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Suffering rejection by election

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.     Daniel 7: 13-14


The words in bold above are an extract from the Jewish National Archives. They record a night vision of a remarkable Civil Servant around BC 530.


Daniel was one of several highly intelligent young men of noble blood in Jerusalem in 605 BC. The Babylonian Emperor Nebuchadnezzar had to force Jerusalem into obedience and tribute. As part of that these youngsters were taken into exile and into the Emperor’s Court in Babylon.


Daniel stayed faithful to the God of Israel and simultaneously rose to great heights under Nebuchadnezzar and his successor Belshazzar. When Babylon fell to the Persian Empire, this wise and perceptive man of integrity continued to serve those conquerors - Cyrus followed by Cambyses and by Darius the Mede, despite the latter usurping the Persian throne from its founding family of Cyrus.


Three Empires successively served by one man of integrity and faith......These three huge Empires of course knew nothing of democracy. Elections – like those in Jersey on October 19 – would have been despised as being far inferior to the sword.


When Belshazzar (Babylon) was ousted by Cyrus (Persia) he would not have felt “rejected” – he would have felt the physical pain of death. When Cambyses (Persia) was usurped by a general in his army (Darius) he too would not have been sensitive to “rejection”. But, in Jersey on and after October 19, 2011, there will be 48 potential leaders who will “suffer rejection” only through the election process.


What will that feel like? Only one who has been rejected by men will know.


When Jesus (who often referred to himself as “the son of man”) was in Jerusalem in the final week of his life, he knew that he had been rejected by the Jewish leaders. The Sanhedrin met and voted unanimously to put him to death. He felt the pain of this rejection – and he knew that he was soon to feel the physical pain of death at the hands of the Romans.


During that week in AD 33 he asked these Jerusalem folk to think about two references to “rejection” in their own National Archives.


He said: “Have you not read this Scripture: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the LORD’s doing and it is marvellous in our eyes.’?” He knew from Scripture that his “rejection” – his “rejection by election” of the authorities – would become so attractive to the needy that they would make him their cornerstone. And he so strongly wanted to be their cornerstone that he would endure “rejection” and death. And give the needy time to “elect and not reject” him.


He also said: “David himself, in the Holy Spirit [King David around BC 980 in Psalm 110 in the Jewish Archives], declared: ‘The LORD said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.’” He’s there now -see bold above – seated until.....


Those who, on October 19, 2011 in Jersey suffer rejection (by election) will have no such achievement to sustain them – only a chance of a later try.


But there’s something more about the rejection suffered by Jesus. It’s this. After rising from the dead he is at the right hand of the Ancient of Days - seated until his enemies are put under his feet. Until that time finally comes, his needy enemies, here and now, must for him – or reject him. This is a continuing election – and for many a continuing rejection.


Those who elect to go in his direction (and make him and his self-giving love the cornerstone of their lives) become his friends. And he becomes their brother. They know him. They know his Father, the Ancient of Days. To achieve that for them he suffered rejection – and often they do also.

‘He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.' (Isaiah - foreseeing Jesus, Jerusalem, c. 710 BC)
‘Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.’  (Isaiah - foreseeing Jesus, Jerusalem, c. 710 BC)
Richard Syvret

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