God of the Second Chance

Posted by Elaine April 30, 2015 at 12:00 AM AEST

How did Jesus change the course of history? What was the significance of His death on the cross?

Before Jesus died, worship was conducted in a Tabernacle – you can read here in Hebrews chapter 9.

And when Jesus died on the cross, the spilling of His Blood changed everything, bringing a new covenant: So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that great, perfect sanctuary in heaven, not made by human hands and not part of this created world.

Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” ….. Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins….

For Christ has entered into heaven itself to appear now before God as our Advocate. He came once for all to remove the power of sin forever by his sacrificial death for us. And just as it is destined that each person dies only once and after that comes judgement, so also Christ died only once as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again but not to deal with our sins again.

Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.. For Christ didn’t enter the earthly version of the Holy Place; he entered the Place Itself, and offered himself to God as the sacrifice for our sins….. He sacrificed himself once and for all … and this sacrifice of himself was the final solution for sin.

Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation. Hebrews 9

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God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. Acts 2:32-33

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us…. That’s what we get when we accept Jesus as our saviour and personal guide for life! Thank you Jesus!

It was so sad to wake to the news that these Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran paid the ultimate price for the sins of their youth. These men who went to Bali as drug couriers faced a gun squad after being found guilty in a court of law, regardless of their changed lives. Many sought their freedom because they had re-habilitated themselves and others believed they were being rightly punished for their actions.

I know little about Myuran Sukumaran, but because Andrew Chan had accepted Jesus and gained a personal relationship with the God of the second chance, I knew he went to his death with this deep confidence in his heart that nothing could separate him from the love of God as Romans 8:38-39 in the Living Bible. Although I had nothing other than my Bible and my personal relationship to base my thoughts on, as I began to write I knew Andrew would be confident in God and all would be well – that’s what we get when we accept Jesus as our saviour and personal guide for life.

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us…..

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Then I found this news report confirming my thoughts that all was well with Andrew. I’m blessed by this powerful report confirming once again that God is real when we trust in Him.
The source of this information following is – Here are highlights…

All eight men shot by an Indonesian firing squad … were singing with their final breaths. Pastor Karina de Vega said some prisoners sung for one another, their voices carrying through the night air before being silenced. “They were praising their God,” Pastor de Vega told Fairfax Media.
“It was breathtaking. This was the first time I witnessed someone so excited to meet their God.”
One sung Amazing Grace in an experience Pastor Vega described as the most beautiful moment she ever experienced.

“They bonded together,” she said. “Brotherhood. They sang one song after another. Praising God. They sang a few songs together, like in a choir. The non-Christian I believe also sang from his heart. It was such an experience.”

Chan had a mobile phone in his cell in death row at Kerobokan jail until he was moved onto Nusa Kambangan island, where he would later be executed. Text messages from Andrew Chan in the final months of his life to a journalist have provided new insight into the executed drug smuggler’s state of mind before his death.

The exchanges with sports journalist Phil Rothfield, published by News Corp, reveal Chan had founded an orphanage for Indonesian children and delve into is troubled childhood in Sydney’s west. Chan said he hadn’t publicised the plans to build the centre as he feared his true intentions would be misinterpreted.

“People are sceptical with their bulls—t saying I only do it coz I’m trying to get off [the death penalty],” he wrote in the messages. “I give an education to kids who need to wake up at 2am and walk to school to get there on time.”

Andrew Chan in his primary school days. (Supplied)
Chan elaborated on his troubled upbringing growing up in a housing commission complex in Sydney’s west.

“I had an interesting past,” he wrote. “Some of my mates had real tough lives. “Most of my mates are dead now though or in jail.”

Chan said he had worked for notorious Kings Cross criminal identity Danny Karam as a teen and had become addicted to heroin at a young age.

“My first time I ever touched heroin I was like 14,” Chan wrote.

“We started off with methadone when we couldn’t get grog.

“It smashed us and we got addicted on the stuff.” …

Chan became a qualified pastor in jail and said he considered suicide before finding God.

“I love my NRL seriously but I love just teaching people as well,” he wrote.

“I love four things: Jesus, family, friends and football.”

Chan said his brother Michael would write a book detailing his early life and ten-year drugs saga in Bali.

After hearing he had been sentenced to death Andrew said:
“When I got back to my cell, I said, ‘God, I asked you to set me free, not kill me.’ God spoke to me and said, ‘Andrew, I have set you free from the inside out, I have given you life!’ From that moment on I haven’t stopped worshipping Him. I had never sung before, never led worship, until Jesus set me free.”
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Chan and Febyanti Herewila, who he wed on the eve of his execution.(Supplied) and because they are christians, death is not the end for them, they will be together again.

Now from those who knew him personally:
Andrew spoke to our church 2 years ago and shared his testimony via Skype. He was a personal friend of our pastor. In the last 10 years of his imprisonment, he has shared Christ with more than 100 inmates, many who accepted Christ, turned from their ways and left prison transformed (many who were repeated offenders were rehabilitated). On the day he was taken to the execution island, he told my pastor that he was good, and there were 10,000 reasons for him to still praise God. He said to live is Christ and to die is gain. Even in his last hours on earth today, it’s been reported he comforted his fellow death row inmates. Yin Hun Chen

He was a personal friend of mine who was truly a changed man inside and out! Although thousands of people are shedding tears for him and Myu one thing is certain, we will see them again. Hundreds of souls have experienced Jesus in the notorious prison in Bali because of Andrew. Although he is gone, he truly loved and lived to the fullest during the last 10 years. We pray Gods glory be shown over and over again through their lives and this situation. He was a truly genuine man of God! Nikki Stubbs

Rest in Peace Andrew, now safe in the arms of Jesus! So many souls saved through your life & testimony.God took his mess and made it a message. Thank You Lord for his testimony. Faith Ling

And this

To read these comments from people who knew Andrew personally testifying to the kind of man he became, leading many to Christ in prison during his time in prison truly blesses me and I have to wonder how many of us have actually have that kind of impact on those around us…

Andrew, I’m happy to share your story because none of us can say we’re got it right with every choice we’ve made. May those reading look beyond the mistake to see the life of peace you gained from accepting Jesus, the only one that can save us. May we follow your example in leading others into the life that God designed for us all.

Please share this message with those you love and bring light to someone else’s world!

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