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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, March 30, 2002

Easter and aloha share spiritual tie

By Tim Moynihan

Easter celebrates Christ's crucifixion and resurrection — and Easter eggs and bunnies.

But to the born-again believer, there is much more to the story. Easter also celebrates the death of our old life and of the new life we receive when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

Romans 5:8 (NKJV) states, "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." "Demonstrates" means "proves," and God proves he loves us by sending his Divine Son, Jesus, to die for us.

Many people accept that God forgives them of sinful acts, but God has gone beyond that. Christ died for us while we were still sinners. What separates us from God is not that we have committed sins but that we are sinners; in other words, nobody has to sin to be called a sinner.

The miracle of Easter is that Jesus died for us, and that we were also crucified with Christ. Romans 6:6 says, " ... Our old man was crucified with Him." Our old life of sin is done away with, and we are "new creatures" in Christ.

Paul wrote that the preaching of "Christ crucified" is a stumbling block to the unbeliever. Probably the hardest thing about giving your life to Christ is the realization that you need to be changed by God. This perhaps is why the Gospel rubs the pride of some people the wrong way.

But we cannot satisfy God nor meet the demands of moral righteousness on our own. We need the crucified Savior, and we need a new life by the Spirit of the Son of God.

Jesus told a Jewish leader, Nicodemus, that "unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God." (John 3:3) Jesus went on to say, "that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit." Jesus was talking about his spirit, the Holy Spirit. We need God's Spirit to change us and give us resurrection life.

Which brings us to the Hawaiian word, "aloha" which means love, affection and charity, but which also contains an Easter message.

Daniel Kikawa, in his book, "Perpetuated in Righteousness," traces the word "aloha" to two older Polynesian words — "alo," which, in old Samoan, means "chief's child" (and in Tongan, "king's son"); and the word "ha" which means breath, spirit or life.

A chief's or king's son, in ancient Polynesian culture, had divine status. So, by saying "aloha," we literally are saying, "The spirit of the Divine Son be with you."

Aloha is a blessing.

So when you hear the word "aloha," think about the miracle of Easter that it might connote. May the Spirit of the Divine Son be with you always.


Tim Moynihan is the Pastor of the Potter's House Christian Fellowship Church in Honolulu.