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Paulit-ulit Nalang…

By Pastor Alex Ruelo

Being on lockdown, you might feel like you are stuck doing the same things over and over again. It may be frustrating for a lot of people because it seems like it is going on forever. Covid cases are on the rise and with a new and stronger variant too!

Bad news come over and over again. Just like people who sin over and over again too. Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 says, ““History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new. Sometimes people say, “Here is something new!” But actually it is old; nothing is ever truly new. We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.” God knows it already. He knows your sin before you commit it.

The lockdown is not the first of its kind. It has been happening ever since the world began. Noah was locked down inside the ark for 40 days and 40 nights. Jonah was quarantined by himself in the belly of a big fish. Moses and the Hebrews were all by themselves when they were journeying to the promised land. The Bible warned about these things. 2 Peter 2:20-22 says, “And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.” Thinking of a sin you keep on doing again and again is disgusting. What if you are actually really doing it? I do not know if you have seen dogs going back to their vomit. It is an abhorrent sight.

Bad news are here left and right. But in this pandemic, you want good news in the midst of this storm. Earthquakes and wildfire are occurring everywhere. People cannot go out of their homes and jobs are on the line.

While Moses was going down the mountain holding the two tablets containing the Ten Commandments, the people knew that it was God who gave those laws. As with the law with the lepers. If the bad news keep on repeating itself, the grace of God also abounds. Even if you are hard-headed and keep on sinning, God continues to run after you. Matthew 8: 1-4 tells this story: ‘’Large crowds followed Jesus as he came down the mountainside. Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” In the Old Testament, leprosy was the worst sickness of its kind. You become an outcast and proclaimed as unclean. You had to keep your distance, just like now when you have to be quarantined if you feel any effects of the corona virus. In the book of Leviticus, if you were stricken with leprosy, you had to wear tattered clothes and while walking, had to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” If not, people can just pick up a stone and throw it at you.

The good news is, in the story, Jesus Christ approached the leper and touched him. Leprosy is a symbol of sin in the Bible. That is why nobody wanted to get near a leper and acquire his sickness. But no matter how sick or sinful a person is, you can be assured that God will continue to come and listen to your prayers.

If your sins were flashed before you while walking around, surely you would stay in your homes. The sad part is, when people see someone sinning, they think they have the right to judge. Just like the lepers in the old days, people know when a person is a sinner. They have are judged and identified because of the sins they have done. The sins you committed decades ago are still brought forth. Even when God has already changed you, your sins come before you. But Jesus reaches out still and touches you. Nobody can clean up after man. If you look at the next verses in Matthew, you will read about the story of the centurion who had a sick servant. And Jesus healed him from afar. He was willing to reach out and will do everything to get to you. He even got dirty because of you. Jesus who had no sin took on the sins of the world so that you can have eternal life. 2 Corinthians 5:21 tells you, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”

Some people do not want to go to church because they are sinful. But who among the church goers are without sin? Nowadays, there is no more excuse not to go to church. Because it is right there at your fingertips. Jesus came to do what He came to do. Jesus did not really want to die on the cross. But it was His Father’s will. And it doesn’t matter who you are. Jesus died for you.

“Do not tell anyone about this,” Jesus said to the leper. He said this with a passion. But the leper left and told everyone anyway. You think Jesus did not know that he was going to do that? Of course He did. He is God. But even if Jesus knew that people will continue to sin, He still died for you anyway. While He was hanging from the cross, He asked His Father to forgive the people He was looking down onto.

Jesus healed you and me. He changed me and my family. God’s grace will continue to prevail. If you think this lockdown is getting the best of you, God will still continue to pick you up from the muddy place where you are.

The leper was the one who approached Jesus. He used to shout ‘unclean.’ But this time, he shouted, “LORD!” And he was made clean. God wants you to change your routine and come to Him. Hebrews 10:26 says, “Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins.” There is nobody else who can save you. Jesus already did it all for you. If you continue to sin, Jesus will keep on calling you. He asks you to be clean.

Hebrews 10:11-14 says, ‘’Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” The leper was cleaned by the High Priest, Jesus Christ. The body os Jesus that He sacrificed on the cross is for life. If you still continually sin, Jesus did it all for you

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