24th May 2013

Point of Departure 

“…having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”.
Colossians 2: 14 (NKJ)

Earlier this week my wife and I were subjected to a rigorous customs check in Europe. The officers seemed cold, almost hostile, as they went through every last bit of our luggage. One opened my diary and read it page by page. “What are you looking for?” I asked. “We are just doing our job”, was the reply.

What was odd about this search was that it happened when we exited the country involved. Typically checks occur when you enter a country, not upon departure. They were making sure everything was acceptable before we left.

The reading of my diary brought to mind a common misconception. It is that, as we depart this life, everything we have said, done and thought is analyzed. Books are opened, and our past is laid bare. Is there anything we have to declare as we pass over into life after life?

Such thinking is wrong on several levels. First of all, Jesus has conquered death. Any perceived hold death has on us has been removed. We are not judged by what we have or don’t have at the moment of our exit from this world into whatever the next may be. And, because Jesus has overcome the power of death, there is no need to be afraid.

Also, there is no list of requirements of things we need to have in order before we die. That is what the scripture above explains. The Colossians thought there were regulations with which they had to comply so that all would be in order spiritually when they died. Not so, Paul told them. All such ideas were nailed to the cross of Christ.

In any case Jesus has done everything for us. Our obedience is a participation in his obedience to the Father. Our point of departure is about what Jesus has done and prepared for us, not about the righteous or unrighteous things we may have done.

 In Jesus we have been declared forgiven and accepted by God.

Prayer
Great God, thank you that Jesus has prepared for the moment of our death and for the reassurance that gives us.
In Jesus’ name.
Amen

james.henderson@gracecom.org.uk

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 ancientbibleAbout the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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