From His eternal seat Christ comes down to this earth, where, ages ago, in the bitter cup of death He poured his deathless life for those who came to the call and those who remained away.
He looks about Him, and sees the weapons of evil that wounded His own age.
The arrogant spikes and spears, the slim, sly knives, the scimitar in diplomatic sheath, crooked and cruel, are hissing and raining sparks as they are sharpened on monster wheels.
But the most fearful of them all, at the hands of the slaughterers, are those on which has been engraved His own name, that are fashioned from the texts of His own words fused in the fire of hatred and hammered by hypocritical greed.
He presses His hand upon His heart; He feels that the age-long moment of His death has not yet ended, that new nails, turned out in countless numbers by those who are learned in cunning craftsmanship, pierce Him in every joint.
They had hurt Him once, standing at the shadow of their temple; they are born anew in crowds.
From before their sacred altar they shout to the soldiers, ‘Strike!’
And the Son of Man in agony cries, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’
Rabindranath Tagore composed this poem on Christmas Day in 1939. He was hinting at the war-mongers of Europe.
And in it lies a simple truth. Every time Christians hurt the testimony of Christ through their lifestyles and actions, they cause Him the same pain and shame that He suffered at crucifixion at the hands of those He called His own.
It applies to all false TV evangelists who speak proud and loud in the name of the Lord, but whose personal lives are messy with money fraud, false doctrines, heresy, false prophecies and immoral behavior.
It applies to church elders who are interested in wielding power through position, who do not regularly examine their own lives in humility, and who prefer to pander to man-made traditions than accept the truth in the Word.
It applies to Word-Faith and Prosperity teachers who lay stress on giving money to receive blessings, thus downplaying the importance of obedience, repentance, loyalty and consecration in pleasing Yahowah and receiving His blessings.
It applies to the church, whose past has been mired in shameful things like Inquests, Crusades and greed.
It applies to missionaries, evangelists and Christian powers who use coercion and monetary inducements as a means to winning souls.
And it also applies to us, when we live lives that are a poor witness for our wonderful God.
As Hebrews 6: 6: says: If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
All of these things give outsiders an opportunity to point fingers and say: Look at all these Christians and their behaviour! Is this what their religion teaches them?
There’s not a lot we can do about many of the above things apart from not following and not emulating their poor examples. But we can let the world see Christ’s goodness, righteousness and gentleness through us–our actions, words, decisions and attitudes. I am saying this to myself as much as to everyone else, because I am far from perfect.