Stanford Baptist Church notes: Sept. 22, 2016

By Laura Lee Wesley
Sermon Title:
15 Years Later
Scripture: Luke 13:1-3

Brother Nick Manzie told our congregation most every person alive on December 7, 1941, remembers the infamous day when Pearl Harbor, Hawaii was attacked by Japan. Most every person alive on November 22, 1963, remembers when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Most every person alive on April 4,1968, remembers when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was slain. Our pastor asked, “Where were you on September 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked us on American soil? Brother Nick explained that this tragic day remains very personal to him. Pastor Nick was raised in New Jersey and as a young adult while working for a trucking company, he often made deliveries to the World Trade Center in New York City. Our pastor told us he lost several friends in the World Trade Center Towers when two jets filled with innocent passengers, crews, and fuel flew into the skyscrapers causing massive explosions and eventually collapsing both famous landmark buildings. Brother Manzie spoke about the tragedies that continued that terrible day at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and the heroes who sacrificed their lives on United Flight 93 when they fought the terrorists to save the lives of many others resulting in the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field. Pastor Nick reminded us that the real estate where the magnificent World Trade Center stood was referred to as “Ground Zero” after they burned and toppled to the earth killing multitudes of people in a horrible sea of dust and rubble. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” Jeremiah 17:9. Our pastor shared the idea that Ground Zero events are circumstances and tragedies which occur in everyone’s life at some time. Marriages fail, children are born with disabilities, mental illness occurs, health declines, there are financial hardships, the loss of jobs, the deaths of a loved one or friends, and rebellious children or grandchildren are only a few examples of Ground Zero experiences people must endure.
Our preacher referred to a Ground Zero type moment that is recorded in Luke 13:1­3. “There were present at that season some that told Him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.” Luke 13:1. Jesus was informed of news of some Galileans who had been massacred by the Roman leader, Pilate, as they were making sacrifices to God in the temple at Jerusalem. Since Jesus was of Galilee, and a prophet who had great interest in that region, perhaps the people were telling The Messiah about this tragic event to try to find a way to revenge the death of these Galileans upon Herod. Bible historians suggest there may have been dissension between Pilate and Herod concerning these Galileans, who were Herod’s subjects. Evidently, Pilate neither feared God nor man. He had no regard for the Altar of the Holy Place in the Temple where the fury of this unjust judge slaughtered the Galileans as they openly worshiped in a place once considered a safe haven from danger. The men who brought Jesus this sad news may have been Jewish and could have suggested that these Galilean men did not present the proper sacrifice at the Temple to raise rebellion. Though Pilate brutally killed the Galilean’s, these men may have told The Messiah that the Galileans were without a doubt secretly bad men. They questioned whether God would have allowed them to be barbarously murdered by the hand of Pilate otherwise. “And Jesus answering said unto them, “Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans because they suffered such things.” “I tell you, Nay, but except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13: 2­3. The accusing men may have shared this information with Jesus to deter Him from going up to Jerusalem to worship because they feared Pilate’s wrath. If they had any thoughts of this kind, they were quite mistaken. Jesus was now going to Jerusalem to be delivered into the hands of Pilate. There, The Messiah would not have his blood mingled with His sacrifice; but Jesus Himself was willing to become the sacrificial lamb on the cross for whosoever believeth on Him throughout the ages. The cross at Golgotha was Jesus Christ’s Ground Zero until He defeated Death and Hell and arose from the grave on the third day.
Our Pastor stated when we face periods of Ground Zero in our lives, we must embrace that God is good and The Almighty will always show up in the midst of trouble when hardships come. As the Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:12, in God’s appointed time, we will see all things clearly, even the reasons why we must sometimes suffer greatly on Earth. Brother Manzie shared the things we now know about Ground Zero, which include: life is uncertain, evil is real and does exist, God is great and His goodness always prevails, and we have a choice to do things that are right.
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21.