Tuesday, 25 August 2020

All Lives Matter

Scripture: Colossians 3 v 6 - 11: "For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

If we are "in Christ" we are a New Creation.  A whole new kind of being that lives above the law, shuns sin and is not subject to this world system of politics, rules and segregation of people based on race or colour.  A being that is renewed in knowledge and must walk in that knowledge of love, truth and forgiveness.

Religions have their own codes which do not gel with each other.  In Christianity even Jews lose their laws and religion of the Old Testament to follow the New.  They no longer have to sacrifice animals and sprinkle their blood on the holy place as atonement for sin. They no longer have to be circumcised to be in a covenant relationship with God. The Blood of Jesus wipes all that away.

At the moment of His death on Golgotha, the 4 inch  thick curtain, interwoven with gold making it impenetrable, which shut off the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple in Jerusalem, split from top to bottom during a great earthquake.   Only the High Priest could enter once a year on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, to sprinkle sacrificed blood on the Ark of the Covenant.

Pastor Sam Telchin, a Jewish convert to Christianity, wrote a book called Betrayed.  His eldest daughter had become a born again Christian and he was so devastated that he decided to study the New Testament to be able to argue her out of it.  His moment of truth arrived when he pleaded with God concerning circumcision which symbolises suffering and death, a cutting off.  When did God bleed, and when did God die, he cried?  Because in a covenant both sides must give and take equally.  He was shown a vision of Jesus on the Cross.  Then he believed.

A wonderful Christian man once told me that he asked God how the High Priest, ritually cleansed and robed to offer the blood sacrifice in the Holy Place once a year, got through the curtain which was secured on both sides. It was too heavy to be lifted and crawled under, which also seemed very irreligious.  

The Lord revealed to him that the High Priest was translated through the curtain to the other side supernaturally.  This man had a visiting Rabbi in his congregation one day and asked him if this was true.  The Rabbi was shocked that such a closely guarded secret had been told to a Gentile.  He said the High Priest would find himself on the other side of the curtain and when his time was up, be taken through the curtain again.

But now the death of Jesus Christ has opened the way into the Holy Place, and by A.D.70 the Temple was destroyed.   Jews and Gentiles are all welcome to be in fellowship with our Father.

Access to the Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is now open to all who believe in the only begotten Son of God.  He is the express image of our Father and the Saviour of the world.  All lives matter to Him for He died for all.

In Him there is no race, no gender, no slaves, no free we are all one in His Body.  The current obsession with Black Lives Matter is part of a Communist agenda to foster anarchy, especially in the USA in an election year.  It started with the death of one black man by a cop, it seems, according to the defence attorney, he was kneeling on his neck to prevent him committing suicide from a lethal dose of a drug he had put in his mouth.  Sadly, that backfired.

Now, this weekend in Wisconsin, another black man, Jacob Blake, was shot seven times in the back by a cop.  Thankfully, he survived and is recovering in hospital.  It has, of course, reignited an already volatile situation, and one wonders when the cops will learn that all lives matter.  Especially to Jesus our Lord.  No matter your colour or status in society, your life is precious to Him.

Racism comes from the pit of Hell and is stirred up to divide and conquer.  Satan seeks to keep up the false enmity to prevent unity in the Body of Christ.  While there is suspicion, mistrust, hatred, persecution and unnecessary deaths, harmony is out of the window.  Love one another as I have loved you is right behind it.

Every person has the potential to repent and be born again.  Therefore, no matter who or what they are, they are one step from being our family, our brother or sister, to whom we should give the opportunity of meeting Jesus.

Many years ago I saw a movie based on a true story, can't remember its name, but it concerned a Christian retreat where strangers could visit, take Communion, hear a sermon and have a meal.  One of the workers, a lady, had been raped five years before and one Sunday the man who raped her arrived for Communion.  He must have recognised her because he took a basin of water and washed her feet.  She could have denounced him but chose to forgive him as he gave his life to Jesus that day.

God forgives every atrocity of man, everything we ever did that hurt Him, and He expects us to be like-minded.  We must forgive those who have wronged us, if they repent and ask for forgiveness.  

Corrie ten Boom had to forgive the Nazi Commandant of the death camp she and her sister were kept at.  She was miraculously released one day before her sister was gassed.  She would have been with her.  He came to one of her meetings not knowing her at all but she recognised him.  He came forward to receive salvation and she felt contempt and bitterness towards him.  Jesus had to first deal with her and release her from her own demons before she could pray with this former cruel killer Nazi.

So it is with every other situation, no matter how difficult, we must forgive when asked.  All lives matter to God and we are not the judge, jury and executioners.  We are above the law as New Creations, and we can bring others to the same level, and need to spread the Gospel so they may hear and respond.

When lives end there are only two destinations for those souls.  Heaven, if Jesus is your Lord, and Hell, if He is not.  Those who have been forgiven of grievous sins, have the most gratitude.  Do not deny God the blessing of having these prodigal people back in His Kingdom.  What you do to others will be done to you.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, You forgave my sins and set my feet upon the Rock.  You opened Your Word and sent the Holy Spirit to teach me.  I love You and worship You in Spirit and truth.  This is the beautiful life and I want every soul Jesus died for to enjoy this life too.  Revive us O Lord and give us the capacity to forgive to the uttermost so that Heaven may rejoice.  In Jesus' name.  Amen.