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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The MAN Died - and so we have life.

Yesterday, I found out that a favourite uncle of mine from childhood had just died. Uncle Yinka wasn't a relative by blood, but in the neighbourhood I grew up in, we really all were one large extended family. Many Nigerian adults can be quite aloof and not comfortable around children but Uncle was always kind to me, always had a word or question and when he and his driver took me part way to school, we talked about everything under the Sun - politics, teenage hood, his business, my friends, my friendship with his kids, his views on religion - name it, we talked about it. As a 12yr old, he built up my confidence with his gentle kindness.

He lived a good life, and is survived by an awesomely beautiful wonderful wife, 5 amazing children and 12 grandchildren (I believe).

In remembering uncle I also think about another Man I met round about this time. He also died but he died quite young - just in his 30's. He did not leave behind a wife or any kids, just a grieving mother, some confused siblings and fearful friends. He underwent 3 trials, was condemned to death, whipped brutally until the skin was torn off his back and was then executed as a henious criminal. He died over 2000 years ago so he and his story should just have faded out of history. Ahhhhh, but there is something different about this Man. His name is Jesus Christ AND he is no ordinary man. Whether you believe in Him or not, only a fool would not admit that He has left indelible footsteps in history. He is history.

Some think he is a guru, others call him a revolutionary, for others he is simply a rebel marching against the authorities, yet others think of Him as history's greatest fraud - a myth forced upon the world. His words are (mis)quoted by everyone, from Marxists to Capitalists, Governments to Occupy Wall Streeters!

HOWEVER for those of us who have met Him, He is saviour, best friend, healer, comforter, the only one to really have your back, He who will never condemn you, the builder up of the battered and shattered, the piecer together of the broken hearted, the master Carpenter turning plain wood into beautiful ornaments of value, the Prince of peace who floods hearts with peace even in the middle of chaos, the SON of GOD who calls us brothers and friends, the only one to forgive every betrayal, every slur, every insult every harsh word, truly the only one who REALLY loves us. Like Apostle Paul, when a man really hears the voice of Jesus, he stops in his tracks, falls to his knees and says 'Who are you LORD?'

Uncle Yinka is at peace today because he also at one point in his life came to know JESUS as his personal saviour. You can call meeting JESUS mumbo-jumbo if you choose, but like a wise man said, there are NO atheists on the battle field. When man is confronted with his own imminent mortality, that piece GOD has buried in him that knows there really is an eternity, begins to cry out. All the pseudo-logic, human wisdom, and intellectualism flies out of the window, all the vain philosophy that decries and mocks GOD remains silent when it is faced with the ultimate kicker in the gut - 'If there is really a here-after, oh man, have I messed up!'

GOD does not ask for sacrifices, or for you to change, or a 12-step program of morality and turning over a new leaf, or for fasting, prayers, crawling on your knees, days spent in mystic searching, hours of meditation or any of the other methods we devise to make us acceptable to GOD on our own terms - HE sent JESUS. JESUS said, I came to save the lost, I came to save those without hope, I came for the sick, the whores, the drug-addicts, the poor, the despised, the law-breakers, the thieves, the rich who know they are still empty inside, the famous who crave acceptance the world cannot ever give, I came for those who understand that WITHOUT me, they cannot have a relationship with OR please GOD.

The MAN died BUT the MAN rose again! That is the central hope of this world. We can have life because JESUS died for our sins and rose from the dead for our justification and righteousness before GOD.

I am fully confident and persuaded that today Uncle Yinka is safe with GOD. His youth has been restored, his health healed, he has a new body, he is happy and filled with joy. Are you as comfortable with the thought of your here-after?

Death will one day come knocking for us all - remember, the MAN Jesus died that everyone of us (including you) might have access to everlasting life.



Ronke said...

Love, love, love this piece! It really warmed my heart, and brought tears of gratitude to my eyes. Thanks.

bode said...

Thank you sooo much... I sincerely needed to read this. It has given me the strength to continue making funeral arrangements. My dad however had 14 grandchildren Whom all loved him and will miss him dearly. God bless you abundantly for this. I have no idea how I actually stumbled upon this, but I am very grateful for the priviledge of reading and abundantly thankful for the kind words about my father.