Is 46:3 “Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. 4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”
Matt 5:13-16 13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
Easter 2015, the Cross seems so far away just as much as the remnant of Israel had forgotten about ever returning to Jerusalem in Isa 46:3. After a long wait, we begin to live in unbelief although still calling ourselves people of faith. Without vision, we perish and return no more. So is for many of us in the GLBT Christian community. Will we be able to come Home to our new Jerusalem on earth as it is in heaven?
Have we made the Cross in our own image and intellect? Jesus did not die for the sufferings of humanity per say rather the root cause of Sin within each one of us that we could never escape because of the first Adam. Sin results in sufferings much as the sins of the churches in persecuting gays.
Jesus death was indeed prophesied and planned even deliberate with a chosen place and time. It was God who let go His life and not man who killed Jesus.
When Jesus asked for the cup of suffering to be taken, it showed that He was human keenly aware of the cruel and gruesome death ahead. But since the fall of Adam, God had a plan and it was in giving up His precious Son which was with Him since the beginning. There was no other way but for Jesus to take the cup of suffering because there was no other way for mankind to be redeemed, not even in being ecumenical.
It was us who deserved to be at the Cross, an accursed place for mankind is under the curse. Jesus took our curse away. He alone, being totally perfect could be the sacrifice for our sin as payment in full. The Gay community is under a curse, a condemnation by society and church which kills. But there is no condemnation in Christ redeeming grace.
It was naively claimed that God killed Jesus, but it was religion that killed Jesus. Jesus willingly gave up His life and took our place of judgement at the Cross suspended between Heaven and Earth. He who knew no sin, took all our sins and sufferings with Him at the Cross.
Jesus was getting increasingly popular but He still abided by the Jewish laws nor did he called for a boycott of the temple worship. He did not call for the downfall of the hierarchal powers, neither the Jewish puppet king nor the Roman colonisers. Jesus did not challenge the hierarchal powers directly. Jesus was radical in only His calling for the Kingdom of God, and His demonstration of power and miracles, seldom seen at any progressive conferences.
It was religion that killed Jesus, it’s strict and prescriptive religious law, that the Jews called upon because Jesus declared He is and was God in addition to a priest and a prophet. That was the ultimate blasphemy for the Pharisees.
Because Jesus was so popular, on account of His miracles, the bible quoting people of faith decided to use the Romans to kill Jesus and sacrifice Him at the Cross hence doing their dirty works. If they had killed Jesus, they would have incurred the wrath of the Jewish people. They let Rome bear the blame just as Gays bear the brunt of the sins by Christians who put all the sins of society upon the helpless gay sheep.
This is religion, harsh and blaming others and not humble, no humanity, all about religious laws and punishment, and doing good works of love that they could not even see God. They pray to God the creator, but missed Jesus, the redeemer. Religion killed God and put in place our self-righteousness, our ability to follow the law either by being moral or by loving others and then called it having faith.
Jesus death would have meant nothing without resurrection reflecting that the sacrifice has been accepted by God. The people of faith had hitherto believed in God the Creator, but that was not enough. Our sins were unforgiven despite praying daily. The sacrifice of the law, of lambs and bulls suffices were temporary and we keep on going back to God to pray for forgiveness.
We now enter not only into faith, but by believing and identifying with Jesus death and resurrection at the Cross. Not only are our sins forgiven, but we find resurrection life, where we put on the righteousness of God in Christ.
In Mat 5:13, Jesus talked about Christians, or believers in Jesus and not those who profess only to a Christian tradition that they will be like salt to a fallen and decaying world. Like Jesus, they would bring comfort – healing, health, food to those who mourn and are suffering from injustice. Christians are salty not because they do good works of morality or alternative loving others, but because it is in their nature, ie they are salty inherently. We have the nature of Christ in us, His righteousness, hence are showered by God’s love and grace. As Christ is, so are we. It is not our actions, but actions will follow because a lamp cannot be hidden. Under religious law, we try to be salty, but under grace, we become salty effortlessly.
How can we be not salty or loses our saltiness, hence needed to be thrown away and are useless for the kingdom purposes.
1. We don’t have the nature of Christ in us. We may profess to be Christian because of tradition and following the sacraments, but we did not identify Christ death and resurrection into our lives. We can be professes of faith, but not possesses of eternal life because of unbelief.
2. The local church may have diluted the saltiness of Christ, in water, so that there is nothing distinctive and Christ is no longer the centre. The message is diluted, where Jesus is no longer God (the very reason which He was crucified), and the meaning of His death and resurrection diluted at best, denied at worst. We have to return to church that believes Jesus heals and Jesus saves.
We go back to Isa 46:3, the remnant of Jacob in a foreign land, over 70 years. Where is God we cry out for our eyes have grown dimmed!. And this is the cry of many gay Christians at Easter. We are exiled and have lost everything. I have seen gay Christian leaders losing their ministry, calling, and passion. We have tried to go on and live one day at a time. We have been thrown out of churches. Christianity for us is no more return to the law – abiding by moral disciplines or loving others. It has to be much more, for we are a desperate people, longing for restoration of all that we have lost.
Just as the children of Israel had lost hope with the long passing of time, we were once young and full of hope but now have grown old and weary. We desire to be salty, to shine for Jesus once more, but what for, for our lives are lost. We have survived, kept the faith, remained in belief but our eyes are dimmed looking to the sky to see the goodness of God in the land of the living.
When will we O Lord return to our Jerusalem, and be resurrected with Christ. We already died many times as Gay Christians. When shall the dead be risen and the dead bones be filled with flesh? We have been robbed and plundered. No one delivers, no one says restore. Even, the worship places are broken and full of idols. We live in hidden prisons.
Is 42:22 But this is a people robbed and plundered; All of them are snared in holes, And they are hidden in prison houses; They are for prey, and no one delivers; For plunder, and no one says, “Restore!”