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From the Pastor's Desk

Why do bad things happen? Why are bad things happening to us? These questions get asked when we try to make sense of things that don’t seem to make sense, especially tragedy. When some of the people told Jesus about how some of the Galileans had come to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice in the temple and how Pontius Pilate’s soldiers killed them right there in the temple courtyard, mingling their blood with the blood of their sacrifices, why did God permit such brutality?

Jesus responded, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:2-5)”

Jesus is getting very personal here. Jesus is addressing the issue of impenitence. Because He is all human and all God, Jesus Christ knew those people’s hearts. Remember, Jesus isn’t speaking here to a bunch of wicked Pharisees and rebellious unbelievers. He’s talking to a large group of His own disciples. He knew their faith or lack thereof.

Jesus is simply telling it like it is and giving them a reality check on repentance. If you think about it, it is Jesus acting, once again, out of unconditional love and compassion. He’s warning these people of the eternal danger they face if they continue in their proud and impenitent ways. Scripture tells us that God desires the death of no man (Ez 33:11). God wants all men to have life and have it abundantly in Christ Jesus (John 10:10). Look and listen to Christ Jesus! “Repent! Turn away from your sins and return back to Me! I alone can save you!"

Your sin, my sin, is so tremendous and damnable that it required the death of God in the flesh, Christ Jesus, to make atonement for it and die. He did … for you! He stepped in and interceded for you so that you wouldn’t be cast into the fires of hell. Look to the font. Look to the altar. Look to His Word. Here Christ Jesus Himself, giving you the life-giving free gifts won for you by His own vicarious atoning sacrifice on Calvary cross. Not because you deserve it, but because He know you need it.

Grafted into this Tree of Life (Rom 11:16-24) and made alive in the God-given gift of repentant, believer's faith bear God-pleasing fruits. I pray the fruits you bear in your daily life be the fruits in keeping with true repentance. Fruits that flow out of your life and back to the cross of Christ Jesus. Fruits that give credit and honor to His glory and confess the joy of your unmerited and unconditional gift of heaven everlasting. In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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