The painful evidence is all around us. – News’ headlines are just obituaries in a different form: Right here at Northgate on Thursday, a guard shot dead. – At least 67 dead in Nairobi after a brutal mall siege last weekend. – At least 42 dead after a boat sank on the Niger River on Friday. – 85 Christians slain in a Pakistan church last Sunday. – The day before that, at least 515 dead in a Pakistan earthquake. – And this all just in the last week. – “Death reigns”.
By Paul’s day, some also held that death extinguished life totally. – Or that death only led to some shadowy, ghostly existence in the underworld. But to speak of a bodily, physical existence in the world to come was a belief not fit for polite company! – To speak of rotten, decaying corpses that get resuscitated? –
If you take a standard Christian hymnal and search the index for hymns about God’s grace, listen to what you’ll find:
There are hymns about: converting grace, the covenant of grace, efficacious grace, the fullness of grace, magnified grace, refreshing grace, regenerating grace, sanctifying grace, saving grace, and sovereign grace. –
God’s mercy for us “exerts a total and all-encompassing claim upon us: grace now ‘reigns’ over us (5:21). It is therefore entirely fitting that our response is to be one that is equally total and all-encompassing” (Moo) – presenting our whole self as a sacrifice to God…
Luke 13: 16-23