Hope on Death Row

You pretty much can’t see any news at the moment without Death rearing his ugly skull.

Aside from the ongoing strife and conflicts around the world, of which ISIS is only the most visible of many thanks to their media manipulation [it’s long but worth it], big news in Australia and indeed the world is the impending execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for drug trafficking.

It’s been such big news globally that famous Heavy Metal stars like Tommy Iommi (from Black Sabbath) have appealed to Indonesia’s president Widodo for clemency (Widodo is apparently a big Hevey Metal fan) as well as many others and the Australian government. The outrage and dismay has been over the apparent disparity between the crime and punishment, and grounds for appeal have particularly cited the conversion of these men to Christianity, and particularly Andrew Chan’s role in leading many other criminals towards reform.

I truly hope that Widodo does offer mercy to these men.

But regardless I think that this is a good opportunity for us all to reflect on death. Even if Chan and Sukumaran escape the firing squad (which we hope they do) they won’t escape death for long. And neither will I. and Neither will you.

But the hope both these men can hold onto when the rifles point their way is the hope of all Christians: Resurrection hope.

The Lord Jesus, who has saved Chan and Sukumaran as they trust him, rose from the grave. Destroying death and promising everlasting life to those who place their trust in him.

He is so bound up with life that he could claim to be life. At the grave side of his friend Lazarus he could comfort a grieving sister and say

“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do you believe this?”
John 11:25-26

He could say it and not look callous or stupid or like a liar because he demonstrated God’s life giving power as he called Lazarus out of the grave.

I have little doubt that these and similar words form not only the initial attraction of a man on death row to Jesus of, and also his lasting comfort.

I pray that clemency or not we see Chan and Sukumaran standing with their risen Lord at the resurrection to life.

You and I might not be on death row, but we are headed to the grave. Jesus is making the greatest of promises and has proven dependable. If you want life you will find it in him

Do you believe this?

Hope on Death Row