THE REJECTED CHRIST

Reminding myself about Jesus’ commitment to humankind does not have to be limited to any particular time of the year such as Easter. It is something I need to do every day

This daily reading is from William Johnson’s 2006 Devotional book,

Jesus: A Heart Full of Grace

He came unto his own and his own received him not”. John 1:11

The story of Jesus of Nazareth is incredible in many ways, but none more than this: the Creator of the universe came to the world He had made, but we, His creatures, rejected Him.

How could it be? How could creatures of dust spurn the hands that fashioned them? How could men and women, bound by a life span of 70 or 80 years, turn their backs on the One who is eternal?

What condescension! What forbearance! What humility! Even to come as a human being, accepting the working of the laws of heredity, would be a massive step down. But to come knowing that rejection, suffering and death awaited Him – the story boggles the mind.

Long before John penned the poignant words “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” Isaiah had foretold the rejection:

He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not” (Isa. 53:3, NIV)

They rejected Him then; they still reject Him, Why? Because He is the Light that shines into the heart of every person. The Light reveals what we are like. In the Light we see ourselves as we truly are, and it’s not a pretty sight.   That’s why, in Jesus’ time and still today, most people respond with “Put out the Light!”

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19 NIV).

But the rejection wasn’t total, praise God, and still isn’t today. In the original Greek text the two words translated “own” in John 1:11 are different.   He came to His own world, and His own people received Him not. He commanded the waves, and they obeyed Him; He broke the loaves and fishes, and they multiplied in His hands. And nature covered His face in darkness as He hung in agony on the cross.

And there were some people (not the majority, but some) who did not reject Him, who did not say “Put out the Light!” but who opened their hearts to receive Him

Then, some.     Today, Some.

I want to be among them, today and every day.

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Posted in Apologetics, Christ's Sacrifice, Easter, Incarnation, Injustice, Jesus, Suffering | Leave a comment

He Is Risen! Is There Evidence For The Resurrection?

“Many theories have been advanced, attempting to show that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a fraud. I believe that many of the people who came up with these theories must have had two brains–one lost, and the other one out looking for it. Historians have to become anti-historical to invent some of their ideas” (The Resurrection Factor, p. 76).

Harvard professor Dr. Simon Greenleaf also summed it up, when he said, “According to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.”

And there’s this:

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It is finished!

Greg Laurie  expounds on John 19:30, “When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.”

Says Laurie, “The cross was the goal of Jesus from the very beginning.” How right that was. It took the disciples by surprise. Jesus had tried to tell them but they held to their own preconceived ideas about the Kingdom of God. The kingdom belonged to Israel and not to the rest of humanity. Peter even rebuked Jesus for suggesting that he should be killed, which earned an even more severe reply to Peter (Matthew 16:21-25). Before the arrest and crucifixion was over His disciples “All forsook Him and fled” (Mark 14:50)

Even the Apostle Peter needed further divine instruction over broadening his view of the church and its mission (Acts 10 and 11).

Their theology had let them down. They just hadn’t listened to what Jesus had been teaching them in his three and half years of ministry. When he met two of them on the road to Emmaus  after his resurrection, unrecognised by them they told their fellow traveller that they “thought He was the one to redeem Israel.” Even before his ascension they asked Jesus, “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6).

As the hymn writer put it, he was ‘born that man no more may die’. He stepped in to rescue where Adam had had failed (Romans 5:12-21; cf. 1 Cor 15:21-24).

Says Laurie, “The incarnation was for our atonement. He was born to die so that we might live. And when He had accomplished the purpose He had come to fulfill, He summed it up with a single word: “finished.”

It is finished. Mission accomplished. It is done. It is made an end of.”

“So what was finished? Finished and completed were the horrendous sufferings of Christ. Never again would He experience pain at the hand of wicked men. Never again would He have to bear the sins of the world. Never again would He, even for a moment, be forsaken of God. That was completed. That was taken care of.

”Also finished was Satan’s stronghold on humanity. Jesus came to deal a decisive blow against the devil and his demons at the cross of Calvary. Hebrews 2:14 says, “Only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.” This means that you no longer have to be under the power of sin. Because of Jesus’ accomplishment at the cross, finished was the stronghold of Satan on humanity.

”And lastly, finished was our salvation. It is completed. It is done. All of our sins were transferred to Jesus when He hung on the cross. His righteousness was transferred to our account.”

I would add, that salvation – full and free, has to be accepted individually. We can’t borrow from anyone else’s faith in Christ, we must have our own faith and trust in Jesus as Saviour and Lord. We have nothing to offer of our own, it is all what He has to offer us.

So, says Laurie, “Jesus cried out the words, “It is finished!” It was God’s deliberate and well-thought-out plan. It is finished—so rejoice!”

Posted in Christian Mission, Easter, Forgiveness, Jesus, Saved by Faith, Saved By Grace, The Gospel, The Resurrection | Leave a comment

Surgeon Says Human Body Did Not Evolve

The recent furore over the research science paper, that got pulled because in the text it mentioned and repeated the idea that ‘a creator’ had some credit in the development of the human hand, got me thinking about the whole body and all its systems. I have read Behe and his argument for ‘irreducible complexity’. I found the book a fascinating read. There are other reasons for belief in God or a superior intelligence, ‘irreducible complexity’ is just one of them. The numbers can differ, this website claims there are 12 Body Systems.

But however many systems there are that make up a healthy living human, we are an incredibly marvellous structure which inspired the biblical writer to exclaim: “13For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14).

The psalm writer might not have known what we now know today about the creation of human beings, but it is affirming to read of hands-on scientists who address this subject. Reporting on Baylor University Medical Center surgeon Joseph Kuhn Brian Thomas tells us that:

“He then addressed Darwinism’s inability to account for the all-or-nothing structure of cellular systems, including the human body. As a medical doctor, Kuhn not only knows the general arrangement of the human body’s visible parts, he also understands the interrelated biochemical systems that sustain and regulate all of those parts. He recognized that the human body contains an all-or-nothing system in which its core parts and biochemicals must exist all at once for the body to function. In a recent paper titled “Dissecting Darwinism,” Baylor University Medical Center surgeon Joseph Kuhn described serious problems with Darwinian evolution.1 He first described how life could not possibly have come from chemicals alone, since the information residing in DNA required an input from outside of nature.2

“Biochemist Michael Behe named these all-or-nothing systems “irreducibly complex.”Removing a single core part from one of these systems keeps the entire system from working, and this implies that the system was initially built with all of its parts intact.

“This is exactly what researchers expect to see if God purposely created living systems, rather than if natural processes accidentally built living systems bit-by-bit-as Darwinian philosophy maintains.”

ICR  followed up on this story, with an article titled, “Baylor Surgeon ‘Dissects Darwinism’.

What we should be aware of is that when the ‘opposition’ use intimidating language against the belief in God and creation, and refer to the argument between the two sides as ‘science v faith’, that there are many scientists, and hands-on scientists, who see their faith affirmed by their knowledge of science, as we read here of surgeon, Joseph Kuhn.

 

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Creation: Everything Had A Beginning

The following article got me thinking about the furore over the scientific paper concerning research on the hand and the mention of a ‘creator‘:

”Everything in time and space had a beginning. I had a beginning; you had a beginning. The houses we live in had a beginning. The clothes we wear had a beginning. There was a time when our houses, our clothes, cars, washing machines, and ourselves, did not exist. They were not. Nothing could be more obvious.

Because we are surrounded by things and by people that obviously had a beginning, we are tempted to jump to the conclusion that everything had a beginning. Such a conclusion, however, would be a fatal leap into the abyss of absurdity. It would be fatal to religion. It would also be fatal to science and to reason. Why?

“What is crystal clear is that if something exists now, then there must be a supreme Being from which all other beings come. The first assertion of the Bible is “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This text is foundational to all Christian thought. It is not only a religious statement, it is a rationally necessary concept.”

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Scientists Are Trying To Create Life From Scratch

“For many years now, scientists have been working feverishly to create “artificial life” in the laboratory. Researchers and scientists expect to announce success within just a few years, declaring victory in the rarified field known as “wet artificial life” research. Their goals are ambitious,” says J. Warner Wallace. He then goes on to describe what it is they must do create artificial life.

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Human Hand Was Designed By Creator

Scientific Paper Credits God For Human Hand Design, Says CMI,

“Journal is forced to retract after outcry.” To take a paragraph from Paul Price’s report in the CMI website,  he says:

“Controversy is raging after a peer-reviewed open-access scientific journal, PLOS ONE, published a paper1 recently by a team of four Chinese researchers (three in China, one in Massachusetts).2 The paper dealt with everyday topics such as how human hands grasp objects, and showed these actions that we take for granted require “complex biomechanical architecture”. But this would hardly have been controversial if not for its ‘unfortunate’ use of some extremely taboo language: the researchers in multiple places referred to the Creator.”

The story has gone viral! It is reported widely in science journals as well as non-science media. The Guardian titled its article: “The Hand a Mystery of the Creator’s Invention”

Other newspapers and journals have variations of the idea. Paper that says human hand was ‘designed by Creator’ sparkes concern,” says Nature. “Hands are the “proper design by the Creator,” PLoS ONE paper suggests,”  says ‘Retraction Watch.’ Evolution News has, “Mob With Pitchforks Form.”

The many protests and threats of resignations have their way. “Paper Containing Creationist Language Pulled” was the title in “The Scientist” “Op-ed: Science Paper, Citing ‘the Creator’, withdrawn,” says Digital Journal. PLOS ONE retracting paper that cites ‘the Creator’ says Retraction Watch. There is an update on retraction from ‘Retraction Watch’ with provision to vote on the issue.

CMI reports, “Science Credits The ‘Creator’ For Human Hand Design” Interesting to read Price’s assessment of the hostility registered over the ‘misuse’ of language in the offending article, but Price, (and CMI), have a real point here in their response to the whole furore at the mention of a Creator in a science journal:

Misotheists and their churchian allies (‘useful idiots’), when they can’t refute a creationist argument, often taunt biblical creationists (and Intelligent Design theorists) with the following challenge:

If there’s really good evidence for Design, then why don’t you submit papers to a secular peer-reviewed scientific journal and gain the support of the mainstream scientific community?

“This incident should serve as a perfect response to any such challenge, and a ‘test case’ for what happens in such a circumstance. Far from giving due consideration, the so-called scientific community does the exact opposite: they scorn and bully anyone who would dare attempt to suggest a Creator, and do their best to prevent any such evidence from seeing the light of day. There would be pressure to remove any editor who allowed this to be published.

“This is the same type of behavior documented in Ben Stein’s movie Expelled, as well as the book Slaughter of the Dissidents by Dr Jerry Bergman. The simple truth is, the secular academic world is not open to considering evidence for a Divine Creator. The very concept of intelligent design is anathema to them, and they will stop at nothing to prevent any hint of such a Creator from breaking through the pages of secular scientific literature. The oft-cited ‘amazing admission’ by Dr Richard Lewontin once again is relevant here.” I found it worth reading Dr Richard Lewontin’s; ‘amazing admission’.

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