Easter Holiday

This Easter holiday, we stayed in a CL campsite at Kidlington, north of Oxford. It was such a lovely site by a small river. We went to Oxford to do a bit of sightseeing and I remembered my way round the town. Parking is so costly though. We managed to park in Kimble street, near the Pitt River museum.
I managed to do quite a bit of reading. I took that book:
Power Evangelism, signs and wonders today by John Wimber with Kevin Springer.
I found that book so rich and compelling! In the first chapter, John reminds us that we are at war, and that Jesus is about his Father's business, which is releasing those held captive by Satan. He then gives us his personal view on how to enter the warfare : we need to listen to God's voice' He explains what Power Evangelism is about, giving us his personal experiences on using the gifts of the Spirit. Though the book was written in 1985, its tenets are very modern. In face his comment on the Western society thinking that supernatural is fantasy and only the material is real is still so true!
If you have read that book, do drop me a line!


The Long Silence

Have you heard this story before ?
At the end of time, billions of people were scattered on a great plain before God's throne. Most shrank back from the brilliant light before them. But some groups near the front talked heatedly - not with cringing shame, but with belligerence.
"Can God judge us? How can he know about suffering?" snapped a pert young brunette. She ripped open a sleeve to reveal a tattooed number from a Nazi concentration camp. "We endured terror ... beatings ... torture ... death!"
In another group a Negro boy lowered his collar. "What about this?" he demanded, showing an ugly rope burn. "Lynched for no crime but being black!"
In another group, a pregnant school girl with sullen eyes. "Why should I suffer?" she murmured. "It wasn't my fault."
Far out across the plain there were hundreds of such groups. Each had a complaint against God for the evil and suffering he permitted in his world.
How lucky God was to live in heaven where all was sweetness and light, where there was no weeping or fear, no hunger or hatred. What did God know of all that man had
been forced to endure in this world. For God leads a pretty sheltered life they said.
So each of these groups sent forth their leaders, chosen because they had suffered most. A Jew, a Negro, a person from Hiroshima, a horribly deformed arthritic, a thalidomide child. In the centre of the plain they consulted with each other. At last they were ready to present their case. It was rather clever.
Before God could be qualified to be their judge, he must endure what they had endured. Their decision was that God should live on earth - as a man!
Let him be born a Jew. Let the legitimacy of his birth be doubted. Give him a work so difficult that even his family will think him out of his mind when he tries to do it. Let him be betrayed by his closest friends. Let him face false charges, be tried by a prejudiced jury and convicted by a cowardly judge. Let him be tortured.
At the last, let him see what it means to be terribly alone. Then let him die. Let him die so that there can be no doubt that he died. Let there be a great host of witnesses to
verify it.
As each leader pronounced his portion of the sentence, loud murmurs of approval went up from the throng of people assembled.
When the last had finished pronouncing sentence there was a long silence.
No one uttered another word. No one moved.
For suddenly all knew that - God had already served his sentence.

Taken from "Voice " magazine. Autumn 1970


'It is accomplished'

Jesus said: It is finished. John 19:30 Let's rejoice and celebrate Jesus-Christ's victory over death.
Two years ago, when I was still living in Manchester, I was telling one of my friends how I found it amazing that all the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus' death and resurrection. Unfortunately she rejected the few I mentioned one by one in a very curt way and I was sad that these evidence did not convince her at all! I still pray for her and invite you to pray for her too.
Yesterday, I just happened to read such an interesting article by D. James Kennedy entitled Christ: the Fulfilment of Prophecy. According to D. J. Kennedy, 'well over two thousand prophecies are to be found in the Scriptures, most of which have already been fulfilled. Now this is awesome. Praise the Lord! Here is the website: http://www.coralridge.org
I'd like to mention a few prophecies found in the Old Testament that I find extremely poignant.
In Psalm 22, David's personal lament expresses his distress although he is righteous. It echoes Jesus' same cry when he is agonising on the cross: My God, my God why have you forsaken me ?' Ps 22:1

David takes us straight to Jesus' torture in the hands of the Roman soldiers ..they have pierced my hands and my feet. Ps 22: 16

Further on, David complains that 'they (people) divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing .Ps 22:18 This is exactly what the Roman soldiers did with Jesus' garments when he was already dead. This action couldn't have possibly engineered by Jesus himself.

Jesus, our King, died on the cross to redeem us of our sins. This is explained by Isaiah
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed. Isa 53:5
Our salvation is already foretold by Isaiah.

Though Jesus was completely innocent, he was arrested and sentence to be crucified as if he was a criminal!
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth. Isa 53:9
Salvation is mentioned again in Psalm 68
Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.
As the evening draws on, I would like to conclude with this powerful prayer
..but you Lord,
-misunderstood by your closest friends
-betrayed by one you had a right to trust
-seized and manacled and hustled
-spat on and struck and flogged
-strung up tight on an agonising cross
-dying of thirst, heat, suffocation, shock, exhaustion.. Help me, Lord, always to prefer your way to your enemies'way, your cross to their triumph. And challenge me, sharply, to trust God, as you did.. In Jesus-Christ, Amen.
from Just as I am by Ruth Etchells