Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

From Death to Life

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

From Death to Life

Article excerpt

Isaiah 65:1-9; Psalm 22:19-28; Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 8:26-39

Paul, Isaiah, and Jesus all protest against the human tendency to remain locked in places of death and fear instead of saying yes to the new life that God brings. In Isaiah, God rejects Israel's actions as "a people who provoke me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and offering incense on bricks; who sit inside tombs, and spend the night in secret places" (Isaiah 65:3-4). Their inability to observe the letter or spirit of the law keeps them imprisoned "inside tombs'--places of death instead of life.

The Gerasene demoniac is similarily trapped in a place of death in Luke's gospel. Considered unclean, he is banished and "did not live in a house but in the tombs" (Luke 8:27). Unlike the townspeople, the demons recognize Jesus and his authority, addressing him fearfully as "Jesus, Son of the Most High God" (Luke 8:28). They beg him not to send them "back into the abyss" (Luke 8:31), the chaos that existed before God ordered the world. …

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