20 April 2009


I already wrote quite a bit of this in the post about the NARBYC conference but I thought I'd do an exclusive write up.

In South Africa, one evening, a man was awakened from his bed by his wife who asked him to check the front door because she had heard some noises there. He quickly got out of bed and went to check it out. He found the door open; obviously, some unwanted guest(s) had broken in.

Suddenly four men surrounded him and grabbed him. Before long, his whole family had been gathered in the kitchen and he had been tied to a chair. They knew he owned a nearby store and told him to hand over all the money he had made that past month. He explained that he only had a thousand rand (R1,000/$140/K500,000) on him. He had used all his money to buy stock for his shop. The robbers thought it a likely story. They got a pressing iron out and plugged it in so it could get hot. Then they got a butchers knife out and began hitting this store owner with the side of it. They slapped him and punched him all the while demanding that he release his profits from the previous month’s sales. All this, in front of his young kids and weeping wife. The man maintained that he didn’t have any money. The iron by now was ready for use and so the robbers began burning the store owner on his beaten back.

After a couple minutes of torture, the robbers were convinced, he did not have any money. They locked the family in the bathroom and loaded their family van with their house hold goods and most of the newly purchased stock from the man’s shop. They left with thousands of rand/dollars worth of goods.

When the Apostle Paul wrote that he was the chief/worst of sinners, well, he hadn’t met me yet! I am a sinner to the bone and I know I am saved by grace entirely. And yet so many times, I have struggled with sin, and I have, many times, abused that grace. I know that Christ has paid for my sin, past, present and future but this Easter the reality of this dawned on me like never before.

I have always thought that the anguish of our savior in the garden in Gethsemane was caused by his dread for the physical pain he was about to endure. This is absolutely false. Granted he was about to suffer a cruel death but Jesus a much bigger problem to worry about. This problem was so tremendous that Jesus prayed, “Take this cup from me yet not my will but thine be done.” Jesus prayed in essence, “Please don’t let me go through this, but I am willing to if you want me to.”

This tremendous issue caused Jesus to “sweat blood”! The bible says his sweat were like “drops of blood”. If you do some research you will find a condition in which a person can be under extreme anxiety and can be so upset that the capillaries in their head can burst. Sweat can mix with the blood causing an individual to “sweat blood”. Well, what made Jesus so anxious if not the physical pain he was to endure?

Back to the story, imagine those four men being tried in a court, and imagine the evil of these men being placed upon your shoulders. Imagine being tormented by the guilt they feel because their evil is set upon you. Imagine people looking at you with the same disgust and bitterness with which they would look at these men.

If you can imagine that, imagine Jesus, a perfect man, who had never sinned before, who hated sin with absolute hatred, imagine him baring the worst sin each and every human being has ever committed, murder, adultery, fornication, envy, malice, theft, rape, assault, blasphemy, pride, homosexuality, bestiality etc. Well, he didn’t just bare the worst sins of man; he bore each and every sin! Imagine he who knew no sin becoming the worst of sinners because our combined evil was laid upon him. Imagine his father, who loved him and who was well pleased with him looking away from him because of his disgust and bitterness against the sin of the world laid upon him.

Imagine God forsaking God as Jesus cries, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?!
Jesus did all this, for your sin and mine. All those sins we battle with, all those evil things we do and wonder whether God will forgive us for doing them again and again, all those were the reason why Jesus sweat blood. Who wouldn’t sweat blood if they had to bare the sins of men?!

He paid for them, we are covered! We are covered praise God, hallelujah, amen!

This does not mean we are free to continue in sin, Jesus died to set us free from the grasp of sin. We should therefore put aside the sin that so easily besets us and grab a hold of our savior who died so we could be free! I pray that this lesson I learnt blesses some ones heart as much as it’s blessed mine, Amen!