The writer of the letter to the Hebrews tells us in Hebrews 9:27… And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment… every man, woman and child will one day give an account of our lives to God. So, my question…. is what your living for, worth dying for?
Recently, as a history hound, I’ve been studying out early church history. One of the men that I’ve been learning about in early church history is James the Just. He was the half-brother of Jesus having the same mother only.
James is mentioned in the gospels… but not as a follower of Jesus… until after the resurrection of Christ. Such is the power of the resurrection that even Jesus’ family bent their knee and bowed their heart’s before the cross.
In fact, James was known as Camel knees and Hegesippus, a second century Christian writer tells us … [James] alone was permitted to enter into the holy place; for he wore not woolen but linen garments. And he was in the habit of entering alone into the temple, and was frequently found upon his knees begging forgiveness for the people, so that his knees became hard like those of a camel, in consequence of his constantly bending them in his worship of God, and asking forgiveness for the people. I would say that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection had a mighty impact on His brother.
But wait. Many can live a lie… but no one would willingly die for a lie. James, was elected early after the ascension of Jesus into heaven to oversee the church Christian church in Jerusalem… how did our brother die then?
As the overseer in Jerusalem, James had great respect from the various sects of Judaism. One day, the Pharisee’s took him to a wing of the Temple… to have him renounce Jesus and His teachings. But contrary to what they hoped for, we have recorded for us from Hegesippus… “Why do you ask me about Jesus, the Son of Man? He sits in heaven at the right hand of the great Power, and he will soon come on the clouds of heaven! “
We are told then, that the Pharisee’s then cast James from the Temple wing and began to stone him until dead. James final words are again recorded for us as…“I entreat You, O Lord God and Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.“
The bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:10… For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
So again, I ask… is what your living for, worth dying for?