‘Because He Lives’ By Matt Maher
I was dead in the grave
I was covered in sin and shame
I heard mercy call my name
He rolled the stone away
I’m alive, I’m alive
Because He lives
Let my song join the one that never ends
We live because he lives. We can never repay for the harm and damage we’ve done to God all these years. We hurt others and we damage relationships we’ve once cherished and loved. We drove nails into our savior’s hands and feet. We laid a crown of thorns upon his head and mocked him, spit on him, even cast lots for remains of his clothing. The King of the Jews, the soldiers laughed as he slowly asphyxiated. “Tetelestai” Jesus proclaimed which translated means it is finished. Not that he was saying is last, but with his last heartbeat all of mankind’s sins would be forgiven. Christ was the sacrificial lamb, and despite everything we have done, despite everything humanity would do in the future, the atrocities proclaimed in the name of religion, all the pain we would cast upon one another, forgiveness in love was and is the path to an eternity of perfection with our creator.
As an archer I believe strongly in the idea that an arrow is strong, and as true as the archer who shoots it. In the right hands an arrow can bring death and life at the same time. An archer can defend ones home, defend ones kingdom against invaders, and provide needed food for their family. An archer must take care of his bow and arrows in order for them to continue to do what he needs. If an arrow completely breaks there are only some things an archer can do to repair the damage. Damage will come and maintenance and care will be needed to maintain. Our faith is the same way. If we do not maintain our faith, our constant days in prayer, reading and study of scripture, our fellowship with other Christians, we too will find that our faith will break.
A while back someone did something that I felt was a betrayal of the deepest kind. They made a decision for what they must have thought was right, but it hurt me dearly. I thought that friendship, that bond that was shared was stronger then that, but in that moment I felt the stab in the heart on a very arrow I once used. The arrow broke in half, and I believed it could never be repaired. I believed after that kind of betrayal nothing could ever repair the damage. What if I was wrong? It wasn’t about forgiveness; it was about understanding the motive. What if because of my own vantage point I couldn’t see the whole story, what if there was more to it?
What I know is no matter the pain the right thing to do is offer forgiveness. We were never worthy of the forgiveness we were given by Christ, but alas we Live because Jesus Died. No matter what the wound is, forgiveness is about harmony. Matthew 6:14-15 “14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Often I hear people say I forgive you, but I’m still mad at you. I say this isn’t true forgiveness. If you truly forgive someone you hold nothing against him or her any longer. If someone truly repents from then on forgive. Ephesians 4:31-32 “31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Believe though there is a difference between repenting and a sorry. Repenting is taking action to make things right. This to try and ensure the grievance won’t happen again. An apology must be from the heart, not just ‘sorry’ because just a sorry may mean I’m sorry I got caught. What is that apology if the action continues to happen? If someone truly is sorry, and there is real repentance in their heart try to take them at their word. REMEMBER THOUGH, FORGIVENESS DOES NOT REQUIRE AN APOLOGY FROM THE OTHER PERSON!
Don’t let anger and hate break an arrow. Don’t let your personal feelings cloud your judgment. Always keep in mind there are two sides to a story and we may never know all of it. We may never understand the why and the how. Love is the key and love is the answer. Gods love is greater and stronger then we will ever know, and if we are to live Christ Like then we must be able to channel at least a little of that love and don’t allow anger and hate to break any of our arrows. We are weapons for Christ, and in that our arrows are our weapons we use to spread the Holy Spirit in the Word of God. Remember we must perform maintenance on our hearts just like our bow, and when we clear out the imperfections, when we watch for cracks, or damages, we can fix them before they become major problems. No matter how far you’ve gone down a path we can always unmake a mistake by truly repenting in our hearts, and asking for forgiveness. Don’t let fear and doubt keep you from salvation.
I say to you lift your hands to the sky and praise your God and ask for Forgiveness for all you’ve done. Forgive all those who’ve wronged you and hurt you. Go to God with a clear heart, and let the Holy Spirit fill it. There will always be people out there to hurt us, but we don’t have to hold onto that anger that hate. Offer up yourself, and be a warrior for God. Pick up your bow and follow God. Strengthen them with love, hope, forgiveness, and your arrows will never be broken by the Devil.