Chose Life

BY    D A V I D   P A M    M C Q U E L
The obvious opposite of life is death. And no one in their right minds would be thinking about choosing death instead of life.
But then, when you look closely at scriptural meaning of life, you will be perplexed that so many rightly chose death over life.
I remember when Jesus was brought before Pilate.
The Jewish leaders who brought him were so enraged beyond reason. They were driven by hatred so much that nothing else mattered.

Luke 23:13-25
”It was amazing that after Herod refused to condemn Jesus and he was brought back to Pilate for sentencing, the accusers, the Jewish leaders had two clear cut choices before them, Jesus the Messiah versus Barabbas, a violent murderous criminal.

Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”

But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have him punished and then release him.”
But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.” NIV
This is despicable.
How on earth would someone not see this as clear as it is? Or rather how could someone fail make the right pick from the options available?
One had to be inherently evil to miss this.
But then this reveals deeply the emptiness of man. The inability to choose between the right and the wrong is clearly the evidence that man cannot help himself. Again, it shows man without Christ is dead. He is incapable of being good, understanding what is good and unable to choose what will bring him life. It also shows may way even think death is what is best for him.
Therefore, man can choose death in broad daylight.
How do you help one who doesn’t think he needs help? That’s why as lost man is, he thinks that he doesn’t need salvation.
Years ago in Lagos, we had an evangelism rally on Adeniran Ogunsanya street, the church workers of Daylight Worship Centre. We were reaching out to our community in evangelism. I will never forget an experience that day.
One of our deacons who was a bank manager was my partner on the outreach. As soon as we began, he saw this young man who was pushing his wheelbarrow. He has worked all and you could see he was exhausted. He still was looking for clients to transport their goods. On a normal day he could earn probably N2000 (Nigerian Naira) an equivalence US$8, I hope my estimates are right.
My deacon, unknown to this hardworking young man that he was a bank manager approached him to share about Christ with him.
The second this guy heard about Christ he exploded in rage, “Hey! Leave me alone! You think you can take my money?”
We were all shocked and speechless.
His reaction revealed that some people’s perspective that church was about making money out of people even from those who can barely feed themselves. Sadly, true.
But then, it reveals that some people cannot be helped no matter how much of the truth you take and slap their faces with.
My deacon turned to me amazed and ask in surprise, “What does this guy have that I can take from him?”
Life versus life
“Whoever finds their life will lose it,
and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” Matthew 10:39
Jesus said we can lose our lives by trying to keep it but that we should be willing to lose it in order to keep it.
Doesn’t that sound contradictory?
What Jesus is saying in that, for us to have life that is truly life and from God, we must be willing to let go of this life. We have to consider our values. What is a priority to us? Is it the comfort of this life or the approval of God both in this life or in the one to come?
We need to reassess what is primary to us. There are times when a demand will be put upon us, either we will pursue the life offered us by God or to pursue the vain appeal of life here on earth.
There are four different aspects to life:
Human life
This is life on earth from birth, through childhood, adolescence, youth, middle age and old age. How health, long life, death and physical challenges matter to us.
Earthly life
This is our earthly and it pursuits. Work, business, family, sports, leisure, projects, achievements, emotional battles, social relationship, school life etc. All these are important to us.
Divine life
This is the spiritual life that starts from the day we accept Christ. I consider this the most important because no matter what this life must take priority. This is when you connect with God, it influences the quality of life you live here for the rest of your earthly life and also determines the life.
The Life to come
This is the final destination of man.  When in death man sleeps, he does not cease to exist. He goes home to be with God if he is save through Jesus’ sacrifice. If he rejected the Lord Jesus, he goes into eternal damnation where he dwells eternally with the prince of darkness, Satan.
Choosing life here means choosing to God to when physical death finally comes. This will be the best choice ever. It will be everlasting joy and peace with the Lord.

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