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A light aircraft is missing...

[Jesus Christ, AD 31, Galilee, speaking to ordinary people] “Or those 18 on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”    Luke 13: 4,5


Last Sunday evening at about 8 p.m. we heard the words, ‘A light aircraft piloted by Alexander de Gruchy is missing over Cherbourg….’


To those who knew that young man, a feeling of horror and disbelief filled their whole beings. And they divided into small groups of four or five to pray to the God and Father of Jesus Christ – the Jesus Christ who spoke the above words (in bold) during his short time on earth.


Forgive me, please. This is being written with a very heavy heart and without any feeling of superiority of any kind. And it is written in expectation of anger and opprobrium from some who will read. Forgive me.


Forgive me because the only reason for writing is so that readers will not remain unaware of what was taught by Jesus of Nazareth about those who die when “a light aircraft is missing...”


Jesus taught the crowds, see above, that Alexander de Gruchy was definitely not a worse offender than you and me who were not on that ‘plane. The Greek word in the earliest manuscripts for “offender” is opheiletes. It is only used on one other occasion in the four biographies of Jesus Christ. That was when Jesus spoke of a king who was owed 10,000 talents. The dead pilot did not owe to God any more than others. We all owe him our life and breath and everything.  


That was one vital, vital message from Jesus to those alive listening to him in AD 31. And to us in Jersey.


What then?


Jesus had a second message. When the tower in Siloam fell and killed many Jerusalem residents, Jesus wanted each member of the crowds of survivors to know for certain and definitely the second message he gave them. “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”


Forgive me.


The Greek word for “perish” could also be translated “lost” – just like the light aircraft, “missing”.....” likewise lost”.


The Greek word for “repent”? Metanoeo. Meta = after, with; Noeo = perceive, think, consider. An equivalent 2008 word would be “re-consider”.


“Unless you re-consider, you will likewise be lost.”


Forgive me – I thought you ought to know.


Please re-consider – just as Alexander, on his own testimony, had reconsidered, had turned towards Jesus of Nazareth and was – and is – no longer lost.

‘Plan your life, budgeting for seventy years ... and understand that if your time proves shorter that will not be unfair deprivation but rapid promotion.’  (J I Packer, Professor of Theology, Vancouver)
‘It is better to meet God with tears in your eyes than with weapons in your hands.’ (Thomas Watson, Writer and pastor, c. 1620-1686)
Richard Syvret

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