Words from the Heart for Friday March 31st, 2017
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Ephesians 2:13 (NRSV)
No one likes to be left out or left standing far off from the rest. God’s plan was to send His Son to die so that everyone who was “far off” has now been brought close. We have been included in His great plan. We’re not an outsider. He has chosen us. Do you know someone else standing off by themselves? Let them know they are welcome to come!
The Underground Railroad was neither under the ground nor a railroad, at least not literally. It was a network of secret routes and safe houses that, mostly under the cover of night, was used by slaves under the guidance of anti-slavery volunteers, to escape into free states and Canada prior to the American Civil War. The slaves would sing of their longing for freedom, using language that the slave holders would never understand. For example, when they sang songs about Canaan land they were really speaking of Canada. One slave, having finally arrived at the Detroit River, waiting for a boat to carry him and his family to Canada, looked across the river, having been brought that close, and said to his children “Just smell this air. It smells like freedom.” Canada smells like freedom.
We all love the videos of military personnel returning home to surprise their children or spouse. There is something wonderful about those who have been separated being brought near to each other. We are created for fellowship and particularly with those we love the most. We want to be with each other. In the spiritual realm, there is an even greater longing for fellowship with our Creator. The challenge is the separation that sin has brought about. When God created the world, He communed daily with the highest of His creation, Adam and Eve. Until sin became a reality. When God created the world, He knew that this gulf would occur. In Genesis 2:17 God tells the first the couple that when, not if, they eat from the tree of the knowledge of God and evil they would certainly die. Sin created a distance between God and mankind. Only God could restore that separation and because of His love for us, He did so. Ephesians 2:13 tells us “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” When Jesus died on the cross and cried out “it is finished” His work was complete. The punishment that was necessary for justice to be meted out due to our sin had been borne by Jesus on the cross and now, by faith, we can draw near to God. In that we find the peace for which we long.
These have been words from the heart.