“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
CHRIST here opens his door to those who have been thrown out of communities, and who in turn have rejected all communities. They include fugitives, homeless and loiterers in the streets, coffee houses, bars and brothels. They strayed from the way, left what is known to be right among men and became uncomfortable with those who serve, preach and give advice, until finally they detested their own lives. To these, while hanging on the cross, Christ calls:
OME TO ME, do not be afraid of me, because I carry your sins in my body, by the will of the Father and my full agreement. Is there any sin you committed that is so revolting that I could not carry it in my body? I carry in my body all the fornication of adulterers, all the crimes of thieves and murderers, and all who have wronged their families, homes, friends and enemies alike. No matter how detestable a man’s enmity may be, I take it with contentment upon my body. So why should you fear anyone, for I have made myself the partner of every murderer, apostate, thief, embezzler? I, yes I, have made myself your brother in sin; I carried its shame on my body, and for it I shed until death my blood on the cross. Because of sin I died in sin. So I say, Come to me, do not fear, do not avoid me in shame, for I am your brother in your sins, yet by my blood I succeeded in atoning for all of them for your sake. Rejoice with me because when I died in sin for sin, I was made innocent of its shame in order to vindicate you with me. Will you accept my righteousness freely given? For your justification I ask nothing in return, for I received my vindication freely from my Father when he poured his glory on me, and he raised me from the death of sin and brought me to life with him in his glory! So here I invite you in the name of my Father to receive my free righteousness, for I became righteous freely by the power of my Father, and he gave me his righteousness so that by it I make righteous all who come to me in the name of my Father. Do you accept my invitation, for which I paid by my sacrifice on the cross and the pouring out of my blood to death?
I demand nothing of you. This is my promise before my Father and the angels. Only accept my death on your behalf to partake in the glory of my resurrection by the glory of the Father. Before you is my invitation. Believe it even if it may seem profoundly difficult to move from sin to righteousness freely given and from the judgment of eternal death to life through an eternal promise. Does any one believe a sinner can become righteous and the dead rise and live the life of eternity? I know this is new for you, so difficult to understand and accept, but I, Jesus Christ the Son of God, “the bright Morning Star,” “King of kings and Lord of lords,” covenant to you that I will be with you every step from the poison of sin to the antidote against death. Trust in me, for my Father has given me “all authority in heaven and on earth,” and enabled me to heal every disease, raise all the dead and vindicate every sinner. So come to me all you who are weary, who have been wounded and conquered by sin. Come to me, you upon whose frail backs Satan has placed heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. This is my promise before my Father and the angels and all who dwell in heaven, who will rejoice with you an inexpressible and glorious joy.
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