Easter Refractions

Paskalya’yı aniden algılayamıyorum ben. Yüreğim sağır mıdır ki bir gün yetmiyor? Resmi olarak kutladığımız gün bitmek üzereyken gözü dalıp günün önemini düşünüyordum. Ancak o zaman gözyaşı dökmeye başladım. İnsanlar metroda ağlayan bir yabancıyı görünce ne düşünmüşlerse benim umurumda değil. Ben ölmeye hak ederken yerimde bir kurban kesildi. Fakat o kurban mezara tutsak kalmadı. O nasıl dirildiyse ben de O’nunla dirildim. Ancak buna layık değilim. Sabahtan beri O’nu düşünüp kutladığım halde bugün içerisinde O’nun güzel adını sayısızca lekelemiş oldum. Yaşamasını kutlarken ölmesinin sebebi olmaya devam ettim. “Ne zavallı insanım! Ölüme götüren bu bedenden beni kim kurtaracak? Rabbimiz İsa Mesih aracılığıyla Tanrı’ya şükürler olsun!” Her pazar günü resmi kutlamamız devam edecektir ta ki kutladığımız kurtarıcı dönene kadar. “İşte, dünyanın günahını ortadan kaldıran Tanrı Kuzusu!”

I am unable to comprehend Easter in a moment. Is my heart deaf that one day is not enough? As the day in which we officially celebrate was almost at a close, I was staring into space and reflecting on the importance of the day. It was only then that my tears began to flow. It matters not to me what people must have thought to see a foreigner crying on the metro. While I deserved death a sacrifice was made in my place. However that sacrifice did not stay entrapped in the grave. As he rose to life so I have been made alive with him. Yet I am not worthy of this. Though I have thought on and celebrated Him since the morning, I have brought countless stains upon his beautiful name. Even while celebrating His life I have continued to be the cause of his death. “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Our official celebration will continue every Sunday until the day when the savior we commemorate returns. “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!


Do all roads lead to Rome?

All the world’s religions are but man’s attempts to create a road to God. Christ is the road God paved to reach men.

The legions of men who blithely assert that all religions lead to God in the end are right in this: that the many varied roads mapped and traveled by men in their attempt to reach God merely merge into one wide way. The exception invariably overlooked is Christ: the narrow road that God mapped and traveled to reach lost men.

Dinlerin hepsini zaten Tanrı’ya ulaşır diye israr eden insanların tasasız kalabalıkları yalnız şunda doğrulardır: Tanrı’ya ulaşmaya girişimde bulunan insanların çok çeşitli çizdiği ve seyahat ettiği yoların tümü ancak geniş bir yol oluşturmak üzere birleşir. Devamlı gözden kaçan istisna, Mesih’tir: Tanrı’nın, kaybolan insanlara ulaşmak üzere çizdiği ve seyahat ettiği dar yolu.


Dear Mr. Bell

Dear Mr. Bell,

I was saddened to learn this evening, through various members of the body, that you have chosen not to believe in truth as laid out by our Maker. I realize that I am drawing many conclusions based on very short statements in a film clip promoting your upcoming book, but to my ears you were very clear in marking out the ground on which you stood. If you feel your meaning has been mis-read, I beg you to stand up and clarify what you really mean. Otherwise, the lines between yourself and Christianity have been drawn. Like my other brothers, I appreciate your clarity. It makes you easy to approach respectfully even if I could not disagree more strongly.

Perfect honesty would compel me to state that I am not surprised. Having read some of your previous works, I knew you were playing with fire, chasing after how things feel more than how they are. However I am still both saddened and shocked.

It is not shocking to me that somebody would draw the conclusions you have drawn. Very many people in this world do; although few express them as succinctly as you have. What shocks me is you seem to have grasped the core issue and yet not seen the beauty in the Truth.

Of course I am sad that you are not walking on the narrow way and as a fellow human invite you to investigate again the man who claimed to be God. Yet beyond this, I was saddened by your commentary on the whole of Christianity. Apparently, we are not doing our job!

I take from your words a challenge. You make this statement:

“…what gets subtly sort of caught and taught is that Jesus rescues you from God…”

You are very perceptive in identifying that detail as one of the core teachings of Christianity, buried deep in the heart of our doctrine. What makes me sad is that you perceive this truth as being taught “subtly”. We must be proclaiming this from the rooftops! I myself have taught this truth many times … and yet not enough. It was this truth that compelled me in desperation to first pray the sinners prayer (even if that’s not exactly how things work); and it was this truth again that later set me free to serve a new master. It was to pronounce this truth that I chose to live in a strange land and learn a strange tongue. Just as Christ lived among us and spoke our language that He might proclaim the good news that He would take the wrath of God against sinners on His own shoulders and that in following Him we would be rescued from that fate, so I pray my life among and speech with those still under that curse would point them towards Him.

My allegiance lies with the God who saved me from himself for himself. Thank you for the challenge to make this truth less subtle through every breath I take. I humbly invite you to examine the Gospel again. It is the LEGENDARY GOOD news that we have been presented a solution to the EPICALLY BAD news.


P.S. You ask, “How could that god be good; how could that god ever be trusted?” I answer, because He gave up the life of His own Son as a propitiation. If that’s not worth trusting…


The second Adam / İkinci Adem

From the day Adam donned the first rags to hide his shame so has every man ever sought to guise his depravity. History is littered with tales of meanest peasant and richest king who but scraped together the means to salvage their own honor by bartering another’s shame. All but one man. The second Adam willingly shed His perfect covering of glory that hid no fault so we might behold Him. And because our wretched states cannot abide such perfection we cast Him out and crucified Him. Yet by His death the veil between heaven and earth was torn asunder and The Way for our redemption was revealed. Come sinner! Cast aside your rags, take up your cross and follow Jesus.

Adem utancını gizlemek için ilk paçavra giyindiği günden beri soyundan gelen her adam günahkarlığını saklamaya çabalar. Tarih, kendi onuru kaybetmemek amacıyla başkasının utancını takas eden mahrum köylülerin ve zengin kralların hikâyeleriyle doludur. Tek bir adam hariç. İkinci Adem, biz kendini görebilelim diye gönül rızasıyla hiç bir kusuru kaplanmayan mükemmel görkem örtüsünü bıraktı. Biz ise, sefil günahkâr halimizin O’nun mükemmelliğine katlanamadığından dolayı O’nu dışlanıp çarmıha gerdik. Fakat O’nun ölmesiyle cennet ile dünya arasındaki peçe yırtıldı ve kurtuluşumuzun Yol’u açığa vuruldu. Gel günahkâr! Paçavralarını terk edin ve çarmıhını yüklenip İsa’yı izleyin!