UI – Part 528 – Open Up Your Eyes in Wonder
What is our purpose?
What is the result of our dying? Have you ever considered it? Have you ever imagined? Or is your slate blank, empty, devoid of what next? If so, I ask why? Why were we born?
Living is a wonder in itself. From birth, childhood, teen and maturing years, we attain adulthood. Responsibilities increase as we go through the process and achieve independence. Independent, do we choose our next steps or rely on others? That is not a negative if in what you do is to serve, your employer, community or other organization. Being productive is not making something, at least not tangible, but doing something. Idle hands and minds, oft said, are destined for trouble.
Why deny God? When one observes their surroundings there is much to behold. Yes there are dirty streets and trash strewn areas, there are dangerous no-go zones inhabited by marauders, thieves and those protecting their turf, a collaborative of biased persons defending, a lawless community. They seek to do as they please, but having their own laws what they do may not be pleasing to others; the others are unwelcome which too often includes police and emergency services. These tend to be Godless domains with a leader as judge and jury, often drug infested, or restrictive and oppressive towards women, and lesser persons, that live among them. Those living within are to be totally obedient to their superiors.
On earth we may find disagreement with others. This is not a bad thing. What is necessary is a proper defense, an apologetic, to make clear our position. We will face those in total refusal, just like those that deny God. They will always be with us. What is needed is an open mind and an objective consideration of the facts. Any blindness caused by enmity towards others is out of fear of being in error. Being right is not always right. Accept there will be opinions, but know and understand foundations upon which items such as law and order are erected. When bias and intolerance overshadows reality the resulting chaos can be damaging to everyone. If a person cannot be the better person, calm and collected, but is disruptive and violent, they are doing the devils work; they are biting the poisoned apple, not knowing the damage they are doing. They may not be aware of the forgiveness God has provided.
As stated in the Bible, Romans 1:20, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made known, so that men are without excuse,” which then goes on to say (Romans 1:21), “although thy knew God they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts darkened.”
This Week’s about Dying
This week is also about dying. Jesus Christ came to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday riding a donkey. He was hailed by many who saw him as a possible king, one who could take on the Roman occupiers and improve conditions for the citizens. But he chose a donkey over a horse, which you would expect a king to ride. He was never superior. Many wanted to see this man who the week before, in Bethel, raised a man, Lazarus, from the dead. Jesus arrived knowing he would never leave. He was about to die. He knew it. It was foretold. Jesus, God, came to earth so others, all mankind, could know him, have a relationship with him. He is an example. He was never tempted, never sinned, and was perfect. Islam recognizes these traits of Jesus, whom they call Isa.
Not thinking about death is one thing, but everyone, I believe considers their plight. There are those who seek to be remembered, trying hard to make a name for themselves. The Press speaks about the Legacy of Presidents. What is it they leave behind? Scientists want a discovery named in their honor. Donors to private schools, hospitals, the arts, and more seldom give without their name inscribed on a plaque, at least in a pamphlet listing those who contributed. Having your name, your family name on a structure, provides status, a position in society of greater importance than others. Those donors are thinking about what remains of them after they leave this planet.
Important to some is a crown, as a false prophet, or monarch or theocrat whose head covering depicts their authority, their education or the importance of what they say. Jesus was made to wear a crown of thorns, the Roman soldiers charged with his punishment, seeing this as the picture of a defeated king, his back split open and bleeding due to the scourging he received, placed it upon him. He was made a mockery of by those who felt superior. Was this in reality a defense against the words, the truth, he had spoken and an attempt to cover their guilt for killing an innocent man. He was to die, the next step, on a cross. He was made, already broken and bleeding, to carry his own cross. There were crowds gathered. Some cheering, but most a-gasp at the treatment he was receiving. To Golgotha he carried this instrument of his demise. At the site he was nailed, a spike through his wrists and ankles, through the bone to make for a better hold on the cross.
Jesus was to die, but not like you or me. He was to die for you and me.
Jesus came to earth as son of man and son of God. He lived as a man on earth. He would die as a man. But after he died. The solders made sure he was dead. There were witnesses that knew Jesus that could confirm his death. Without question those that wanted him dead made sure he was dead He was placed in a tomb, that of a wealthy merchant who made it available for Jesus. Attendants were careful and thoughtful placing Jesus’ body in its resting place inside the tomb. A large stone, too heavy and difficult for one man, let alone two, was used to seal the tomb.
Guards were placed to insure no one would tamper with the grave. Yet, three days later the tomb was discovered to be empty. The shroud used to cover Jesus body the only thing left on the slab upon which his body was laid. Jesus took it upon himself to endure the punishment for the sins of man. We all sin, and must be judged, but Jesus, Christ, assumed our role, was punished instead. God provided forgiveness for all mankind, those who believe and are justified in Christ’s death and resurrection.
Creation – Real?
Those of us today who live and enjoy the universe in which we are blessed to live and die cannot ignore, even though many try very hard, that what we have is unique. It was created from a void. Stephen Hawkins, recently deceased, recognized that earth began in an instant, but made claim that it was spontaneous. How can that possibly be? It was the cover for his own picture of earth and all that encompasses our world. But to start a fire, you need a match. You also need oxygen and the composite materials of the match, and a striking device. There was none of that. What there was, was the creative hand of a Supernatural Being. It was a divine moment. Creation happened when God spoke; he spoke time and space into existence. Christ’s death and resurrection was also a divine moment.
The failure of man to be totally obedient to God engendered God’s wrath, even though he still loved his creation. The first man would have lived forever having no disease, no aging, and no guilt or shame. That is until man was tempted by God’s fallen angel, Satan, who informed the humans that what God forbade would have no effect. If it looks good, smells good, then taste it, eat it. But as soon as that happened, guilt appeared. Nakedness caused embarrassment and required a cover-up. The humans died Spiritually. They died Physically, as the aging process was to begin. And they died Eternally, never to continue to live side-by-side with God. They were condemned by their own actions.
Corrective Action Taken
Jesus came to make man right with God anew. The wrath of god is well depicted in the Bible. That is what those who deny and are disobedient to God will suffer. But for those made right, justified in believing Christ’s life, death and resurrection, can atone for their sins and be assured that when they die there will be a life eternal for them.
Jesus walked the earth, as the Risen Lord, for almost two months. He was witnessed by hundreds and hundreds. When he ascended into heaven, as he promised, the spirit of the Lord, the Holy Spirit, came to dwell in those who accepted.
Easter is this Sunday. Become aware of the wonder of God, the words spoken by God in the pages of the Bible, of a life that is available to you and me after this life. I believe there can be a life on earth too, one of peace, but man must try and overcome any hatred, intolerance and sense of self-righteousness they possess. This is possible with the help of Jesus, with daily devotions, listening to sermons based upon the Bible, and an open heart for God’s wonders.
Open your eyes. All that is wonderful is right before you. Open your eyes in wonder.
Happy Easter. Christ is Risen. Christ is Risen, Indeed!
Just imagine what it will be like to be face to face with God. What will you do? Why take the chance that such will never happen?
Grace and Peace