Thursday, February 6, 2014
The End of Corruption
Acts 13:34 As to his raising him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way,
‘I will give you the holy promises made to David.’
Acts 13:35 Therefore he has also said in another psalm,
‘You will not let your Holy One experience corruption.’
Acts 13:36 For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, died, was laid beside his ancestors, and experienced corruption;
Acts 13:37 but he whom God raised up experienced no corruption.
Paul was testifying to the work of Jesus Christ and he wanted them all to understand the unique nature of his death and resurrection. Jesus’ death was like none that had ever been experienced before. Lazarus may have been raised from the dead but he was in the tomb for days and his body had begun to deteriorate. His flesh had seen corruption. Jesus’ body did not experience corruption for his victory was complete and the corruption of humanity which was begun with the sinning of Adam and Eve was put to a halt in the obedience of Christ. This signaled the end of corruption, not only for Christ, but for all of humanity.
When we live in sin, we live in corruption. This is a genuine physical corruption but it can also be a corruption of the mind and attitudes.
One of the major concerns in terms of security in the world is corruption. Entire countries and governments are susceptible to the power of corruption, especially when we are talking about large sums of money.
The three most corrupt countries in the world today are Somalia, Afghanistan and North Korea. Is it possible that in these nations, government officials, or those in power, do not seek justice or mercy, but instead seek power for their own personal gain? That attitude of power and corruption then filters down among and through the people who believe that if their officials can break the rules, they can as well. Ultimately we see that sin creates an atmosphere of corruption. It is a world in which things become out of balance and the destruction is wide-spread.
The Armenian earthquake in the late 1980’s revealed the weaknesses of the Soviet Union. Here was a place where corruption had also become the norm. In an earthquake prone location the Soviets built their cookie-cutter high-rise buildings. Not only did they build this style of building, but the atmosphere of corruption allowed for the people doing the building to sell off materials to line their own pockets. Why put enough re-bar or concrete into the structure when we can make a little money on the side? Therefore, when the earthquake struck, not only did you have dangerously high buildings, but they were also weak buildings and it’s no wonder that they came down stacked like giant piles of pancakes. Over 400,000 people lost their homes in less than a minute. Yes, corruption can lead to wide-spread destruction.
The original sin of Adam and Eve has left humanity in a state of corruption. This victory of Jesus Christ is a victory for you and for me. We do not have to live in a trajectory of corruption but instead we can live on a trajectory of life brought to us by Jesus. That is what Paul wanted the people to understand, and he wants us to know it today as well. Jesus’ victory means that we do not have to live with the continual battle of the bent toward sinning — or toward corruption. Instead, we can live with a bent toward living as we are drawn closer to him. Jesus broke the power of sin and death and when we enter into a relationship with Christ, he draws us toward him as we follow him on the highway of holiness.
Too often we do not recognize the power to break free from corruption. Interestingly the more Christianized nations of the world are the least corrupt. Does that surprise us? Yes, the work of Christ in this world is transformational, not just on a personal level, but on a corporate level. Paul was excited to share this testimony about Christ. The end of corruption had come! We are invited to enter into a relationship with him in which the corruption in our own lives will be put to rest and when the day comes that we are reunited with him — that healing of the corrupted flesh will be made complete.
Lord, thank you for putting an end to corruption. Amen.