24 April 2015 by Esperanza Ng CM –
“The message I have today concerns the fate of humanity—and I’m not exaggerating.” Dr. Lee Chong Yew addressed a crowed of close to three hundred students that were packed into the hall at MCKL (Methodist College Kuala Lumpur) last Friday. “This is a true story about God’s love for us; how He has reached out to us in the past, and how He is still reaching out to us today.”
Ultimately, God will bring an end to all the suffering and pain we see every day, because in Him, we have victory over death! “As I look at so many young people here, the talk of death is not something that is very appealing.” Dr. Lee said. With so much to live for and look forward to, why talk about something so swey ar? Death…! After all, Chinese people like to talk about things like prosperity and blessing, right? Needless to say, death is not a topic that people enjoy discussing.
However, we read in Psalm 16: 9-11:
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
The psalmist says that his heart is glad and his tongue rejoices. His body will rest secure. There is no fear in death, because God’s presence will fill him with joy and eternal pleasures. To the psalmist, there is nothing swey about death. “I just want to make it clear that the death I’m talking about here is not just physical death,” Dr. Lee said. It has eternal implications as well, and that is why it is important that this topic is discussed—unpleasant as it may seem.
Dr. Lee went on to tell the students that as they look at where they are at right now, they have a full life ahead of them. They can participate in sports and exciting activities with friends, meet up at a new chic restaurant, or go to concerts… They can do their best in their studies in order to enroll into the university of their choice, graduate with flying colors and land their dream jobs so they can enjoy the nice things in life.
They chart their lives and seek to be in control. They execute what is best for them. There is even the exciting and exhilarating hope for love and a future someone. “Being in love is fantastic!” Dr. Lee exclaimed. “You can’t think straight, you can’t walk straight, and you talk silly.”
However. “I will not be standing here today to talk to you about victory over death if there was not a major flaw in these beautiful plans.” Dr. Lee said. The truth is that life is not as rosy and straightforward as it seems. In fact, it is filled with burdens, and the Bible tells us why. When God created everything—the birds, the snow capped mountains, and the sun’s golden rays—He said that it was good. When He created humans, He said that is was very good (Genesis 1).
God’s purpose for creating human kind was so that we can have a relationship with him and experience life to the fullest in fellowship with Him. But humans decided to rebel against God, and that was when all the beautiful plans became flawed. Because of our rebellion, this thing called sin came into the world. “Sin is not just aiyah, I did something wrong.” The Bible tells us that sin is like an animal. It is something inside us that pushes us away from God. It’s the little voice in us that says, “God, I don’t really need you. I don’t want to live according to your ways.” Sin tells us that we must believe in our own wisdom, and in our own understanding.
When sin entered our world, it corrupted everything. In this sinful world, sin will propel us to promote our self-interests above everything else. Sin is the desire to live life the way I want it. I become the center of the universe. It is because of this self centered, inward looking desires that humanity has resulted in so much disaster and plight that we see today.
While God has commanded us to love others, sin asks us to love ourselves. I am the priority—not anyone else. Sin prevents us from loving others wholeheartedly and unselfishly. It has crept into every nook and cranny of life. Families are falling apart because money and success have taken priority in life, marriages break up because people find that their spouses are not meeting their needs and desires, and on the larger scale, global issues like modern day slavery and the sex trade are becoming more and more rampant—all because every one is seeking to meet their own needs at the expense of everybody else.
Sin permeates every part of life, including our perception of God. People often think that God judges us based on our actions. The more good we do, the higher our chances of entering heaven. Too many bad deeds will send us to the fiery pit. We tend to think that if we don’t do enough good, God will not accept us. But the truth cannot be farther from that.
The good news is that even before we were born, God already loved us. In God’s eyes, we don’t need to be special to be accepted. God created us and already accepts who we are. Although we are powerless against sin, God did not give up on us. As humans, we cannot save each other because we are all sinful. That is why Jesus had to die!
God saved us from eternal death by sending Himself; God Himself became man. In the form of Jesus, He became the only man who ever lived that never sinned. And when that sinless man died, He died on behalf of all of us—once and for all. It was as if God unleashed all His wrath on Jesus. Wrath that was meant for you and me.
This was God’s grand plan for us. When Jesus resurrected after three days in the tomb, He overcame death. Therefore when we accept His plan for us and receive His forgiveness, we also will have victory over death. We also will be given God’s power to overcome sin—to love unconditionally, and to forgive when there seems to be no reason to forgive.
Ms. Moey Yoke Lai, the CEO of MCKL, then closed the rally by saying that she has witnessed many deaths, both among those who had a personal relationship with Jesus and those who did not. She went on to say that her personal experience with watching her own parents leave this earth with the knowledge and peace that Jesus was waiting on the other side has given her the assurance that indeed, in Christ, we have victory over death!
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