"The good man brings good thing out of the good stored up in him,
and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him." 

(Matthew 12:35)

MEET ME IN PARADISE

 

"He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." (Lk.20:38)

 

 

We all lost our way on September 11th.  It is as if I suddenly lost my twin brother or sister under the ruins of twin towers.  If so, he or she is still 37, for my birthday party was scheduled on September 13th.  CAIN, WHERE IS MY BROTHER??

A good part of my theology died under those ruins too.  I was convinced that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.  Was he sitting somewhere on September 11th?  Nonsense!  He was inspiring the New York rescue people to run INTO, not AWAY.  I would like to fly away from that horrible issue rather than reminding it to you, but  I cannot: Jesus inspires me to run INTO, while my feeling of security tells me to fly AWAY.

Hatred is a very strong feeling.  It led Cain to kill his brother.  Our intrinsic longing for justice almost automatically transforms into the desire to get even when we face terrible issues.  If you not a sociopath, you have to supress your emotions in order to relate to your neighborhood.  Yet, supressed anger and hostility doesn't allow us to function properly: it takes a lot of strength to control ourselves.   How to live with all that hell of anger inside me?  How can I reach the paradise of comfort and joy?  Thanks to God, love is not a mere emotion: it is a choice we are able to make. 

On September 11th Jesus was inspiring the NY firemen to run inside the falling towers.  He was counseling the dying ones.  He was next to every passenger of the death-planes.  Was He next to the terrorists?  As far as I know His character, YES.

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed.  
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals - on his right, the other on his left.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ?   Save youself and us!" 
But the other criminal rebuked him.  "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under  the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve.  But this man has done nothing wrong."  
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." 
Jesus answered him,
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

(Lk.23:32-33, 39-43)

MERCY NOT SACRIFICE

In order to punctuate the statement above correctly, we should focus not only on the criminal's feelings, but also on Jesus' attitude to the criminal.  The tragedy on Golgotha was the climax of  Jesus' ministry, but certainly not the end of it.  (I am sure you know the following.)   After the resurrection the Son of God has shared His Sonship and authority with His followers.  If you are among the children of God, please, remember: WE posess the key from heavenly paradise.  The key was promised us by Jesus in Matthew 16:19, and the promise was fulfilled after the resurrection.  Remember John 20:23? 

Whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  If we forgive anyone his/her sins, they are forgiven; if we do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.

We cannot run away from our feelings, but we are supposed to face our hidden emotions boldly, deal with them and send them away.   The Greek verb aphiemi, to forgive, literally means to send away, to let go.  Please, let your grudges go away, do not hold on the heavy string of hatred.  Forgivennes is not easy, that issue requires courage and honesty.  Regarding the 11th of September: If you feel that you need help, I would  recommend you to do the following,

SIMPLY CHOOSE TO FORGIVE:

  1. God - just as you understand God - for allowing the tragedy happen;
  2. Terrorists - just as they are, or as you see them - for their cruelty;
  3. Victims: for they left us;
  4. New York, as the place of the tragedy;
  5. The Government: for being helpless to protect you from fear;
  6. Other people like Osama Bin Laden, who have no mercy toward their own nations;
  7. Yourself, for your grudges toward God, the Muslim radicals etc.

but what about Cain?
and what about us?

more about September 11
it's Greek to me

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations used on these pages are from the New International Version of the Bible.
Questions, comments?  Please, feel free to contact me: Leonid Maharinsky   
Leonid Maharinsky 2002. 

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