In the history of the world God chose ONLY ONE PERSON to be martyred for the salvation of souls and to avenge the injustice of sin and to pay the price for that sin and that person was God’s Only Son, Jesus Christ, the Incarnate God.
Some people unfamiliar with Christianity may not understand the concept of the Holy Trinity, ONE God existing simultaneously as three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God chose to become Man. His Holy Spirit was sent upon the Virgin Mary and she conceived.
The Virgin Mary’s husband, Joseph, was told by an Angel of The Lord:
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
The name Jesus means “God Saves”.
Jesus is the living God, God incarnate, ONE with the Father and the Holy Spirit. The word “Christ” means ‘anointed’ or ‘chosen’. Jesus, Our Lord and Our God was chosen to be Our Saviour.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9
In the history of Christianity there have been many martyrs who died while witnessing to the Truth of Jesus Christ. All of these people died because the forces of evil preyed on them, but none of these people died because God willed for them to die!
Jesus was the ONLY ONE, the HOLY ONE, who God willed to be martyred for our salvation. Jesus was chosen to atone for the grave injustice of our sins against God.
If you have read the Bible you will know that one of the first persecutors of the early Christians was a man who ultimately became one of our great saints, St. Paul. St. Paul was a Jewish man and he felt he was doing the right thing killing Christians and stopping the growth of Christianity. St. Paul was present when the people stoned St. Stephen to death. He was responsible for putting Christians in prison. But do you know what happened?
Jesus revealed Himself to St. Paul and St. Paul was converted.
St. Paul writes:
“I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.” Galatians 1: 11-16
Then the people began hearing St. Paul preach the Gospel and people marvelled that “The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” Galatians 1:24
Jesus warned His Apostles about the persecution His people would face. Jesus said, “…the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them.” John 16: 2-4
Tragically there are many Christians today being persecuted for their faith and there are many terrorists who ‘think they are offering a service to God’ by killing Christians or Jews or others they call ‘infidels’. Some of these people are strapping explosives to their bodies and killing themselves and others in what they believe to be a call to ‘holy martyrdom’ to avenge injustice against God. We MUST PRAY FOR THEM because they are deceived by Satan to commit these acts of violence! We must pray that God reveals the truth to them so they may join us in the TRUE FAITH OF JESUS CHRIST!
THIS IS THE TRUTH:
GOD ONLY CHOSE ONE PERSON TO BECOME A MARTYR TO AVENGE THE INJUSICE COMMITTED AGAINST HIM AND TO PAY THE PRICE FOR OUR SINS AND TO RESTORE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND THAT PERSON IS JESUS CHRIST, GOD’S ONLY SON, ONE WITH THE FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT!
The Only One that God called to give up His Body as a Holy Sacrifice in a Holy Martyrdom for Mankind is Jesus Christ!
Now that doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge that people like St. Peter and St. Paul and the Christians who are dying today for their faith in Christ are not martyrs because they are martyrs. But God did not WILL for them to die! They died because men were permitted to exercise their free will to take these lives in acts of violence and hatred NOT because God willed for them to die.
The distinction between God WILLING for something to happen versus God ALLOWING something to happen must be understood. God wills for all people to live in peace. God does NOT will for anyone to be persecuted for their faith, but God allows people to exercise their free will any way they want, including through acts of violence and vengeance that offend Him.
The night before Jesus died, Jesus went into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. In that garden we witness a struggle between the humanity of Jesus and the divinity of Jesus. Jesus is contemplating the great suffering He would have to endure for the salvation of mankind and He prays to the Father. “He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Matthew 26:39
God willed for Jesus to become our ‘Sacrificial Lamb’, the ‘Holy Martyr’ who would avenge the injustice of the sins mankind committed against God. Jesus would offer up His Divine life as a ransom for the sins of all people and in this way Jesus would reconcile us to God. Jesus, Divine Mercy would pay the price of Divine Justice by allowing Himself to be martyred for our salvation!
“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
Jesus Christ was not an ordinary human being, for if He had been just a man His crucifixion on the Cross would have been the END of His story. But Christ’s death on the Cross was the consummation of His Holy Work of Redemption and three days after His death (on Easter Sunday) Jesus rose again to life (in the Resurrection) to show us His triumph over death and the promise of eternal life.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished– he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” Romans 3 23-26
As Christians we believe in the power of Jesus’ Blood to wash away our sins.
On the night before Jesus died, Jesus spoke of the eternal covenant in His Blood. Jesus would be martyred and His Holy Blood would cleanse us of our sins.
Sins are the ultimate injustice against God. God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ would avenge the injustice of sin Himself by giving His life for our salvation.
At the Last Supper (on the night before Jesus died)
Jesus, “took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28
The Eternal Covenant or the New Covenant replaces the Old Covenant God established through Moses. The New Covenant is the eternal promise of God, signed in the Holy Blood of Jesus. It is a promise of redemption (i.e., forgiveness of sins). It is a promise of eternal life and it is a promise of a life of grace. By dying for us, God establishes the conditions to enable us to be both cleansed of our sins and sanctified by His Grace, so long as we consent to a ‘covenant relationship’ with Him.
What is a Covenant Relationship with Jesus?
Remember a covenant relationship is a contract of sorts between God and mankind. In this relationship, we, the people of God, are called to surrender our life to God by trusting in Him and doing His will and God in turn promises to cleanse us of our sins and bless us through the power of His Blood and by His Holy Spirit so we can fulfill the plans God has for us. God does not put a ‘magic spell’ on us that prevents us from sinning, but if we choose to enter into the type of sacred intimacy, the type of ‘covenant relationship’ God wills for us to live in, then we will be supplied with God’s grace to live a life of dignity and honor that gives glory to God.
Our Lord Jesus died for us so that He could purify us from the sins of our past and bless us with a New Heart and a New Life in Christ.
The ‘new heart’ of the Christian is baptized by the Holy Spirit of God and made clean by the purifying Holy Blood of Jesus. Through His death we are set free from the impurity of our sins and united to the life giving grace of Our Saviour Jesus Christ who wills to live in an intimate communion with us.
God’s promise of giving His people a ‘new heart’ was spoken of when God said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26-27
The power of Jesus’ Blood conquers the power of death giving us the promise of eternal life and it conquers the power of Satan in our lives if we choose to listen to Jesus who comes to live in our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit and through the power of His Body and Blood that we receive in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.” John 6:53-57
I offer you the following image for your spiritual reflection:
Consider the Chalice used in the Mass. Before it can become the Holy Cup of Blessing it must first be empty and clean. Then it can be filled with wine. Then through the prayers of consecration and the power of the Holy Spirit it becomes the Blood of Christ and in so doing the commandment of Jesus to do this in remembrance of Him is fulfilled: “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 1 Corinthians 11:25
Consider that we, Disciples of Jesus, are intended to be vessels of God’s love. God wishes to come and live in us but before that can happen, we must humble ourselves and empty ourselves of all pride, vanity and arrogance. We must come before God confessing our sins, asking Him to forgive us and purify us. Once we are empty of our pride and self-confidence we can turn with trust to God praying for His forgiveness and for His Holy Spirit and Sacred Blood to purify us and bless us, drawing us into a communion of intimacy, a communion of purpose where we surrender our life and our free will to the will of God.
“I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44
God is the ONLY source of HOLINESS and He desires that we be consecrated to Him. This means we must recognize that our lives are intended for His glory. We must live each day, each experience to honor Him as we listen attentively to His Spirit speaking to our conscience.
The Holy Sacrifice of Jesus, His Holy Martyrdom is the ONLY SACRIFICE, THE ONLY MARTYRDOM THAT REDEEMS THE HUMAN RACE TO GOD AND ATONES FOR THE INJUSTICE OF SIN AGAINST GOD.
The Blood of Jesus has the power to totally transform us if we are willing to be changed.
“Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22
Jesus is the HOLY ONE, Our Lord and Our Saviour and His Sacrifice, His Holy Martyrdom atones for our sins and calls us to draw near to Him to receive purification, blessing, sanctification, but all of these things require our consent to God’s will.
Do you remember when Jesus said, “For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.” John 17:19 Jesus is God Incarnate but God’s plan was not simply for God to be born and live among us. The fulfillment of God’s plan required that He die for us and when Jesus submitted to the will of God by dying for us He sanctified Himself.
Herein lies the battleground for our sanctification.
In every human heart a war will be fought between the forces of good and evil, between honor and temptation. When we call upon Jesus through the power of His Spirit and the power of His Blood to help us, we will receive the help we need to conquer the force of evil and temptation in our life. But this conquering, this victory over sin requires that we be willing to live continuously in the presence of God, believing with total conviction in His Power to make us a holy people.
On the Cross Jesus triumphs over evil. He pays the price for our sins. He opens the gates of heaven to us and He invites us into a communion of love where His Sacrifice, His Martyrdom, enables us to become a chosen people.
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
In addition to all that you do for God, I invite you to honor Jesus in one additional small, sacred, special way.
I invite you to join your brothers and sisters in Christ who are stopping to remember the Passion of Christ and the Holy Martyrdom of Jesus Christ at 3pm (in our local time zones) EVERYDAY! Three o’clock is the time Jesus died for our salvation and at this time let us come together as ONE Body of Christ to pray for all souls as we quietly contemplate the Passion of Christ. Let us pray for people who are deceived into believing that God is calling them to kill in His Name. Let us pray for people living lives that offend God. Let us pray for the Holy Blood of Jesus to reconcile souls to God and restore our lives to the dignity and peace and honor that God intended.
The world needs to understand that God is not calling people to fight violent revolutions with guns and bombs, God is calling people to commit to A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ. In this Peaceful Revolution God gives us a ‘new heart’ to enable us to overcome temptation and seek the Holy Will of God which is love, mercy and justice. A Peaceful Revolution is the revolutionary change that occurs when we truly convert to the true faith in Jesus Christ. We become filled with the peace of knowing that we are holding the hand of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, fighting the ‘good fight’, honoring God one choice at a time, for love is the choice that honors God!
Let’s remember the Holy Martyrdom of Our Saviour Jesus Christ each day at the time He died for us, 3pm, in our local time zones, as we remember the greatest love the world has ever known and will ever know, the love of God!
“Because God’s children are human beings–made of flesh and blood–the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.” Hebrews 2:14