By Paul Bawden
Words that were brought to mind again this year as people around the USA paused to remember those who lost their lives on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Their vow was to “never forget.”
Such should be the response of each of us as we think back on that horrific evil day in the life of the United States of America. I’m sure we can all remember where we were on that fateful day. But reflecting on that day reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice of some 3000 innocent people, including first responders, those heroes who rushed to help, those who no longer have family members with them, and the need to keep vigilant as a country so such a barbaric attack never happens again.
Remembering an awful situation like this is not always easy. But as someone said in commenting on this terrorist attack, “It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.” Another quote was, “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”
There is another fateful day we need to remember as well. It wasn’t the tragic death of some 3000 innocent people. It was the tragic death of one person put to death by those who hated him. It seemed at the time that would be the end of this person and his activity on planet earth. But something happened to him that changed history. He conquered the grave bodily and appeared to those who were his followers for some 40 days, and then went into heaven, with the promise that he would return to planet earth.
What were the words of this person? Never forget. Never forget what? That he died on a cross, was buried, and conquered the grave bodily. He put it in these words. This do in remembrance of me. As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup you do show forth my death until I come.
Words that are very familiar to those under the broader umbrella of so-called Christianity, and even those who may not be, these words are familiar. Regardless, these words are not just time words – they are words that are eternal, for they are the words of the God-man, who came from eternity into time to deal with our sin against the biblical God, to provide us forgiveness and a new kind of life. They are words that mean that a person living in time, who believes who the God-man, Jesus Christ the Savior is, can be linked to eternity in time through faith in Him, and have one’s life count for eternity in time, while knowing eternity with Him is one’s destiny.
Many may have some head belief in Christ, but their heart is far from Him. Others just pass by and continue on their way. You know where you are in regard to your response to Jesus Christ and His call on your life. Following Christ, though, is not easy, for He challenges the believer to take up his cross and follow Him. That mean’s putting to death selfishness on a daily basis in His power, so the believer can experience Christ’s inner life of love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
The text goes on to say that against such there is no law. How about that! The mess in the USA and the world could be solved if more people knew personally the Savior and lived for Him. I trust you are among that number!
Paul Bawden is married and served in the full-time pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011, after which he and his wife served in four interims, three in Wisconsin and one in Iowa. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He is also a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe. They have three daughters and five grandchildren.
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