The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Saturday, May 2, 2015

What a way to go! The Andew Chan and Myuran Sukamaran executions.

It's not often that we can celebrate a death.... but with the inevitable and unstoppable momentum of the Indonesian legal system leading to the firing squad for Chan and Sukamaran, it's worth a note of celebration!...Not because they 'got what they deserved' in terms of their crimes...not at all.  They died while singing amazing grace! with no blindfold.  They looked their killers in the eye while looking to God in Christ with their hearts.

Can you imagine it... "Amazing grace...how sweet the sound...that saved a wretch... like ...... " and as the bullets found their mark, the singing stopped on earth...and the angels broke out in song in heaven because  these two young lost sheep had been 'found'  by the Good Shepherd, we can confidently lay them to rest on earth, knowing they are in glory with Christ.

The whole point about Christ dying for our sins is exactly that! As the prophet Isaiah wrote:  (Ch 53)

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

The humble and faithful spirit in which they died, reminds me of the story of Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna who was told he could save his life in the Colosseum if he would just renounce his faith.

As Polycarp was being taken into the arena, a voice came to him from heaven: “Be strong, Polycarp and play the man!” No one saw who had spoken, but our brothers who were there heard the voice. When the crowd heard that Polycarp had been captured, there was an uproar. The Proconsul asked him whether he was Polycarp. On hearing that he was, he tried to persuade him to apostatize, saying, “Have respect for your old age, swear by the fortune of Caesar. Repent, and say, ‘Down with the Atheists!’” Polycarp looked grimly at the wicked heathen multitude in the stadium, and gesturing towards them, he said, “Down with the Atheists!” “Swear,” urged the Proconsul, “reproach Christ, and I will set you free.” “86 years have I have served him,” Polycarp declared, “and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” (source)

Yes..Andrew and Myuran did go their own way....they committed ghastly crimes against those who had become dependent on drugs.  Although those earthly crimes have an earthly punishment, and they received it....  in terms of eternity, their sins were paid for by Christ.    "the punishment that brought us PEACE... was on Him". Drug trafficking, murder,  rape...none of these things can be undone...once done, they are done forever. Justice has been attacked... and distorted.  Only by the crime's punishment being paid can Justice be restored.

What about us?  How about the crimes of the heart, the jealousy, the lust, the hate... all these things we can keep to ourselves?  Perhaps it's time we reflected on the amazing grace of God in Christ, on His shepherding love, his caring commitment to finding the lost and pause for a moment to consider His gift of love for us.  Then.. we might go one step further,... having been reminded of His forgiveness and love... what next? Do we just enjoy the picnic or are we prepared to climb a tree, go out on a limb for the cause of Christ?  I don't use these words lightly, I do just that on many occasions and have been at times attacked physically for doing it.  

Let's all take to heart the love and Grace of God..and let it permeate our minds and souls and wills.
The final important point in this short story is that of the guards who wept while these brave souls sang of amazing grace rather than shouting political slogans, or spewing hatred for their executioners.  Those guards will be changed, they will come through this and know that the Lord...He is God..and that there is no other beside Him....and that in Christ we are saved.  This message of salvation will spread from the guards, to their families, to their friends... and across the whole nation.  Then the saying will be seen to be true..

"50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish."  (John 11:50)

Their bodies might be gone, but their legacy will live on... by Grace. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please make comments here. Vulgarity or namecalling will not survive the moderator. Reasoned argument alone will survive.