Blessed Good Friday and Happy Easter; as well, Happy Passover to everyone who honors and celebrates the Judeo-Christian faith heritage. This is truly the most important time for those of us who have trusted our lives to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Those who have faithfully surrendered to Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
This is a time when we are inundated with news that is not uplifting, and certainly not encouraging. But, let not your heart be troubled, because this weekend is all about the Good News about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If you were to sum up the Holy Bible in four words, they are the Four Rs: Reconciliation, Redemption, Resurrection, and Restoration.
First, we must realize that when Adam and Eve were forced to leave the Garden of Eden, it was God’s desire to reconcile man back to Him. Early on there was the “law,” as laid out in Leviticus and handed down to Moses. The only way that man was able to find reconciliation to God, propitiation for our sins, was animal sacrifice. It was normally by way of a young lamb, an unblemished animal whose blood would serve as substitute for our failings. It is the remembrance of the Jewish people the night when the death angel came upon Egypt, and the blood of lambs was placed over the door entrances so that he would “pass over” those dwellings.
However, God knew that His greatest gift, the gift of salvation, His grace, could not come to all by way of the Jewish law. It could not come to all by way of animal sacrifice. God knew that there had to be one way to redeem mankind, all of mankind, Jews and Gentiles, back to Him. Therefore, in order to have true redemption, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” There was only one way for God to redeem all of mankind, provide a means, a path for us to eternally be reconciled to Him, and that was through Jesus Christ. And, it was necessary for Jesus to take upon Himself all of our sins, to pay the debt that we can never repay. So it was that Jesus knew that it was not His will, but rather God’s will be done. That is the power of the cross. Jesus took upon Himself all of our sins. He shed His blood as the ultimate sacrifice. And as He took our sins upon Him, yes, God could not look upon him, hence the reason He asked “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachtani?” (My God, my God why has Thou forsaken me?)
Jesus took our sin, forever, and it died there on that cross. But, that is not the end to this amazing story that has survived 2100 years of history. It is all about the Resurrection. In Christ, we become new, and in Him, we are able to arise a new creation. Through baptism we are washed, but only with His saving grace — His blood — are our sins washed away.
Understand, Christianity is not about a sense of invincibility, it is all about humility. It is all about knowing that we are all just sinners saved by God’s grace. And yes, we can mess it up. But, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been restored to God, our Heavenly Father. We can now once again be with Him in eternity. Now, to the secular humanists this is foolishness, but guess what, I ain’t playing Russian roulette with my eternal life. If I am wrong, which I am not, I have a blessed assurance, as opposed to if secular humanists are wrong.
Reconciliation, Redemption, Resurrection, and Restoration, that is what Good Friday and Easter Sunday is all about. But, the title of this Easter Old School Patriot Memo is a message of faith.Now, to the secular humanists, this is foolishness, but guess what, I ain't playing Russian roulette with my eternal life. Click To Tweet
I cannot think of any better story of Christian faith, in anyone I have personally met, than that of Julie Aftab. As written in the Houston Chronicle July 31 2012:
Aftab was 16, working as a call operator in a tiny store in Pakistan a decade ago , when a man confronted her about the silver cross dangling from her neck. She and the man argued, and he returned to the store with a friend and doused her with battery acid, leaving her with bone-deep burns on much of her upper body.
Aftab was 17 when she came to the U.S. for treatment at Shriners Hospital for Children, scared and unable to speak a word of English. She was ashamed of the swirling scars she suffered over much of her face and upper body in an acid attack in Faisalabad, Pakistan.
In Houston, Aftab built a new life with the support of a loyal host family and a devoted church congregation. She underwent dozens of surgeries, all donated by doctors and hospitals in Houston. She graduated from high school, and then from San Jacinto College, before enrolling at the University of Houston – Clear Lake.
In a cavernous auditorium on the city’s north side, Julie Aftab raised her hand to take the oath of citizenship Tuesday, tears streaking down her smooth, left cheek, a perfect patch of creamy skin left unscathed by battery acid. “This day means so much to me,” Aftab said, moments before taking the naturalization oath with about 2,240 immigrants.”
Julie Aftab, a young 16 year-old Christian girl in Pakistan was told to denounce Jesus Christ, and she refused. She was not only doused with acid, but it was also poured down her throat. Julie was taken to a local hospital where they refused treatment, while the crowd accused her of mocking Mohammed. They were seeking to hang her and shoot her, but somehow she escaped and made it to America. I met Julie at an award ceremony sponsored by ACT for America in Washington DC in 2013. I stood on the stage with her and just cried. She was the example of Christian faith that I could only aspire to possess. See, God’s plan for our reconciliation, redemption, Christ’s resurrection, and our restoration is all worthless without faith, an unwavering faith that a young 16 year-old girl would show before men who wished her dead.
This is my Easter message of faith. Julie Aftab is a living example of an Old School Patriot, one who is Steadfast and Loyal to our Lord, her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And, I bet that if she is asked in a census question if she is an American, she would enthusiastically respond yes. We already know that when asked about her Christian faith, she resolutely responded.
Happy Easter y’all! And God bless you, Julie Aftab!
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s Fox News Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and the forthcoming We Can Overcome.