A Baha'i tribute to Jesus and his followers as Easter approaches
Published March 20, 1999
Baha'is believe that there is only one God. And they believe that from that one God come all the world's major religions. Every religion of God has its own distinctive holy days. Easter is the oldest and most important for Christians. Baha'is do not celebrate it, but we do hold the spirit of Easter dear.
Easter is a holy day of reflection, thoughtfulness and reverence on the occasion of the anniversary of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We commemorate it with our Christian relatives and friends in the spirit of love and unity.
Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith, glorified Christ in the most moving and majestic terms. On the subject of the signs of Jesus' appearing, He writes:
"When the hour of the Revelation of Jesus drew nigh, a few of the Magi, aware that the star of Jesus had appeared in heaven, sought and followed it till they came unto the city which was the seat of the Kingdom of Herod. The sway of his sovereignty in those days embraced the whole of that land."
He recounts the familiar story, speaking of the star as a sign in the "visible heaven" that led the Magi to seek Jesus and worship Him.
"As to the sign in the invisible heaven -- the heaven of divine knowledge and understanding -- it was Yahya [John], son of Zachariah, who gave unto the people the tidings of the Manifestation of Jesus. Even as He hath revealed: 'God announceth Yahya to thee, who shall bear witness unto the Word from God, and a great one and chaste' (Quran 3:39). By the term 'Word' is meant Jesus, Whose coming Yahya foretold." The Gospel of St. Matthew (3:1,2) is quoted to similar effect.
In another tribute to Christ, Baha'u'llah writes: "Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things."
Where does Baha'u'llah find that "fresh capacity" flourishing? In the wisdom of sages, in the arts, in human learning, in the influence of "the most potent rulers." All of those things, He writes, "are but manifestations of the quickening power released by ... [Christ's] transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit."
When Christ came into the world, "He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things." Human beings recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. The unchaste found healing. The blind were made to see. Sinners' souls were sanctified.
"He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him."
Finally, Baha'u'llah eulogizes the station of Christ, Who has been "exalted above the imaginings of all that dwell on earth."
'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah's son and the authorized interpreter of His writings, describes that station as one of absolute perfection.
We wish all the best for our dear Christian brothers and sisters. Our prayers and greetings are with you and all our fellow citizens as we approach the celebration of Easter.
Kambiz Rafraf is chairman of the Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Dallas.
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