Death has struck the Evangelical Churches in Singapore again. Brother Soon Kiah was taken home in the afternoon of May 7 2010.
In this meditation we relate our deaths to Christ’s unique death.
How can you and I be so sure that a death that took place about 2,000 years ago has merit meant for people of all times and ages, including ours? No, we are not talking about such a death being a good example for people of all times and ages to emulate and thus bene t from. Rather, we are thinking of a death that was designed and planned deliberately to secure a certain merit meant for a specific people down through the ages. Such a time-transcending purpose involves the Fall of man into sin and misery under the judgment of the Holy God and the Redemption plan of God.
It was true that wicked men (some of whom were in holy of ces) persecuted Christ unjustly and had Him executed as a criminal. But in the eternal counsel of God, something else was taking place as well, at the same time. Christ, according to God’s plan of redemption, would have to be the substitute for God’s people, bearing the penalty of their sins, as He suffered and died the accursed death of the Cross. “They persecute him whom thou hast smitten.” (Psa. 69:26)
Scripture clearly reveals that God’s plan was in the execution while men were doing their wicked deeds and being responsible for them. Jesus, the Lamb of God, was also fully aware of God’s plan all along, as He suffered and died the atoning death. “It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! — Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain. — They did spit in his face, and buffeted him; and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee? — Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross. — Of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.” (Luke 17:1. -Acts 2:23. -Matt. 26:67,68. -Matt. 27:41,42. -Acts 4:27, 28) This awareness of Jesus concerning God’s eternal plan in what was happening in the crucifixion, is crucial in the nature of His death and the benefits we derive from it. If He was not aware of it, then He could not have gone through it for our sake, but for some other reason. Then also, the benefit of His death can be anything but He being a substitute for us. But…
“Surely he hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isa. 53:4) This unique death in time has eternal significance. It was that moment when the death of God’s people died – an event celebrated by God’s people throughout their history!
What have become of your and mine deaths, if they had died on the Cross of Christ? (2Co. 5:8) If Soon Kiah is a child of God, his death died on the cross. His death had no condemnation upon him. His death was but a passage way to his heavenly home.
If the Lord so will, we too will experience death by and by. What will be our death to us? A gateway to glory or one to eternal condemnation? What makes this great difference?
Written by: Pastor Lau Chin Kwee | Issue 2