Loss of Life Gives us an Invitation to Engage.
The second way Jesus was in a World of Pain was not in Egypt, but in Bethlehem. There is a blood bath going on this Christmas. All the children under the age of two will be killed. And this example of Jesus is an invitation for you and I to draw near to Christ and engage in our broken world.16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18 “ A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”
Some parts of Christmas can be filled with sadness. Herod killed off all the male children under two. As the reader read this… images of the Passover would come to mind. God just said He called his son out of Egypt, just as He called His people out of Egypt. His deliverer, Jesus, was delivered from a evil dictator who was killing off kids, just as Moses was delivered from an evil dictator who was killing off all the kids. Matthew is showing us that Jesus is our Passover. He is our Moses. He came into an evil world that kills off children ~without a second glance. Paul notes that He is our Passover Lamb in 1 Cor 5:7b
“For Christ Our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed.”
The first passover lamb came into a land filled with slavery, abuse, genocide, and infanticide, and God made a way of escape. The Second Passover Lamb (Jesus) came into a world of pain too.
Two questions come to mind as I read this prediction from Jeremiah.
1) Question 1: Why is “loss of life” Such a Pattern in History? (Exodus, Jeremiah, Matthew, etc.)
18 “ A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”
Where did human rights come from? Where did this idea of civil rights come from? When did “not killing children” become a societal ethic? It has not been a historic way of thinking….
Aristotle said, “you can tell by common sense that some people don’t have same value and worth.” Hitler taught Eugenics and had a list of which races were worth more than others. He systematically killed off the “less value” races on his list because they were less evolved. Historically, basic human rights given to all individuals was NOT common thinking.
Brian Terany, history teacher at Cornell, proved human rights come from:
- Christian jurists in middle ages meditating and reflecting on creation ex deo. They reflected on the fact that if all humans are made in God’s image, then they all have God given inalienable rights.
- Martin Luther king in his writing the American dream. He said that the founding father were influenced by the Bible. Dignity is injected by creator. Luther said, “There are no greydation in image of god. From the base black to the whitest white. all are significant on gods keyboard.”
- Hospitals. David Bently heart. Christians were first to help the poor and common folk with medical care. In Saint Effrum in the year 350, a plague hit the city of Odessa. Christians opened a hospital to all affected. That was unheard of. First public hospital in Rome was created by a rich Christian woman named Saint Fabiola. She went into streets to find women needing care.
- Fredrick Nietzsche despised Christianity for its compassion and love for weak and outcasts rather than an ethic of power and will -as I mentioned last week.
Of course, for me this issue is very personal. Why? My son Quinn was seconds away from being destroyed. While he was 4 months in the womb, his birth mother walked into an abortion clinic to have him aborted. She cried her way out and decided to place him with someone who could take care of him. My family is forever indebted to her decision. It was hard, very hard for me to think about having a 10 year old, and starting over with a newborn. God had placed a longing in our hearts for a child, but I was wrestling with my own self-centeredness and selfishness. I was surprised how shallow I could be choosing comfort over engagement. But, 2 1/2 years later, it’s obvious that God was at work, and His call to Engage in a Hurting World is always worth the challenges. God will challenge us to engage in ways that move us out of our comfort zone.