I love how this photo describes our Saviour! At the beginning of the J is “Alpha.” He is the beginning. At the end of the S is the Omega. He is the end. And everything in between!!
What is missing from the description however, and especially for all of his non-human animal and earth advocates, is what Jesus means for the entire creation.
There is a prayer by May Tripp that I just love and will share at the end of this meditation that fits well with the Easter message. But first, some thoughts that were evoked by a posting on the Shepherding All God’s Creatures Prayer Group. It was a simple yet profound message which states:
Jesus prayed ‘forgive them for they know not what they do’ (Lk. 23.34). This is usually read to mean they did not know that they were crucifying the Redeemer of world. But perhaps Jesus also meant that they were blind to the idol they were following in doing what they did – that they were serving the idolatrous Roman celebration of cruelty and violence, the kingdom of darkness rather than the kingdom of God. The Roman empire is long gone, but the modern world has its own cruelties, its own idols of exploitation and abuse. We cruelly consume animals, not because we don’t know the reality of what we do, but because we do not see the unreal idol of consumption for what it is.Quote by: Dr Philip J. Sampson FOCAE
Brought to SAGC prayer group by: Soummya Chakraborty
Member of Shepherding All God’s Creatures Prayer Group
The entire world is hungry, not for what it idolizes, not for earthly treasures, though it may not appear this is so. It hungers for the only One who can give any of us Life – who is the only One Who can fill the hole in each and every person we will ever meet or look into the eyes of. Yes. Even those who abuse and misuse creation in horrible ways. Haggai says of Him in 2:7: “I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (NKJ) Jesus IS the Desire of All Nations! He is the Glory that will fill this temple!!! And what do we know about Glory? Glory is His character. And what do we know about the Temple? You and I, indeed any person on earth who submits to the knowledge of YHWH and the salvation freely offered through Jesus, are the Temple!
Having said this, Christ also died for the entire cosmos – the whole creation, the entire created order. His heart is for peace – peace between humans and humans; peace between humans and non-human animals; peace for the entire earth that supports life.
I think that when Jesus said “forgive them for they know not what they do” it encompassed all of this. Yet so much more – it goes so much deeper to a depth we may not be able to understand until we meet Him face to face.
We in our modern world live upon the earth as though we are our own gods and are in charge of our own destiny; as though we are the center of the universe and all things revolve around us. We look to our sciences for most things, including the day we will defeat aging and death…..as though God doesn’t exist and never has. “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” At some deep level the human project is deeply flawed, completely blinded… the years since original sin only deepening those flaws, the confusion of who we are, further betrothing mankind to his brokenness. But what Jesus did while on earth, through his death and resurrection, well now, that is something! For those of us who can see – and we see only because the Spirit opened our eyes and hearts to do so because we were willing at some point and the Spirit could then open our eyes and hearts – it is such a miraculous thing!
- We KNOW first of all He exists and He is the Alpha and Omega!
- We KNOW he is the God of the universe, the entire cosmos, there is One God, One Father of all!
- We KNOW our origin and we KNOW our fate when we entrust our lives to him – we KNOW who we are – His children – we SEE the truth!
- We KNOW the ending is glorious and….. we see our brokenness, our separation…we know it is not long and it will be no more!
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do…..” Without His intervention, we would never have known what we do. We would never have known there is a devastatingly broken relationship between the Godhead and all creation which ripped apart the very fabric of the fullness of Life, tearing apart the joy and harmony of creation. JESUS is the Life the entire world craves though they know it not. In one fatal decision Genesis tells us, the delicate harmonic balance that existed upon the earth between all forms of life was tragically cut off from its source – YHWH our Creator – thus throwing the entire created order into turmoil, violence and death.
With those words said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do,” Jesus dies, entering the realm of death – not just for humans but for all things. For all creation he took our place paying the price for the decision that destroyed Shalom; in doing so, He destroyed the devil’s work (1 John 3:8) while providing the way back to the Father for all people if they will choose Him. Jesus also restores the created order, reconciling all the cosmos to Himself – Colossians 1:19,20 (for a wonderful depiction of what this looks like please see our Feature Video).
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do“….the magnitude of these words blows my mind! Oh, the awesomeness of our God YHWH! How wonderfully beautiful and precious was the hour I first believed, the song goes! When I meditate upon Jesus and His life and all He did while here on earth; as I look at life and where he has taken me along this journey; I am SO incredibly grateful he has led me here, to this time and place writing on this blog to all of YOU with the understanding of what He has done for ALL creatures and the earth. I pray fervently for everyone who sees these things to be a light to the world – that Jesus can open others eyes and hearts in the church and in the world through us to the glorious realization of what the cross means for ALL creation.
“Father forgive them for they know not what they do“…. As Soummya Chakraborty said in her earlier quote, “We cruelly consume animals, not because we don’t know the reality of what we do, but because we do not see the … idol of consumption for what it is.” Cruelly consuming animals is an idol in today’s churches they do not see, though some may know the cruelty of today’s farming practices. Some go so far as to use scripture to justify it (see FAQ and Q&A under Resources & Links). Father forgive them and open their eyes to see what it is they do…. we ask in the Powerful and Mighty Name of your Son, JESUS! ~AMEN
One day, we will meet Him face to face where we will enjoy Shalom together with Jesus as our Lord, our President, our Leader, our God and King. We will also be together with ALL his creatures, whole and new on the restored earth! PRAISE HIM, Hosanna! Maranatha – The Alpha and the Omega – Our Saviour has RISEN!
ACC (Animal Christian Concern) “Alpha and Omega” Prayer
You are the beginning and the end.
In you all things were created
And in you all things are redeemed.
You are Lord of Creation.
It was for all that you gave your life
On the Cross, a perfect sacrifice.
Take now, to your open arms,
Our grief for your creation:
For your wildlife, struggling against extinction;
For the hunted and the trapped;
For the abandoned and the homeless;
For your food animals, unnaturally imprisoned,
Transported and slaughtered in terror;
For your animals cruelly used as laboratory tools.
In us you live as Risen Lord.
Our hearts plead with you now to carry the
Pain of your suffering creatures,
Even to the least of these.
The darkness of the world binds them
As it binds us, O Lord,
And only your love can free us to live
In your light.
Christ Jesus, come.
Redeem your world.
By May Tripp
This prayer is located in Roslyne Smith’s book, Animal Welfare Through the Cross: A Collection of Animal Christian Concern Articles, Article 2. All proceeds go to further the cause for animal welfare.
Thank you for reading and following our blog! We pray you and yours have an awesomely blessed Easter, remember our Saviour and all He has done for us! AMEN ~Kathy
My calling as a Child of the Creator is to take the Gospel, as it relates to the WHOLE creation, to the world; and to remind the Church of its Biblical responsibilities to non-human animals and the earth.
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