- Religion and Philosophy
Increasing Suicide Rate and How Jesus Can Save You
The Holy Week is the commemoration of Jesus Christ's passion and love for the people. For Catholics, it's that time of the year to relive this passion and reflect on the sacrifices of Christ for our sake. It is when we witness again the life Jesus has lived and how He established His church through a very strong foundation that is love.
The gospel leading through Jesus' death has a lot of life lessons. However, there is this one part which is very pertinent to modern times. This is suicide. The cases of suicide are so high, even alarming, and suicide affects almost all age groups. Did Christ teach us how to handle this? How can the Bible be of significance to suicide? Is there a way to prevent one person to do this?
The Case of Suicide
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention AFSP), in 2013 a person dies by suicide every 12.8 minutes. It ranks 10th in the leading causes of death in the US. The group with the highest suicide rate is the 45 to 64 year-old age group followed by the elderly. A lower suicide rate is observed in the younger groups. There has been no change that men is more likely to commit suicide than women over many years. On a bigger scale, India is the nation with the highest number of suicide cases as reported by India Times.
The Story of the 2 Apostles
On the last supper, Jesus told his disciples about his death. He told them about how he will die and how he will be betrayed by one of his followers. This news would bring so much horror to His disciples knowing that the person they happen to serve and love would die. Who would have thought that the son of God would die? What would the other disciples feel that one of them of them would sell his Lord in exchange for meager pieces of silver? Even though Jesus knew who will betray him, he did not tell them. On the day He was captured, the brothers knew then that it was Judas Escariot.
Also during the last supper, Peter said that he will never leave Jesus' side. To this, Jesus only said that Peter will deny Him three times before the rooster crows. Denying Jesus did Peter do, indeed, when on the day of Jesus' capture, some bystanders came up to him and accused him being one of Jesus' men. The rooster crowed and he remembered Jesus words. In the end, he wept bitterly.
The Bible and Suicide
We all know that Judas hanged himself in the end. He was too consumed by self pity and, probably, depression. He always loved Jesus but he gave in to his desire for wealth. My reflection is that he could not forgive himself for what he has done and there was no other way left for him. He could not ask the forgiveness from his brothers because of fear and pride.
On the other hand, Peter acknowledged his mistake and made up for it. He realized that his love for Jesus is greater than his pride. His heart was filled with love and acceptance, and his faith in Jesus never left him. He was able to forgive himself and did not let self pity take the best out of him. The result was that he was able to redeem himself. Later on, Peter lived the life Jesus has lived and spread the good news. He even died the same death as Jesus, and this time, he never denounced his love for Jesus. Peter became Jesus' rock and the father of His church.
Every day, we are faced with situations that we think are too impossible to get away. There are times that we are given so many hardships that we want to end our sufferings and just die. But if we learn to have Jesus in our hearts, we can always say that there is no problem too hard to handle. We have to accept our mistakes as Peter did and free ourselves from self pity. If we have Jesus in us, we know that He will accept us and forgive us. He will always love us no matter how grave our sins are. If Judas believed that there was redemption in his sin and sought Jesus, then his end won't be that way. When faced with many obstacles, we can save ourselves by praying and seeking Jesus' help.
I understand that this is just my view and that others may have other opinion on this matter. The Bible holds a lot of meaning and anyone can have their own interpretation of what they have read. To each his own, they say. I share the same idea above to a group of friends and they, too, thought that this is particularly relatable to suicide. However, I am open to other interpretation and will greatly appreciate if you share yours in the comments section below.