Prophets building bridges for humankind

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Prophecy, getting information on events before they happen, can be insightful, a bit disturbing and frightful all at the same time. For instance, knowing that the date of your death was fast approaching, what would you plan to do, write or say before the dreadful day dawned? Would you plan a bucket list, spend time with family or right wrongs done to other people in your life?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it beautifully in his well-known speech.

Prophecy, getting information on events before they happen, can be insightful, a bit disturbing and frightful all at the same time. For instance, knowing that the date of your death was fast approaching, what would you plan to do, write or say before the dreadful day dawned? Would you plan a bucket list, spend time with family or right wrongs done to other people in your life?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. put it beautifully in his well-known speech.

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now; we’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life — longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. “I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land. And so I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man.”

Then Dr. King, on April 3rd 1968, ended the last speech of his life with a line from the great Civil War anthem, the Battle Hymn of the Republic: “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”

Dr. King’s eyes were fixed on the prize and his feet ready and prepared to cross the finish line on the very next day. He was thirty-nine years old, married with four children at home. He was a man of peace who had spent his entire adult life building bridges between brothers of different ethnicities. He was a champion of the poor everywhere in America and an outspoken proponent for ending the war that was raging in Southeast Asia.

Fifty years ago, on April 4th 1968, a single lead bullet from a sniper’s rifle ended his life fulfilling the dream he had just had where he had seen the Promised Land. Seconds later Martin was not lying on a second story hotel balcony in Memphis but was in the presence of the Lord.

Two-thousand years earlier Jesus of Nazareth left us with a prophetic dream of his own death; a dreadful day in Roman occupied Jerusalem. In his case, death did not come instantly from a rifle’s bullet but slowly and cruelly from six inch iron nails driven through his flesh into an old rugged cross that ushered Him into the Promised Land.

Unlike Dr. King, Jesus could have called on legions of angels to come and fight for Him. He could have taken the advice of His disciples and avoided Jerusalem during the feast of Passover. He might have bargained with Caiaphas and agreed not to stir up any more trouble but instead He went willing to the cross to fulfill His destiny of building a bridge to God.

While Dr. King is remembered through his name being attached to schools, highways and bridges across America, he never actually completed any bridge connecting humanity. However, when Jesus died, he actually built a heavenly ladder to God; the only bridge connecting men and women to their Creator.

Thousands of years before the birth of the Jesus, the Jewish patriarch, Jacob saw this bridge in a dream as a ladder that went from earth to heaven and was filled with angels ascending and descending.

Today, the world has not changed all that much. Evil is just as destructive as it was fifty years ago, continuing to cause pain and suffering around the globe. Nations continue to rage, the poor are still hungry and millions of babies are murdered each year through legal and illegal abortive procedures. If Dr. King or Jesus were here on earth today they would be standing up, crying out for the injustice that continues to flourish.

Let us not continue to sit idly by, keeping our mouths closed as we watch the finish line approaching. For followers of Jesus Christ, the mountain top is getting closer and we will get there as one people under God. The question is will we walk silently into the kingdom or will we make a stand for what is right as we continue to press on towards the finish line.

There is no need to build more church buildings. No need to raise money by washing cars, selling Christian merchandise or fanciful progressive dinner banquets. No, instead it is time to let the Spirit draw all men to God through His power, grace and mercy. As we live our lives in a way that reflects the goodness of God, people will be drawn to Him. God is light, in Him there is no darkness at all. You are his mirror, so let His light shine through you!   

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