Messiah: Episode 2
Clip: 18:30 – 23:22
Old Testament: Psalm 23
New Testament: John 9:1-25
This clip from Messiah is powerful as it touches on several themes that relate to the Gospels: Jesus’ teaching, the opposition he faced from the ruling authorities, the threat of violence, and the reactions that must have accompanied his miracles. The moment at the end of this clip is especially powerful when the young boy who was shot holds up the bullet in his hand and yells, “I’m alive! I’m alive!” It reminds me of the story from John 9 when Jesus heals the man who had been blind since birth. Jesus’ miracles must have caused quite a disturbance as those who witnessed it tried to process what they had witnessed. Some were astonished, some were confused, and others doubted immediately. I love what the healed man says in John 9:25 (NLT): “I don’t know whether he [Jesus] is a sinner,” the man replied, “But I know this: I was blind, and now I see!”
One of the great things that many Christians lack is our ability to embrace what God has done in our life – to acknowledge the forgiveness and healing that we have received from God. The most powerful argument for the existence and love of God is our personal testimony. We may not understand all the arguments for the existence of God and be capable of engaging in lofty theological discussions, but we all know our own story. It is impossible to tell our story of God without acknowledging our own sinfulness. The words “forgive” and “forgiveness” are in the Bible over 150 times. At the heart of our story in Christ is the reality of our sin and the need to be forgiven. We should be able to join in with the healed blindman by saying, “I don’t have all the answers as to where God came from and how it all works, but I do know this, Once I was a sinner and lived under the weight of my shortcomings, but God has forgiven my sins through Christ Jesus.”
Spend some time praying the prayer “Kyrie Eleison” or the English translation of the Greek, “Lord, have mercy on us.” We don’t deserve grace. We didn’t earn forgiveness. We can’t pay God back. Today, remember the depths of your sinfulness. Join in the words of Psalm 51:1 (NLT) in your prayers to God: “have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.” If you have extra time, consider spending some time in prayer and meditation with this recording from Youtube of Gregorian chant of “Kyrie Eleison” from “Chant of the Mystics” (the chant is 1,000 years old and this recording is over 2 hours long).