I didn’t know Nelson Mendela was a Christian. Ironically, I guess his larger-than-life figure overshadowed his (deliberate) subtle demonstration of his faith, which is quite necessary. I really didn’t pay much attention to this great man’s faith; other than from the news reports, his winning of the Nobel prize and then the moving movie Invictus (2009) depicting the true story of a wise president who brought the fractured country back starting with a game. What drove him to do what he did?
With his passing to be with The Lord, his life left a legacy of forgiveness and love. He is the prime example how we can live life marked with Christ, even in the midst of the extreme oppressions, chaos and violence.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15
Let’s remember him by his words; extracted when Mr Mandela spoken at the Zionist Christian Church’s Easter Conferences 1992/94:
“The Good News borne by our risen Messiah who chose not one race, who chose not one country, who chose not one language, who chose not one tribe, who chose all of humankind!
“Each Easter marks the rebirth of our faith. It marks the victory of our risen Savior over the torture of the cross and the grave.
“Our Messiah, who came to us in the form of a mortal man, but who by his suffering and crucifixion attained immortality.
“Our Messiah, born like an outcast in a stable, and executed like criminal on the cross.
“Our Messiah, whose life bears testimony to the truth that there is no shame in poverty: Those who should be ashamed are they who impoverish others.
“Whose life testifies to the truth that there is no shame in being persecuted: Those who should be ashamed are they who persecute others.
“Whose life proclaims the truth that there is no shame in being conquered: Those who should be ashamed are they who conquer others.
“Whose life testifies to the truth that there is no shame in being dispossessed: Those who should be ashamed are they who dispossess others.
“Whose life testifies to the truth that there is no shame in being oppressed: Those who should be ashamed are they who oppress others.”
- Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013