teaching this to our children. Mary was asked to endure much – unwed motherhood, the disappointment of her betrothed, the torture and death or her son – and yet she came through all of these with her strength, courage, and faith in God still intact.
With Mary as a model of motherhood, we can thus endure every trial and tribulation that the role of parent thrusts upon us, the joys and the sorrows alike. For when we look to Mary for inspiration, we see that the way that a mother should love: devotedly, devoutly, and with an eternal and unwavering dedication to our faith.
There are several holy sites in today’s Israel, which are sacred to Christians all over the world. Some of them are churches pertaining to the Mother Mary.
The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes known as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is a place of worship in the northern Israeli town of Nazareth. The Annunciation happened there, while Mary was taking water from a spring. Therefore the site features the Grotto of the Annunciation, and some say that Mary’s childhood home was in that cave. Today, there is a modern 20th-century church with two stories at the site. The first shrine at the Church of the Annunciation is said to date back to the 4th century.
The Church of the Assumption which is dated back to the 5th century is also located in Holy Land. According to the Christian tradition, Mary’s Tomb is found in this church. The church is at the bottom of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. There is also a niche which is dedicated to St. Joseph, Mary’s husband. The church is located in Jerusalem’s Old City Walls; not far from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. To the right of the church is a passageway which leads to the Grotto of Gethsemane, which is the site where Jesus gave his last lessons to his disciples.
38 “Then He said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” 39 “And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” 40 “And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour?”According to St. Margaret, Jesus made it clear that He wishes His faithful friends to become partakers of that sorrow unto death which he suffered in the Garden of Olives. His followers should also join with Jesus in the humble prayer which He prayed to His Father at the time.
His followers should also join with Jesus in the humble prayer which He prayed to His Father at the time.
“Every Holy Hour we make so pleases the Heart of Jesus that it will be recorded in Heaven and retold for all eternity.”
Saint Crispoldus was the first Bishop of Bettona in Italy, and he was a native of Jerusalem. According to a legendary story, he was one of the chosen disciples who would save the world (according to Luke 10). Therefore, as one of Jesus’s disciples, he is known for the miracles he did. For example, it is said that he cured a man possessed by a demon. On a different occasion, he cured Valerius, and after that many people turned to Christianity. He is also known to kill a wolf that daunted people, which earned him favor among others.
Saint Crispoldus refused to honor and worship idols; therefore, he was arrested. He persistently refused to offer sacrifice to pagan gods and was finally executed together with his friend. His sister and 12 other women were also arrested when they attempted to give Crispoldus a proper Christian burial. Unfortunately, they were executed.
His memorial is observed on May 12.
Saint Joanna was Chuza’s wife, King Herod Antipa’s steward. Along with Mary and other women, they provided for Jesus and his disciples. Joanna and the other women used their personal resources and connections in different cities and villages in the Holy Land, while Jesus and his disciples travelled and preached.
St. Joanna was also one of the women who came to the tomb with spices to prepare his body for burial. However, by the time she and the other women arrived, they found that the stone had been moved and that the body was missing.
Her feast day is observed on May 24.