Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Am I a Cemetery?

Several years ago my family and I lived in a little town in North Idaho. As the night sky darkened and all lights went out you would see on the hill side a lit up cross. This was one of the first things I had noticed when we moved there, and so it was one of the first things I had asked about. As I inquired what this cross was, I was informed that it was the local cemetery. This struck me then and has stayed with me since.

I think of cemeteries and what they bear witness to. The first truth is the inevitability of death - 10 out of 10 people die. They also bear witness to the uncertainty of life; that we are not guaranteed a long life - cemeteries are filled with those of all ages; from young to old, and all in between. With this, this particular cemetery had the cross lit up bearing witness to what Jesus did 2000 years ago.

I thought on this and I was amazed at the idea of how much could be gained from thinking on the witness of this cemetery. But I was also humbled to think on how much more of a witness this cemetery had compared to many churches, and unfortunately many Christians.

And I began to think - am I as much a witness as this cemetery? Do I speak the truth I see displayed here? The truth the Bible proclaims. This isn't just an idea that may be good for someone while another has their own way - This is humanities only hope!

Oh but telling people they will die may be offensive. Well, is it offensive when someone tells others about the need for life insurance? Hardly. How much more is the necessity for Christ?! But yes, the Gospel is offensive. Let's look at it.

We die - we die because of sin. Sin is breaking God's law (the 10 Commandments), and from the moment sin entered our world, so did physical death; but with physical death came spiritual death. We are separated from God because of our sin. The Bible also says that there is a second death called the Lake of Fire (hell) where God must send those who break His law (which is all of us as a blanket statement, but means you if you take away that blanket).
- this is offensive -
Yet, 2000 years ago God became flesh (Jesus), lived sinless, and chose to die in our place. In His death, He took on Himself our sin, and our punishment. We broke God's Law, Jesus paid our fine.
- this is good news -
The Bible says if you will repent (turn from your sin to Jesus), and put your faith in Jesus (like you would a parachute), God will forgive you, and grant you everlasting life. If you don't, you will get what you justly deserve. Don't put it off, do it today; you may not see tomorrow.
- this is both offensive and good news -

The Gospel is offensive because it says yes you can be forgiven; but it is not on your terms - it is on God's terms. The Gospel is offensive because you can't hold on to you; you must let go of your life, and give it to Christ.

For those of us who have (us Christians), are you a cemetery? Not any other plot of land that builds on itself, or stays empty doing nothing; are you set apart for a special and specific purpose - proclaiming Jesus, His work, and His message; the world is full of those who are dying.

Matthew 5:14-16
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men

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