Journeying with Christ on Holy Saturday: A message from the grave

As we continue to journey with Christ, today on Holy Saturday, the day after Good Friday, I feel like I am writing from the grave!

The Journey

Beginning with Passion Sunday, riding on a donkey, ” Blessed is he whom comes in the name of the Lord”. And then to Maunday Thursday, with the traditional ” washing of the feet“, and the Institution of the Lord’s Supper, we continued to journey. Leaving the church in silence. Blocking out all the ” news of the day”! Concentrating on Christ and his Passion.

Returning to Church on Good Friday, I heard a deeply moving sermon from my Pastor Canon Sirrano Kitson.

” What am I living for”? What are you living for! For your own narrow self-interest, absorbed in self, family and ambitions! Or are you living for God? Is the fulfillment of God’s will your overpowering desire?
For this was the mind of Christ when he willingly subjected himself to the Father’s will, and died to save the world. For the essence of the message of Good Friday according to my Pastor, is that ” Christ died to rescue us from self-interest, so that we might serve others”.
Then in the midst of the sermon he posed the deeply moving and deeply challenging question offered by the songwriter: ” Were you there when they crucified my Lord ” ….Sometimes I feel like trembling, trembling !

A message that I will take to my grave!
A counterculture message! For all of us, at some time or another, are guilty. Guilty of focusing on self and not God’s will. Thank God for Good Friday that Christ did not.

Later, after leaving the church in silence, and after my wife and I ‘ stood at the foot of the cross’, said a prayer and inserted a nail ( into the hands and feet of Christ, symbolizing the fact that He died for our sins too; so we too were there when they crucified my Lord) I returned for the three hour service at noon.
And had the privilege of being part of the team that preached on the Seven Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross. ” It is finished”, was my Word.
I offer it in humility and obedience as Satan attached me most viciously, good thing I had prayed for ” boldness to preach the Word”, in the pulpit.

https://sermons964306149.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/the-sixth-word-of-jesus-christ-on-the-cross-of-calvary/

Finally I went home, began, and completely typing out a commentary of the controversial and complex book of Revelation, by John Stott. I had delved into John Stott’s classic ” The Cross of Christ “, in preparation for the three hour sermon, as there is an entire chapter on ” Conquering Evil “. And whilst reading I ” happened” upon this commentary which is at the end of the chapter. And I was led to share, plenty reading but it’s a long weekend, this profoundly important message ‘ from the grave ‘ this morning.

https://historicalimperatives.wordpress.com/

For like the three hour sermon, its all about the Victory of Christ over Satan. A cosmic battle, ‘ beyond the headlines’, but which explains all of what happens in the world.
So the take home message from the Cross, from the grave, and which will be announced tomorrow on that glorious Easter morning, it that ” It is finished “. Christ the Victor has overcome Sin, and Death and Evil. And in Him, we too, the Baptised, are overcomers. So do not be afraid, but ‘ resist the devil, and he will flee from you’, in the name of Jesus Christ the Crucified One.

When you proclaim Christ! When you meet upon evil and those who resist Christ! When fear and doubt enter your mind! When the flesh, and the values of the world, both of which have been crucified by the Christ living in us, tempt us to do or think evil! And focus only on self!

And when, in love, and in name of Christ, we seek justice for others, and provide solace and comfort for the widow, the stranger, the alien, and the least of Christ’s children.

Budget Debate, Martin Luther king Jr and Good Friday.

#GoodFriday and #Easter cometh. Next weekend! This right after the Budget debate, where the Andrew Holness led government, and the Peter Phillips led parliamentary opposition, presented their vision and plans for the nation. One of the most anticipated events on the national calender!

Politics and loving our Neighbor

Many Jamaicans, and many Christians among that group, perhaps for different reasons, pay little attention to anything to do with politics. Except when one of these high profile persons does or says something outrageous, and is exposed by the media.

They, especially those who plan to go to church on Good Friday, should be careful. For that holy day, though about Righteousness and forgiveness of sin, is also about justice and loving our neighbors.

And a lot of our neighbors are affected by the actions and policies of our political leaders. Good or bad! That is, if we define our neighbor as Christ did, in the story of the Good Samaritan; anyone whom we meet along the journey of life who is in need, and whose best interest we are to seek. As opposed to allowing self-interest to rule over our thoughts and actions. A Take away message ( about who is our neighbor) from a Lenten Devotion at St. Andrew Anglican Parish Church, led by Rev. Norbert Stephens, a United Church Pastor.

So unless we wish to be accused of practicing an ‘ irrelevant religion ‘, by no other than the late Martin Luther king Jr, we, in the church ought to be more intentional, in how we engage, participating or critiquing, the political process. This, among other things, is what I gained from reading the following reflection to which I was led this week. Once again! As #GoodFriday cometh.

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR

Amos 8:4 ” Hear this, you that trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land.

THE ENDS ARE SWALLOWED IN THE MEANS

Only an irrelevant religion fails to be concerned about man’s economic well-being. Religion at its best realizes that the soul is crushed as long as the body is tortured with hunger pangs and jarrowed with the need for shelter.
Jesus realized that we need food, clothing, shelter, and economic security. He said in clear and concise terms:
” Your Father knows knows what you need”. Matthew 6:8.

But Jesus knew that man was more than a dog to be satisfied with a few economic bones. He realized that the internal of a man’s life is as significant as the external. So he added, ” Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well“. Vs 33.

The tragedy of the rich man was that he sought the means first, and in the process the ends were swallowed in the means.

GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT – TO THE GLORY OF GOD.

Comment: Good Friday reveals that we need to get the balance right. In our politics. And in life. And in Church.

THE POLITICIANS

Those who dedicate their lives, thus rejecting the temptation to put self first, to seeking the highest good of the poor and marginalized are to be commended. And honored appropriately by a grateful nation if needs be. Without controversy if at all possible!

But those who ‘ seek first the kingdom of God ‘, and by doing so, are ‘ empowered ‘, to seek the highest good of the rejected and the unpopular, the ‘ least of these , and the suffering mass of people, do better. In fact do best! And will be ‘ honored ‘ by our Father in heaven. Definitely without controversy! For they were not, like St. Paul, ” disobedient to the heavenly vision”.

A vision where God in Christ and Him Crucified on #GoodFriday, and raised from the dead on #Easter, rules in the hearts and affairs of mankind.

Would to God that our Politicians were to get the balance right. Especially those who claim Christ!

Then what popular talk show host and journalist Emily Shields, speaking of #RJRFM94’s Hotline, calls a ‘ culture of pursuing political self-interest’, of which both parties are equally guilty, in her considered view, would not prevail. This, in response to recent and past statements, of a highly partisan nature, which have been the subject of much public comment. And which ‘political self-interest ‘, was properly rejected by the PM.

Then, getting the balance right, in pursuit of establishing first the kingdom of God, Jamaica, under this same God, would prosper and increase. To the glory of God who died on the Cross of Calvary on #GoodFriday.

THE CHURCH

Would to God that we in the Church would get the balance right. And thus in seeking to establish the Kingdom of God, we remember that this same God, emptied Himself, of all but love, left heaven, became like a man, and died on Calvary.
So that, ” Justice, properly understood – seeking the other person’s highest good – according to Rev. Stephens, manifest in the revelation that, ‘while we were still sinners’ ( and enemies of God) Jesus died for us, according to the Bible, this Justice, rolls down like waters, and Righteousness – be ye holy as I am holy – like a never ending stream.

Then Jamaica under the God of #GoodFriday and #Easter would be blessed by the same God. In the morning and at night! To the glory of this same ever loving God of the Jews and of the Gentiles. Of Israel and of Palestine. Of those who live in Tivoli and those who live in Norbrook. Of those in the PNP and those in the JLP: and those not attached to any “P”.
So that we may not be accused of being promoting an ‘ irrelevant religion’. Or a polity that ignores the divine command to ” seek ye first the kingdom of God”.
Peace.

Trump and The Rocket Man, No New Taxes, and A Fuller Doctrine of Salvation in Christ Jesus

TRUMP AND THE ROCKET MAN

So President is going to actually sit down and talk with the ” little Rocket man” from North Korea. This after trading insults for the past couple of months. Does that provide hope for a world increasingly concerned about nuclear missiles under the control of highly unstable leaders?

NO NEW TAXES

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/sites/default/files/styles/jg_article_image/public/media/article_images/2018/03/08/NoNewTaxA20180308C.jpg?itok=WdJ_Vgkb

So the there will be no new taxes in the budget for this financial year in Jamaica. The government, and in particular the Finance Minister, was very pleased to make this announcement this week.

And perhaps so they should! This after years of tax packages which have devastated the purchasing power of the average man in the street. But will this provide hope in a nation where murder, and murder most foul, a little boy died recently after receiving multiple gunshots, is, by far, the number one concern.

PETER’S FAUX PAS

So Peter Bunting, a powerful shadow minister in the Parliamentary Opposition, and one who aspires to be leader one day, is singularly unimpressed with the achievements of Dr. Nigel Clarke. A man who competed against Peter’s grass roots candidate for the PNP, and which PNP candidate, as would be expected, he thought would provide better representation for what could be described as lower middle class area. And won ‘hands down’.

It came across in a widely viewed video on social media, that it was Peter’s view that this high achiever, and a recipient of an British Education was ‘ elitist ‘. A view which provoked the ire of many on both Social and the Established media. Mr. Bunting claims he was misunderstood. Perhaps he was. But why give people ammunition to label you as being ‘ out of touch with reality ‘. Especially at a time when ordinary citizens are looking to both political parties to provide hope in troubled times. Was that among the best of the policy prescriptions that a nation needs to hear. Or just a distraction! And perhaps a costly one.

DOG BITES MAN vs MAN BITES DOG 

So a group of Christians, led by The Maranatha Ministries, and labelled ” The Church “, by elements in the media, is planning to march as a counterfoil to the ‘ sins ‘ of Carnival.
http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/lead-stories/20180309/church-planning-massive-parade-counteract-carnival.

This event that is being planned for October, made the headlines in one of our most respected media houses, The Daily Gleaner. And was also the topic of a discussion, last night, on Nationwide News Network – a popular radio station.

The question may be asked however, is this really worthy of being ‘ headlined ‘. In a nation where so many churches are busy, ” rescuing the perishing, caring for the dying, and providing for the needs of Jesus’ least of these my people”, with nary a mention in the news. And worse, does it not give credence to the #fakenews, repeated often for maximum effect, by intellectually lazy, at best, social commentators, that the church is only concerned about personal sin and not about injustice and abuse of children and women #Metoo.
A misrepresentation of the role and focus of the authentic Church in Jamaica, which if believed, would not provide the hope in the promises of God, fully met in the Resurrection of Christ, that the church heralds. In a nation and a world, desperately in need of Hope.
Not the hope for a better life, but the Hope that God in Jesus Christ is Sovereign, even in our darkest hour!

No doubt that’s why I was inspired to post this message on Facebook this week. About the Revealed Truth of the Cosmic Reality, the big picture of what Christ achieved for us on the Cross of Calvary.

FACEBOOK

21st century people, especially millennials don’t like reading anything too long. But this passage of Scripture, to which I was led just now in my #Earlymorningdevotions, if we reflect on it deeply, this Truth, this Big Picture could change our attitudes to Christ, and commitment to the God of Jacob. Forever!

For within it, is the solution to the Israeli Arab conflict, the explanation of the so called ‘ arrogance’ of the Christian claim to different from, yet inclusive of, all other religions. In this passage is The Reason for Hope in World where Trouble and Disaster and Pain, are always just waiting to happen.

Where people live in #Wrongaddress and ‘ people die there every day’. In it is better news than #notaxincrease and a higher discourse than #blackenglishman. Within this Truth is better news than Rastafari #Repatriation and the call for #CompensationforSlavery.

Within this revealed Truth all claims, by some, that my denomination reflects the correct understanding of God’s Word is refuted.
Within this revealed Truth is ‘Tale of Two Cities’. One living under the Covenant of God. The other ‘ without hope and without God in the world’.

Thank God for Jesus, and Him Crucified, that now, the Two have made One. Whether Christians can pull a bigger crowd in October vs Carnival after Easter. Whether you can speak in tongues or not. Whether you worship on a Sabbath or Sunday. Whether your calling is to defend human rights or to sweep the streets to the glory of God. Whether you are a Jew or an Arab, ( I would not even elevate the PNP JLP conflict or the Democrats and Republicans conflict to this level, but perhaps I should) Straight or Gay, Black or White, a gate has been opened for us to be One. But only in Christ Jesus. And it’s a narrow gate. But all are invited.

ONE IN CHRIST

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.

His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:11‭-‬22 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.2.11-22.NIV

JOHN STOTT

One of the charges leveled against the Church in Jamaica, which to a certain extent is a fair comment, is that we ought to be more involved in ‘ doing good works’ vis a vis ‘ evangelizing ‘…..having crusades etc. An issue which inspired this comment by one of my favourite theologians, the late Rev. John Stott, who was a Evangelical Anglican

FACEBOOK

The Evangelical Revival, which stirred both continents, is not to be thought of only in terms of the preaching of the Gospel and the converting of sinners to Christ; it also led to widespread philantrophy, and profoundly affected society on both sides of the Atlantic.
John Wesley remains the the most striking instance. He is probably remembered as the itinerant evangelist and open air preacher. And he was. But the Gospel he preached inspired people to take up social causes in the name of Christ. Historians have attributed to Wesley’s influence rather than any other the fact that Britain was spared the horrors of a bloody revolution like France’s – Rev. John Stott. ” Decisive Issues facing Christians today.

A challenge for all Christians in this world of Pain and Grief and Suffering

#ReadingagoodbookforLent

#Earlymorningdevotions

Then early this morning, in another 4:am encounter ( did not actually get up until 4:20 trying to convince myself that it was my imagination) the Lord woke me up to randomly open my Bible and read about St. Paul’s defense of the Gospel to Roman authorities. The core message of which was captured by this verse:

” It is about the resurrection of the dead why I am that I am on trial before you today “. Acts 24:21.

Then the Spirit of the Lord led me to the book of Hebrews to read about New Covenant that the Blood of the Lamb of God introduced to mankind. And this passage that captures the essence of it all. And why as as Christians we have Hope in Christ Jesus:

A CALL TO PERSEVERE

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Hebrews 10:19‭-‬25 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/heb.10.19-25.NIV

The challenge for the Church and for the society on which Jesus has called us to spread tge Good news of Salvation in Christ Jesus is to develop what John Stott terms ‘ A Fuller Doctrine of Salvation “.

JOHN STOTT

” There is a constant tendency in the church to trivialize the nature of salvation, as if it meant no more than than a self-reformation, or the forgiveness of our sins, or a personal passport to paradise, or a private mystical experience without social or moral consequences. It is urgent that we rescue salvation from these caricatures and recover the doctrine in its biblical fullness.

For salvation is a radical transformation in three phases, beginning at our conversion, continuing throughout our earthly life and brought to perfection when Christ comes. In particular we must overcome the temptation to separate truths which belong together.
1. We must not separate salvation from the Kingdom of God…..the Kingdom of God is God’s dynamic rule, breaking into human history through Jesus, confronting, combating and overcoming evil, spreading the wholeness of personal and communal wellbeing. ..
2. We must not separate Jesus the Saviour from Jesus the Lord….accepting Him without surrendering to Him.
3. We must not separate faith from love….grace central….but faith cannot remain alone. If it is living and authentic, it will inevitably issue forth in good works, and if it does not, it is spurious…..Our attitude to him, he said, will be revealed, by our good works of love to the least of our brothers and sisters.

Stott also called for A FullerDoctrine of Christ, of Human Beings and of God.

Finally, one of the legacies of the late Ian Boyne, was his constant call for a nuanced approach to understanding difficult and complex subjects. It’s a call that I believe this reflection is echoing. For, as a nation, we face many and varied challenges. We are not in good place, economically, socially, politically, and more importantly, morally. Just look and see!

How then do we offer hope to young people who see a visa to the USA as ‘ salvation ‘. Or the youth on the corner, who sees a gun as ‘ salvation ‘. Or a young girl struggling to make ends meet, who sees an older and more often than not, either married or in a relationship, as her ‘ salvation ‘.

Presenting Jesus as the only Hope, to these and all troubled members of our nation, is not easy. Buy we are not at liberty to ” construct a new Gospel of Human compassion and mercy “. It may be tempting. But that way does not promote the establishing of God’s Kingdom. And is therefore unsustainable in the face of the reality of evil.
Only a Fuller picture of Salvation in Christ Jesus and Him Crucified. We need to be nuanced in our understanding of this Big Picture. If we really love our neighbors!

Good and Evil: The Big Picture shown on The Cross of Calvary

This week, with Charles Dickens famous opening lines of A Tale of Two Cities, ” It was the best of times: It was the worst of times “, echoing in my head, and pain in my heart about the state of my country, amidst some joy, I posted this message on Twitter:

Is this the best of times in Jamaica #Jamaicacollegeroboticsteam #GibsonMcCookRelays2018. Hope for the future. Or the worst of times #FalmouthHospital #Policebrutalityallegations #Outrageous #Despair #Dickens God have mercy!

All of this after the joy of boys from my alma mater Jamaica College, making a nation proud by winning a section in the Robotics competition held recently in the USA.

The Best of times

Congrats again to the #JamaicaCollege Robotics team of which Jr Councillor at the @ksamcorp Javaughn Thompson is a member on winning the First Tech Challenge Competition in New York over the weekend. The entire KSAMC is proud. #StillBelieving https://t.co/V6n8B2d4zl

The Worst of times

But then this joy had to be shared with the shame of #FalmouthHospital

UPDATE: Entrance to Falmouth Hospital Accident and Emergency Department pelted with stones today by angry supporters of an alleged area leader who reportedly died at the hospital from injuries he sustained during a motor vehicle accident. https://t.co/zVY85zaQU5

These same thoughts came to mind as I woke up this morning write the weekly inspired message. Why! The performance of our outstanding female athlete at the World in Door Games in Britain.

The Best of times

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/sports/thomas-dodd-lands-historic-silver-medal-in-shot-put_126792?profile=1499

The Worst of times

And the wickedness captured on tape, during an interview between ace journalist Cliff Hughes on Nationwide News Network, and a young woman who had been abducted and robbed by rogues posing as taxi drivers and passengers. Including another young woman!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CiJVb5wt_0mTwkMYmXqTOtI7MOWIxGFz/view?usp=drivesdk

A Dickens like scenario which brought into very sharp focus an ongoing discussion I have been privileged ( to be fair sometimes it doesn’t quite feel that way) to share, with very articulate, and well read, atheists and other unbelievers, on Facebook.

For what Religion in general, and Christianity in particular, facilitates, is a vision of the big picture.

THE BIG PICTURE

And the big picture in the World is Sin, and Redemption for Sin on the Cross of Calvary, by God in Christ Jesus. That’s it! Everything else is infected on the one hand, and redeemed on the other hand, by A Tale of Two Forces: Good and Evil. And which inspired thoughts triggered this post on:

Facebook

Michael Abrahams ( The chief apostle online who poses searching questions about religion in general with a particular focus on Christianity) you and your friends have been posing, inter alia, some important questions about the Christian Faith.

For example, why does a Sovereign God allow so much suffering in the world? With the implied question about the origins of evil.

Questions which have exercised the minds of both Christian and non Christian thinkers alike over the centuries. Searching for what the scholars term a Theodicy – an explanation for God’ actions. Vis a vis Theology – an understanding of God.

And based on my reading of Keller’s ” Walking with God through Pain and Suffering “, those explanations which have been offered do not answer all the questions, eg Free Will – promoted by Augustine, and Soul Making – by Iraneus. Except the Fall – where sin in general entered the world and caused disease and death and natural disasters. And even with that explanation people still have questions.

Which leads to the obvious conclusion which is offered in the Epistle for the worldwide Anglican Church this week, and captured in this quote from Keller – arguing that suffering can lead to a deeper relationship with God, with prior preparation, as during the crisis, if one is not firmly rooted in the faith, doubts may arise and even ‘ blaming God’.

” Surprise can be dealt with if we do some theological reflection. We may have an unexamined feeling that God will not let really bad things happen to good people. But Jesus Christ himself ( that’s why we must always live under the cross – my words) disproves that. If God allowed a perfect man to suffer terribly ( but for an ultimate good), why should we think that something like that could never happen to us ?
…..because of Gods infinite majesty and wisdom we expect not to understand all His ways. It wouldn’t make sense that everything he does would make sense”.

Might I suggest Michael, and your friends, a bit facetiously, with tongue in cheek, but with great humility and love, perhaps you should give up trying to reason out God by yourself for Lent. And stop ” kicking against the pricks” and trust Jesus. About Whom God said, ” This is my beloved Son, of whom I am well pleased, listen to him”. And who knows what could happen, if you with your God given talents, like Paul, could have a Damascus Road experience. Peace.

The Epistle
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks desire wisdom, but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

Advice, which triggered, what turned out to be, this humorous, so he said, thus provoking quite a discussion, response:

Lucien Jones why don’t you give up religion for lent, and give me a break from this psychobabble?

The challenge we face as a nation and as Christians, is to continuously, without ceasing, like prayer, keep this big picture in mind.
Otherwise we get, distracted in a sense, or perhaps more accurately, become over confident, in solutions which ” promise “, short term gain, in the fight against evil, but which measures are only a ” temporary fix “.
Like #ZOSO and #StateofEmergency and banning corporal punishment in homes as one method of improving parental skills.

So the big picture for Christians is living under the power and benefits and discipline of the Cross of Calvary.

A message which triggered this post on Facebook

The Cross of Calvary

I’ve been reading this book, The Cross of Christ by John Stott, particularly during Lent, for years. And I’m yet to finish it or plumb its depths. This morning during my #earlymorningdevotions having reflected of the Gospel reading for Sunday coming, and these words in particular, ” After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed in the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.”

Then I remembered the book, went to my bookshelf, found it, opened it and was struck by these words

” Moved by the perfection of his holy love, God in Christ substituted himself for us sinners. That is the heart of the Cross of Christ. ……Why did God take out place and bear our sin? What did he accomplish by His self-sacrifice, his self-substitution?

The New Testament gives three main answers to these questions, which may be summed up in the words, ‘ salvation ‘, ‘ revelation’, and ‘ conquest ‘.

What God in Christ has done through the cross is to rescue us, disclose himself and overcome evil.
Truly when, when Christ died and was raised from death, a new day dawned, a new age began”.

Hence A.D. Anno Domini. The central message of Christianity and not the peripheral arguments which provoke a lot of the discussions on Facebook. So Michael would like me to ‘ give up ‘ religion for Lent, or be brave enough to leave my faith aside, what would I ‘ take on ‘ and survive. For a minute! In this dark and broken world where #Etana’s #peoplediehereeveryday

All of this coming after I woke up with this glorious song in my heart:.

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder…..

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
sent him to die – I scarce can take it in:
that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
he bled and died to take away my sin:

Refrain

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee,
how great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to thee,
how great thou art! How great thou art.

I really believe that if Michael and his friends could be exposed more and more to the glory of God on Calvary, they would not focus so much of their attention on the failures of Christians, and Christian leaders. And find the peace that only the Crucified Christ can provide in a broken world. #Parkland #Jamaicableeding
Peace

Finally, I was led read a meditation on a A New Nature, by Chris Tiegreen this week; to be included in the  next message. Suffice it say however, that the reason why we have hope in this broken world of Sin and Death and Evil, is that in a mysterious way, we who trust in Christ and Him Crucified, have put on a New Nature. A supernatural event! And unless we believe and act accordingly, Jamaica and the entire world will continue to be “A Tale of Two Cities. Good and Evil.