The Tombstone of Traditions
Daniel 6:16,17 -
Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.
The biggest killer of Christians has always been one factor 'Tradition'. It is not that traditions are wrong or bad, but yet even they have always been having hand in destroying Christians.
In the Bible the Lord asked man to do certain things as traditions with only one reason to pass on understanding to the children and to build faith for those growing or weak in heart. Any tradition followed which does not build faith even if it does not seem evil is evil. It is like taking duplicate medicine which are non-poisonous (like a sweet made to look as a tablet), they make man feel that something is been done about the problem but in reality nothing is happening towards removing the problem, so the problem slowly aggravates.
In the Old Testament festivals and certain communal activities which later became known as tradition were instructed so as to teach and testify to the children about God and history of man's relationship walk with the Lord.
In the New Testament the Early Church did not give great importance to traditions on the contrary they did away with most of them. Paul who was a vessel of the Lord to witness to the kings, gentiles and children of Israel (those who are growing in the Lord) did speak of tradition only because his audiences were of that category. Paul in short was commissioned by the Lord to be a junior school head master and diplomat between worldly rulers and people who did not know God. This is the reason Paul's writings do not go deep into study of the Word or of the Kingdom of God, although he does talk of being aware of them.
When Jesus resurrected He entered closed rooms without coming through the door, He also appeared at different places without physical moving between places. But what we see is when He resurrected the tombstone covering the entrance was moved aside. Was it necessary to move the tombstone? Jesus could have resurrected and come out of the tomb without moving the tombstone.
The tombstone symbolizes tradition and this is confirmed in today's message. We see Daniel was put in a tomb and a huge bolder like tombstone covered its entrance, even after that the entrance had soldiers guarding it, yet we see the king putting his seal on the tombstone. Not only does the king put his seal but the nobles also put their seals on the tombstone; these seals represented their approvals.
Traditions are followed by people mainly for getting approval of what they are doing from the elders or seniors in the faith. Stop any tradition and the person fears backlash from the elders and heads of the church. Tradition in short kills a growing spirit and thus does not let a person experience the risen Lord.
As a child following traditions is okay but as one grows in spirit it is better to overcome traditions and dwell in relationship with God. Since we live among people who do not know God the festivals we celebrate do the job of reminding us and testifying unto others of what the Lord has done.
Most of the churches are spiritual dwarfs because they give traditions more importance than the purpose they are for.
Like Steve Ray the Catholic evangelist stated the Catholic church stands on 3 legs, one being the Word, second tradition and the third church authority. I will not comment about the other two legs, but because tradition is an important leg on what they stand on is the reason we see the church full of only spiritual babies.
Grow in Spirit and move the tombstone of tradition from your life and experience the Risen Lord in your life.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You are God of the Living and not the dead. You are Spirit and You desire your children even though made in the flesh to be led by spirit. Lord, we pray all the spiritual babies that You intervene in their lives and move the tombstone from their lives so that they experience a spiritual revival...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scripture ]
Matthew 27:58-66; 28:1-8
58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
62 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
8 And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
24 And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
25 And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the land which the LORD will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service.
26 And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service?
27 That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD'S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
1 Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-9
6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
8 Neither did we eat any manís bread for nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you:
9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.
1 Peter 1:18-19
18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
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